Being that I am not so athletic, the warm-up before exercise usually does it for me! But in the event that I keep going, it does help to have those muscles warmed up and ready for action. Without those gentle stretches, I am more likely to pull something and be done for the day (or the week).
Today’s verse likens our Christian daily growth to running or boxing with purpose. To win the prize in an athletic competition, strict training and self discipline are usually required. Paul even says that he makes his body a slave so as to control it. None of this work is for his own glory, but for the sake of sharing the Gospel and not disqualifying himself.
The Lord knows where I need work on my faith and on my obedience. In His loving plan to make me more like Him, He has made the race more like an obstacle course. Those difficulties I will face tomorrow are there to strengthen my faith and trust in Him. But it would be foolish of me not to warm up. When I spend time in His Word and in prayer, my spiritual muscles are stretched and ready for action!
I cannot know what tomorrow may bring. But I can at least be as prepared as I can be. In the middle of a crisis is not the time to be looking for that verse. I want to shore up His Word in my heart and mind today. I want my daily conversations with Him to be so close and encouraging that I can face the unexpected with confidence.
Lord, keep me warmed up.