“You can run, but you cannot hide” haunts me on occasion. You?
I was minding my own business, readying to start Week Two of Priscilla Shirer’s most recent Bible study, Armor of God, when I opened the workbook and nearly fell out of my chair.
Priscilla had the audacity to entitle Day One of Week Two, “Strengthen Your Core”. Yep, as in the core of your body.
As in folks working out at their nearby gym.
As in folks lifting weights.
In a recent conversation with my Dear Hubster, I confessed that all of our walking wasn’t doing a thing for my ever- expanding core. No wonder it’s called one’s girth. No wonder the charming item called a “girdle” reigns in one’s core. (Kudos to those Spanx inventors.)
Let’s be honest. Even attempting to strengthen one’s core is arduous and requires discipline…two non-fun facts which derail yours truly on a daily, fleeting basis.
First, allow me to share some highlights from Priscilla’s study.
Secondly, I’ll show you the spiritual parallel she draws for our lives to be strengthened spiritually at their core.
This is complete and total proof the Lord has a colossal sense of humor to ever-so-gently remind me and the rest of us we do need to take care of our bodies, especially our core. He knows this is one of my many weaknesses.
Further funny, my lovely leader of our Wednesday Bible study group, Jane Chilton, for the first time in the twenty-plus years I’ve known her, emailed our group two links to sets of exercises specifically for your core. Can’t remember when I’ve howled so loud!
Here they are if you’ve “caught” my excitement about this:
Being one of Jane’s devoted students, I rebelled and gave her a card with some advice: “Exercising is good…Accessorizing is Better!” No, didn’t get a gold star for that one!
Priscilla reports, “…even with all the equipment, classes, and memberships, most workout programs neglect a key part of the body: the core. A person can exercise zealously yet not be actively growing stronger in the one place where they need it most.” Oh yeah, I get this….
She adds, The core is “the central link in the chain that connects the lower and upper parts of your body, enabling all your limbs and movements to work together in harmony.” I s’pose groaning up the stairs isn’t so harmonious…
Finally, she gives us the benefits of a strong core:
“A strong core helps with:
Your resistance to injury
Your stamina over time and under pressure.”
Likewise, a weak core can wreak havoc in your life. Here are three “main indicators of a weak core” which can be hazardous to our spiritual life as well:
1 – Poor posture—but, armed with the belt of truth allows our “spiritual posture” to be upright…
2 – Injury prone—but, armed with the belt of truth enables us to choose forgiveness over bitterness, extending grace rather than feeling wounded.
3 – Body fatigue—but, “when His truth is at the core of your existence—strength flows into every other area of your life. All your movements and activities (work, school, ministry, relationships) bear witness to the power of God at work in you…”
Sidebar: while we are talking about the belt of truth, we are talking about God’s truth, Biblical truth. Priscilla reminds us, “…with the standard of truth in place, you can adjust everything else in your life–your ambitions, choices, and feelings; your mind, will, and emotions–until all of it is ‘tuned’ correctly.”
Dont miss this precious pearl: “…when you have a strong, stable, well-supported core, you cannot easily be led astray by the enemy’s clever lies. Gird yourself with truth, and you’re on guard from the word ‘go’.”
She adds, “Your firm confidence in His promises gives you not only a holy courage, but also the spiritual muscle to carry out whatever He calls you to do.” Friends, let’s exercise our holy courage!
The entire study revolves around the passage in Ephesians, Chapter Six, on the Armor of God. Today we’re only talking about the belt of truth, but every single piece is necessary and important for our faith walk. (Belt of Truth, Breastplate of Righteousness, Feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace, Shield of Faith, Helmet of Salvation, Sword of the Spirit and Prayer.)
These marvelous morsels are a mere taste of the enormous wealth of equipping information Priscilla gives us students in The Armor of God. And, these pearls are only a handful of what fill Week Two of Seven weeks in the study!
My prayer is you will desire to do this study yourself. Grab some friends and begin!
Finally, let me leave you with two of Priscilla’s heart-stopping questions. I suggest asking these of yourself every day:
“Have I made a commitment to God’s truth as the guiding directive for my life?” and
“What is God asking me to do as a result of the truth I know?”
So, while “core” is a four-letter word, and is an uber challenging part of our body to strengthen, you can see why it is important to care for it not only physically, but spiritually as well.
If you’ve not seen the movie, “War Room”, do so at your earliest convenience. Priscilla is amazing in this movie and the power of specific, strategic prayer is your take-home lesson. Lifeway has come out with an abundance of products, this Bible study included which goes along with the movie while armoring you up. www.lifeway.org
Priscilla’s book, Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan to Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer is another one of the many excellent resources from the movie.
Just wait till we talk about “helmet hair” next week…..oh dear….
‘Til next time!