Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Washing with Sweat - CARDIO

to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the Word, Ephesians 5:26

The first place my husband goes when he enters the gym is the row of cardio machines. His intent is to workout his heart and lungs and warm up his muscles. Me, I despise the neatly organized row of exercise machines. I tire quickly of the monotonous rhythm. I lack the discipline to comply. This is not to say I dislike cardiovascular workouts. I am thrilled to ride my mountain bike across mountainous terrain with obstacles for several hours. But, it is absolutely torturous for me to peddle an elliptical machine for 20 minutes.

But, life doesn’t afford me the opportunity to do these things so readily now. I endure the machines when it is my only option. I must do them; otherwise, I will not be fit to enjoy the outside activity when the opportunity presents itself.

Are you aware, you can workout your bronchioles, arteries and veins just like your legs, arms and back muscles? These little known muscles line the channels of our body which receive and transport oxygen. We can fatigue and strengthen the muscles just as we do our legs, arms and back. The efficiency by which life sustaining nutrients are transported depends on the overall cardiovascular strength of those muscles. 

I am learning I can exercise my mind in the same way (even if it really isn’t muscle I am exercising). Vigorous outdoor activity provides me the opportunity to clear my head, exhaust and waste my pride, and submit to the Spirit of God. But, what happens when I cannot use this technique? In my case, my thought life goes weak and is susceptible to influences of the prince of this world. Just like how my husband is not bothered by the cardio machines in the gym, he is not particularly bothered by his thought life. He has techniques in place that regularly cause him to control and take captive dark thoughts before they become hurtful to another person.

So one admirable way my husband can prepare me as a bride for Christ is to encourage me to strengthen my thought life. I must do it if I am going to have peace and victory over the enemy. Here are some techniques he is teaching me:

·        HALT … I am susceptible to wayward thinking when I am Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. If my thoughts are wandering to things contentious, bitter, deceitful (you know the drill) then, I need to stop in my tracks and demolish any stronghold (2 Corinthians 10:5).

·        BELIEVE … By faith in Jesus, I am able to defeat the enemy. I am no longer under the control of the evil one (1 John 5:18-19).

·        CONQUER … I must stand up and tear down the lies by remembering nothing can separate me from the love of Christ: no persecution, no condemnation, no trouble, or danger and certainly not evil working against my thought life. (Romans 8:31-39).

·        PRAISE … I can sing praises to the Lord. His beauty takes the place of any dark thought. Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord (Psalm 150:6)

·        ASK … If after all these things I am still struggling with the circumstance surrounding the dark thoughts, I can take my petition to God in prayer and seek wise counsel (Proverbs 1:5).

·        PEACE … I can find peace in God’s promise of mercy because he will deliver me from my enemies. He is not a God that takes pleasure in evil. (Psalm 5:all)

But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield. Psalm 5:11-12

Other Posts in the Series: Washing With Sweat  A six week blog series answering the question "What does it mean for a husband to prepare his bride for Christ?" It's this woman’s journey with Ephesians 5:26. It is encouraging for men and women that are married, were married, want to be married, or would like to be married again.



Anonymous said...

Nice one Edy,
I especially like "Conquer" and "Praise"! It's impossible to hold onto a tormenting and defeatist attitude when you're celebrating victory in Christ in your heart. Love it!