In last week’s post, we looked at the role of concentration can improve our fitness pursuits as well as our faith in Christ. In fitness, focusing on muscle groups you intend to utilize may actually increase your body’s ability to work those muscles. In our journey toward a stronger faith, concentration can focus our minds on Christ and His example helping us to move and ‘work’ out our faith.
But, HOW? In this world of multi-tasking and scatterbrains…HOW do we learn to focus and concentrate on the tasks that will ultimately bring us strength?
In her article, “Developing Better Concentration,” Terri Rizzo discusses several keys to concentrating. Getting enough sleep, staying interested in your workout, and practicing activities that help your focus are some of Rizzo’s suggestions. For read more of this article, go to: http://www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/how-to-improve-concentration
The Bible also tells us of the importance and necessity of focusing on God in our lives. We learn that we can not serve two masters, that we are to set our minds on things above- not things of this world, and we hear of things being given to us when we seek God’s kingdom first. (See http://www.openbible.info/topics/staying_focus for a list of FOCUS verses.) Even if we know all of these verses, sometimes it is difficult to keep our focus where it should be…on the Cross. What does this look like in our daily lives…how can we live in this world, move and function in it, yet keep our minds, our focus on things above?
Since we have discussed concentration in terms of physical fitness, let’s look more closely at how focusing on God can help us make right choices for our physical fitness needs. As I said in the last post, strengthening the physical body is not a separate task from strengthening our spiritual one. Sometimes we see these thing as unrelated or maybe we know that God wants us to care for our bodies are unsure of what this means exactly. Even when our intentions are good- if we are not focusing on what the Bible says about our bodies and the purpose of them, we can easily get diverted into what the world deems as “taking care of” or “honoring” our bodies.
So how do we do this? How do we concentrate on God and take care of our physical bodies at the same time? Can we do this without serving two masters? I don’t suppose that I know all of the answers here, but here are some things that I think about when trying to determine my physical fitness needs:
1. TRAINING:All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
God’s Word is here to help me, teach me, train me and correct me in order to EQUIP me to do EVERY good work.
2. PURPOSE: For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)
In God’s Word, I am reminded many times over that I am His workmanship and He has prepared GOOD WORKS for me to do.
3. EQUIPMENT: May the God of peace,equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. (Hebrews 13:20-22)
Anything the Lord has prepared for me to do, He will equip me to do.
4. THE WORK OUT Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world,but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:1-2)
As a follower of Christ, I am to offer my body as a sacrifice. What does this mean? My body, my physical body, is His to use to WORK OUT good, pleasing, and perfect will. If I concentrate–keep my mind focused– on what my body NEEDS to be DOING (God’s Will) instead of what I think it NEEDS to LOOK like, and direct my fitness toward that end, I will be able to WORK OUT in this world while staying in HIS Will!
God has blessed us with our bodies, they are a gift to us. Remembering to worship the GIVER instead of the GIFT as well as being good stewards of this blessing by taking care of our bodies is our FOCUS, our CONCENTRATION, our GOAL.
For more information about what God says in His Word about your BODY, go to: http://www.openbible.info/topics/your_body.