One foot on a desk and the other on a rolling office chair, stretching high with my right hand to reach a Bible commentary that was just….out of my reach. Eyes focused on the prize and yet, aware that my back leg was slowly inching away from the desk.
Fortunately, this time, the story ended well and I was able to grab that commentary!
But I knew better.
I graduated with a degree in Physical Therapy and have spent the past 27 years teaching my patients about how to improve their CORE strength and stability and how to navigate life with greater safety.
If you are going stretch/reach out of your comfort zone, you need to make sure that your foundation is solid. Your CORE needs to be strong, firm and secure. (Needless to say one foot should not be on a moving object!)
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations for ever and ever! Amen!”
This is a verse about stretching. Beyond.
*Beyond what feels comfortable.
*Beyond what we think we are capable of doing.
*Beyond what others say we have potential for.
That is why CORE STRENGTH is so important. Stability. Having a firm foundation to stand upon.
Psalms 1:1-3 gives us a road map to developing CORE strength.
Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither,
In all that he does, he prospers.
CORE EXERCISE #1. The Company You Keep Influences Your Core Strength
My inner circle of close friends directly influence my view of God, of myself and of life in general. Proverbs 13:20 tells me that “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” We all need friends who will challenge us to align what we believe and how we live with the standard set forth in the Word of God. These friends have rooted themselves in holding fast to Biblical principles for life. These friendships strengthen our CORE! (Consider the effectiveness of exercise classes where everyone is cheering each other on in their effort to become healthy!)
CORE EXERCISE #2: The Word of God Influences Your Core Strength
My delight is to be in the law of the Lord and I am to meditate on it day and night.
The Hebrew word here for delight is “hepes” which means ” one’s wish, desire, pleasure, request, delight”. When I set my desires/wishes on the study of God’s Word, I find myself discovering WHO God is and my identity in Him. How can you, in practical ways, meditate on the Word day and night? It doesn’t mean that you get to neglect errands, a job and that ever present pile of laundry( I wish!)! Make it a priority at some point in your day, to consistently take some time to read, to study deeper and reflect on a Truth nugget from scripture. Then, throughout the day, continue to reflect on what you learned and ask the Holy Spirit to continue to reveal to you how to live out what you learned. Meditation on the word causes you to become firmly rooted in Christ and your CORE strengthens.
CORE EXERCISE #3: Where You Are Planted Influences Your Core Strength
There is an old phrase that says, “Bloom where you are planted.” I believe there is some truth to that…we are to look for ways to make the best of where we find ourselves in life. However, without a doubt, a tree will thrive better when planted close to a water supply.
Take an assessment of your life to determine if your closest friends are encouraging your walk with the Lord. If you cannot answer a confident yes to this, then make a step today to “plant” yourself in an environment where you will develop friendships with others who have rooted themselves in a deep relationship with the Lord.
Take another look now. What can you do, today, to increase your commitment to read,study and meditate on the Word of God? Merely reading the Word of God daily is like doing ten sit-ups once a day and expecting your CORE to become a six-pack. If you repeat those sit-ups throughout the day, day after day, that six-pack will start to appear.
BOLDLY ROOT YOURSELF in the Word of God and in friendships that are committed to Christ.
And watch that spiritual six-pack CORE develop!
(By the way, merely sitting next to an exerciser does not impact your CORE strength….YOU need to get down on the floor and start those crunches!)
Be BOLD. Be ROOTED.