Tonight’s CORE2CROSS devotion:
One of the benefits of using Pilates for strength training is the concept of functional isolation. By being aware of our bodies, maintaining proper alignment, and engaging the core through the use of the breath, we can learn how to use muscle CONTROL and move with PRECISION. Isolating the muscles without the use of external supports like weight machines, equips us to use precision and control to move our muscles effectively and efficiently outside the “comforts” of the gym. With Pilates we learn to use the CORE muscles to support us as we move each muscle precisely instead of relying on machines to support our bodies while we work each muscle.
As we look at Jesus’ journey into the desert, we see how He steps away from the support and “comfort” of family and friends in order to practice functional isolation of His faith “muscles”.
Luke 4 (1-13) Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’” The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’” The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’[e]” When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him
Here, He would use awareness of the CORE (God’s Word) and the breath of the Holy Spirit to maintain alignment with God’s will as He moved with precision and control against the resistance of the world. With no external supports, He relies on the awareness of His CORE, the scriptures, and the breath of the Holy Spirit to maintain alignment as He moves with functional isolation-using precise, controlled movements. As He does so, the CORE strengthens, providing, protecting, and giving power against resistance.
In Pilates movements, we must be aware of the muscles we intend to use, maintain proper alignment, engage our CORE by using the breath, and move with precision and control through each movement. It is in this practice of functional isolation we build strength in the CORE of our bodies.Our lives, too, must be a practice in functional isolation through the awareness of God’s word and alignment to His will. It is easy to practice our faith in the security of external supports- Bible Studies, church activities, places where others support, protect, and give us strength through encouragement. However, sometimes God calls us in to “dry places”. Perhaps He does so in order to remove the external supports from our lives so that we might strengthen the internal the CORE-His presence within us. If we are aware of God’s Word and maintain alignment to His will by engaging the CORE with the breath of the Holy Spirit, we are able to move through these new territories with precision and control. Just like Jesus, we activate our CORE in Christ, breathing in the Holy Spirit, and breath our God’s sustaining, protecting, and powerful Word. Filling the “dry places” with refreshing, reviving, restoring TRUTH.