This past year, I made the decision to take up running as part of my workout routine. Growing up, I would roll my eyes and find every reason to get out of running, especially that dreaded mile we had …
This past year, I made the decision to take up running as part of my workout routine. Growing up, I would roll my eyes and find every reason to get out of running, especially that dreaded mile we had to undertake every year in school. Now that I’m a few years older and wiser, I have grown to enjoy leaving the house in the early morning hours and jogging through the neighborhood.
It’s just because I truly didn’t understand that there was more to this running business.
When I started, it was hard for me to last a minute. I didn’t have the stamina to go more than 15 minutes. Then I found out that in order to get better, I didn’t need to run every day. I went and did something else. Weight lifting.
It’s easy to assume that I was working on strengthening my legs. While that is part of the routine, mostly I’m working out my core strength.
The core is much more than those six-pack abs. It comprises the abdominal muscles, obliques, back, pelvis, spine, glutes and the diaphragm. The core is what connects the lower and upper parts of your body and allows your limbs to move in perfect harmony. A strong core helps your balance, your stability, your resistance to injury, your stamina over time and under pressure.
I had to work on my core strength to get better at running. Core strength is not just regulated to athletics, but to our daily lives as well. Grabbing a glass from the cabinet or bending down to tie your shoe requires core strength.
To take things from physical to spiritual, we have to have a strong core in our faith. The apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:13-18, “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.”(NKJV)
While every part of the armor of God listed in this verse is important, there is one piece to focus on. Paul says that we are to gird our waist in truth. Some other translations call it the belt of truth. It’s the first piece he lists. It’s the foundation that brings all the other pieces together. The truth that he is referring to is God and his word.
God’s word is our standard that keeps us balanced, stable, resistant in times of hurt, and keeps us standing over time and while under pressure. When we have God’s word as the standard of truth in our lives, we can adjust everything in our lives to align to his will. However, when God’s word is not the standard, we are left susceptible to things that may look and sound right yet aren’t actually right.
Just like we exercise our core to get stronger, we have to daily be connected to God by reading the Bible and spending time in prayer in order to know his standard. Then we uphold and affirm his standard, committing ourselves to them and resolving to teach it to our family. It’s daily letting God help you align your decisions, responses, and attitudes to the benchmark of his truth.
I pray that you’ll dive into his word and let his standard strengthen you in the days to come.
(Jessica Robinson is the youth pastor at Glad Tidings Assembly of God.)