"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power, put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
As a recent high school graduate, I realize that sports are over for me. But that doesn't mean that I shouldn't still stay in shape. I have to continue to workout in order to maintain my physical fitness.
The same is also true for our spiritual lives. We must continue to workout our faith, even after we leave church and are no longer in fellowship with believers. We must exercise spiritual fruits in order to gain spiritual strength.
It can be easy for us to maintain fitness while we are involved in sports, but it takes extra discipline and self-control to workout in the off-season. Likewise, when we are involved in a ministry at church, or in the company of other believers, it can be easy to produce spiritual fruit. But, when we are at work or school or even home, the battle is stronger and discipline is crucial.
As followers of Christ, we must be devoted to maintaining spiritual fitness and health. And just like we use equipment when we exercise, God has given us equipment for spiritual exercise: the sword of the Spirit, the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, the gospel of peace, shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and prayer. (See Ephesians 6.) We should use each and every piece of equipment in order to gain strength and sustain fitness.
1. Are you discipling yourself out of season?
2. What are some steps you could take to increase spiritual strength?
3. How can you effectively use the fruit of the Spirit and the armor of God?