It is this season of Lent, our time of preparing, we can look to the CROSS to build our CORE…
CORE2CROSS is a faith and fitness devotion series that focuses strengthening our CORE, both physically and spiritually in order to “carry the cross”, or walk the path of God’s purpose for us. During the Lenten season, we often study Jesus’ journey to the cross. The Word became FLESH and dwelt among us. Jesus was given the gift of an earthly body and, in turn, used it as a gift to us. As I study His life in the body here on earth, it occurs to me that God’s purpose for Him required not only great spiritual strength, but, in the end, great physical strength as well.
Over the next few weeks we will learn how studying the principles of the Pilates method: awareness, alignment, breath, focus, control, precision, flow, and core through a Scriptural and Spiritual perspective can help us build a strong CORE in Christ. As we gain strength in the CORE of our bodies, we gain strength in the CORE of our faith. Taking a close look at Jesus’ own preparation for God’s ultimate purpose for His life on earth we hope to gain some insight into how God wants to prepare us to “carry our own cross.”
Now, exercise is one of those areas where we can become quickly distracted. We can start with focusing on improving our health, but then become side-tracked, perhaps discouraged because we don’t fit into the image the world has created. We might look to the “rules of the world” to achieve the goals of the world. Jesus’ life is an example of intense awareness of God’s will, alignment to that will. His life flowed with the breath of the Holy Spirit moving with control and precision as He engaged His strong CORE. Although tempted in the world, He stayed focused on His purpose. In order for us to move with this same focus and protect us from being strained and pulled by the world, we become aware and stay aligned, focusing with precision on the truths from God’s Word, engaging our CORE in Christ by allowing the breath of the Holy Spirit to flow freely through us.
As we do this, we become aware of God’s truth about us:
1. Just like Jesus, God has a purpose for us here on Earth. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
2. We were not created in man’s image, but God’s image. “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them” (Genesis 1:27)
3. God has given us our bodies as a gift to use for Him. “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. (1 Cor. 6:19-20)
4. He has and continues to equip us for every act he requires of us. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of Godmay be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17)
5. Following His plan for us gives us everything we need to walk in His purpose for us. “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Pet. 1:2-4)
6. A strong CORE in Christ gives us the strength we need to do ALL THINGS. “I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:13) “If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
God does want us to take care of our bodies, his gift to us. But, above all, he is concerned with our heart. 1 Samuel 16:7 reminds us, “Do not consider [his] appearance or his height, for I have rejected[him]. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
I hope you will join me as we seek to strengthen our CORE to CARRY the CROSS.