By Brooke Holt
“I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:27).
For many years, I enjoyed competing in triathlons. Granted, the most fun aspect of these triathlons was training with my friends. About fifty women from the YMCA in Lake Mary, Fl would meet three mornings a week to swim, bike, and run. We enjoyed incredible fellowship as we each worked to reach our goal to compete in the upcoming triathlon. What was not such fun was getting in the outside pool throughout January and February at 5:30 in the morning. Steam would be rising from the pool, yet my shivering body on the deck much preferred steam from the hot showers in the locker room!
What compelled me and these other women to sacrifice our comfort to get up before dawn and get into that pool? Only the goal of race day! And Paul uses that same language in this letter to the Corinthians. Paul refers to athletic training and competition because he understands the discipline involved in physical and spiritual training. This kind of training takes focus, vigor, and discipline. And it results in one who is fit for competition.
Perhaps this kind of language does not speak to you. My husband has never joined me for triathlon training or even 5k training. While he does not enjoy that kind of training, he is one of the most disciplined people I know. His discipline just looks quite different from mine. He diligently guards his thoughts and his words, and he consistently chooses the way of integrity, even when it is incredibly hard.
What about you? Do you embrace discipline in your physical and spiritual training? Does God want to make you even more spiritually fit? I can’t imagine any of us could answer no to that question. That is why Bible Study Media is inviting you to do a 40-day Lenten challenge. Throughout this season of Lent (beginning Wednesday, February 22), what would it look like for you to bring your body and your spirit under this kind of discipline?
This Lent, Bible Study Media offers two formats for doing The Crucified Life. The first is on our Ignite site. Or you can order Crucified Life study guides and devotionals to share with your small group or to work through on your own. Our new Waters of Baptism study can be done with in the church, a small group, or on your own. Or click on the pictures below to learn more about these opportunities for growth and discipline.
The season of Lent is a time of preparation, preparation for the greatest victory ever – eternal life with the Lord!
Spend some time in prayer today asking the Lord to direct you in a Lenten discipline. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
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