My smart phone app alerted me to my achieving a major personal milestone. I exercised for one thousand consecutive days. Every morning, I exercise on my elliptical for at least 45 minutes. This would be added to the usual steps that I take doing my daily activities to reach a minimum of 10,000 steps a day, sometimes reaching over 20,000 steps. Even when I travel, I kept the same routine. Inevitably there were days when I did not get enough sleep or was stressed by external events and thought to myself, “Maybe this one day, I will take a break.” However, I knew that I would descend a slippery slope if I accepted this excuse. One day off could quickly become two days and before I knew it, a week. I know. When I was much younger, I attempted an exercise routine only to fall victim to this mindset. After a few months, I stopped. So, regardless of how I feel when I awaken, I commit to the exercise. I am pleased by my achievement. However, my spiritual life requires even greater discipline.
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT)
The Apostle Paul encouraged his followers with these high goals. Always! Never stop! These were not activities to be done every morning, it was to be done every waking moment! Living these spiritual disciplines was not simply an exercise, it was our very sustenance. What is the goal of these spiritual exercises? Paul answers this a few verses later.
Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (NLT)
If we remain faithful, we will receive more than an app congratulating us on our achievement, we will receive a crown of righteousness, bestowed upon us by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We are working to be holy, set apart from the world to be set aside with God.
Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.