Sports Spectrum believes in highlighting ministries doing awesome work through sports. Today we feature FaithFit, as written by Luke Swan, co-creator of the ministry.
Why do you work out?
Go ahead and ask yourself, “What is my motivation for working out?”
Maybe you answered, “I want to be a better athlete; I need to jump higher, run faster,” or “I want to lose weight so I look and feel better,” or maybe like me you said, “I like time away for myself; it’s an escape, a release.”
Now think about your answer. How much of your answer was about you? 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” Note it does not read, “Do it all for the glory of self.
Our culture has distorted our view of fitness. We’re bombarded with messages that focus our attention on magnifying or satisfying self.
“Pain is temporary, greatness is forever.”
“You can’t spell legendary without leg day.”
“Curls for the girls.”
“Suck it up now so you don’t have to suck it in later.”
“You’re not going to get that butt you want by sitting on it.”
The world tells us that working out is about self-gain and pride, but should a focus on self be our primary motivation as Christ-followers? To be clear, working out is a good thing and there is no denying its physical benefits —but what if working out could be so much more?
THE BIRTH OF FAITHFIT
As collegiate athletes, Anthony Edwards (co-creator of FaithFit) and I devoted hours upon hours of our lives to training, but were challenged by one question: “If God really is Lord of my life, what does that look like in all areas of my life — including my sport, including the gym?”
1 Timothy 4:8 shares, “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”
We knew well the value of training. We experienced the gains of it everyday, but God began to stir a tension in our hearts: Do I train spiritually as hard as I train physically? Our eyes began to open to the idea that our spiritual growth should intersect, and even supersede, every other thing in our lives.
And thus began the journey of inviting God into our training. It started small and was cobbled together — reading the Word in between sets, Christian podcasts as we stretched, playlists with Lecrae and Trip Lee, and prayer sessions while we ran.
What we discovered was this: Workout time became a powerful time of connection with God. We found ourselves released to worship God in a whole new way: heart, mind, soul and body.
Mark 12:29-30 took on a whole new meaning: “Jesus answered, ‘The most important commandment is, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”‘”
God was calling for ownership of all that we were, in all settings, including our time in the gym.
An early morning text from Anthony:
This weekend, I was in tears during the most intense part of my workout when I hit this mark in one of my favorite worship songs, “More of You.” In the midst of my workout, and the fire that was ignited in my quads, I was overwhelmed with His presence and thoughts of Him as my ROCK. If I can manage to do exactly this, in the midst of life, how well aligned will my perspective and hope be!
The gym became a laboratory for life. We started combining elements of Scripture, music and prayer together to create custom spiritual workouts to go with our physical workouts.
Our spiritual muscles began to grow alongside our physical muscles. We discovered our mind, body, emotions, and soul are not isolated from each other. They are all intertwined and engaging all together, allowing us to experience God in deeper ways. As we strained physically, our hearts and minds were softened to the Holy Spirit’s leading.
As we got stronger physically, we found our spiritual capacity to be used by God was growing at the same time. The benefits of exercise (getting stronger, feeling better, having more energy) resulted in us being better prepared to be used in His Kingdom.
In those moments of “I need to find that extra gear,” we realized the intensity of our workout was directly correlating to the sanctifying work on our soul. Our motivations came from a whole different, deeper level and training was never the same. Workouts transformed from being a time of worship of self to a sacred time of worshiping and honoring God, and a time that began to extend into every area of our lives.
We had to share this.
WORK OUT PHYSICALLY AND SPIRITUALLY
FaithFit is on a mission to create a platform that helps Christians experience the life-transforming work of the Gospel while they work out. Our culture has distorted our view of fitness. Rather than a focus on magnifying self to look like a chiseled Greek statue, what if workout time became more about shaping our spiritual bodies? Our vision is to redeem the fitness industry for Christ by turning every Christian’s time of exercise into a time of spiritual growth.
And so we’re building a library of devotional workouts to listen to and participate in while you exercise. The workouts combine Biblical teaching with motivating music and coaching.
And now we ask you the question again: What is your motivation for working out? What if it could be so much more?
Join us in this movement to redeem workout time for the glory of our gracious and Heavenly Father.
— Luke Swan, FaithFit co-creator
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