Is it your desire to become more like Jesus (Romans 8:29)? Do you want to be a holier Christian? Then you must train! You must put in the work to spiritually exercise your faith–in short, you must “train for godliness.”
Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come (1 Timothy 4:7-8 ESV).
For most of my life I exercised, since it was mandatory. As a golfer in high school and part of college, I was required to participate in workouts. Every other day I would wake up too early for comfort and lift weights and run.
Once I quit the golf team in college, I stopped being active. And then I got married. And now I work out on the rarest of occasion–that occasion being when my dog gets out of the fence and I have to go chase him down.
Physical exercise is good, of course. Exercising keeps you in shape for the most part. However, godly exercise matters more. It is far more important. Training our physical bodies is good; training ourselves for godliness is of more value.
With that said, we know how to train our physical bodies. But how do we exercise for godliness? That’s what I want to tackle in this blog by talking about three ways we can do so.
“True prayer,” John Calvin said, “should pour out the whole soul and every inward feeling before him.” To Calvin, prayer should involve the Christian’s whole being. Elsewhere he says prayer should be as easy as breathing. He is right.
It is impossible for Christians to “train in godliness” if we are not praying. A prayerless Christian is an unbalanced Christian. Prayer, in its simplest form, is talking to God. We talk to God in prayer and God talks to us in the Bible. It’s how we have a conversation with Him. Prayer, however, is not for God’s sake, as is easy to think. More than anything, prayer is for the Christian. It strengthens, encourages, convicts, and humbles.