Lord of the Lunge

Proverb 3: 6

In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

I was inspired, yesterday, by a group of athletes at the YMCA. Their enthusiasm for their workout is eclipsed only by their enthusiasm for their God. Recently I wrote a devotional about functional fitness and questioned what functional Christianity looks like. Yesterday I received my answer. Functional Christianity is in acknowledging God in all you do. For many of us, exercising our bodies is a singular task but what I found with this group is that they also exercise their spirits and their fellowship while flexing their muscles. After class, we were invited to pray together. What a blessing that was to me and I think God was honored to be a part of our workout.

When we go to work, to the grocery store or even when we are sweating and grunting with weights or a bicycle, there must still be space in our lives to acknowledge God. There should still be room in our hearts, minds and even our expressions with others to acknowledge and recognize our God. It is easy for us to get wrapped up in everything we do during the course of a day and never involve our Lord but if He is truly the Lord of our lives then He ought to have a place in everything we do. Whatsmore, His lordship ought to leave footprints on the paths of our life. His life leaves marks on our lives and those marks are, hopefully, visible to others. We begin in acknowledging God in all we do and then we start acknowledging God to others. We then find that we begin to leave footprints in other people’s lives. Our inclusiveness of God in all we do eventually envelopes people we encounter along the journey. The goodness of God is then expanded beyond its initial borders until eventually it reaches every person on earth.

It all begins with involving the Lord in all the activities of life. Take Him to work, take Him to the mall and definitely take Him to the Gym. Life is better when God is present. You may not be fond of lunges but they go much better when God is the Lord of the lunge.

Functional Christianity

John 13:35

By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

While at the Y this week, I shared a testimony with one of the instructors. One of our talented director/instructors at the YMCA I go to got me involved with a class called “Body Pump.” Recently I got to test the effectiveness of that class. In hanging a painting for my mother, I held this 27-pound, 3 foot wide painting against the wall but over my head as she and a friend decided it need to go up a couple of inches and then to the left an inch, and then another inch. I was pleased I was able to hold the painting while they determined where it should hang. As I gave this testimony to one of the instructors who teaches Body Pump, she said that is what functional fitness is all about. What a great term, functional fitness. It means that we don’t just improve our appearance but that the muscles we exercise are actually able to perform for us in the real world.

The phrase, “Functional Christianity” popped into my mind immediately. What would that be? You see, I think many of us have slipped into a generation of what I call “Cultural Christianity.” Cultural Christianity is that which has all of the form of Christianity but lacks much of the substance. We adhere to the cultural mores of Christianity but we lack the power, the function. We go to church every Sunday. We listen to the sermon, sing the songs but much of what Jesus taught has lost its applied strength. Our Christianity, and the exercise thereof, ought to make us stronger but increasingly we find that our modern Christianity is void. We go through all the motions we have been taught yet when I think of the early church and the apostles it almost seems we are on the outside looking in. This does not mean that we don’t love Jesus. It simply means we have gotten bogged down in our culture and have lost our way.

The good news is that Jesus is the way. Additionally, he sent us the Holy Spirit to teach and guide us so that we can get back on the right path. The path Jesus marked for us is one of the Holy Spirit and fire. We have to stir ourselves up again and ask for that which is missing. We need to ask Jesus and he will show us how to live so that our Christianity has functional strength. This is something we can do individually but the real power of it will be as we begin to move as a body. Get a revelation and then share it with someone else. Tap your friends and start a way. Stir up your church. Functional Christianity means that our spiritual muscles are toned and able to perform with strength, flexibility and fluidity. We are spiritual athletes who must enter training so that we can win the race set before us.

I ask you to ponder what Functional Christianity is? What would it look like in operation? What would an entire congregation of functional fit Christians be like? I am hungry to know. I hope you are too. As always, your comments and thoughts are very much welcome. Now, go exercise!