As human beings, we are all alike in three fundamental ways. First, we all have breath—we’re alive. Next, we all have 24 hours in a day, seven days a week, and 52 weeks in a year—the same amount of time no matter who we are. And finally, we all have free will—the freedom to choose how we will spend that time, and thereby choosing what we will build with our lives and who we will become.
The first choice we must make before we can enjoy a relationship with God or grow in spiritual fitness is to become a Christian. By Christian, I mean a true follower and disciple of Jesus and not just claiming to be a Christian because your family is Christian or you attend church.
If you either know you aren't a Christian or you're not sure, read Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, John 3:1-21, John 14:6, Romans 10:9-10, 1 John 1:5-10, and Ephesians 2:8-10. As Jesus, Paul, and John tell us, salvation requires us to
1) believe that Jesus is who He says He is;
2) confess that you are a sinner and need Jesus; and
3) repent and change who is in charge of your live by turning from your own way and inviting Jesus to be Lord over your life.
If you are ready, pray with all your heart for God to forgive your sins, accept what Jesus did on the cross for you, and ask for and receive new life in the Holy Spirit.
Not sure how to pray? Ask God to give you the words, then in faith just pray what comes to your mind. Or you can simply pray "Jesus, I want you and need you. Come in to my life and take over."
If you’ve just prayed to become a Christian, welcome to the family! The angels in heaven are rejoicing over your salvation. And God is beaming, arms open wide to welcome you into His embrace.
Take some time to thank Him for what He’s done for you and enjoy His presence. Then ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to a good local church where you can proclaim what you’ve done and begin your journey with other believers who can encourage and support you.
If you’re not a Christian and not yet ready, keep asking and seeking. God is always by your side, always revealing Himself to you and waiting for you to respond.
But again, realize that growing in a spiritual faith and in a relationship with God without ever choosing to become a Christian is just as impossible as growing in physical stature without ever having been born.
My final challenge is to Christians who all have in common the same Holy Spirit living inside of us. That means we are all equally empowered to make right choices, avoid temptation, and spend time knowing God more fully.
To grow in spiritual fitness, these are the basic requirements: Allow the Holy Spirit to empower you, and choose to give God all of your life, every moment of every day.
I challenge you to take time today to meet with God and prayerfully make your plan. Ask Him to guide you, and let Him set the terms. As He’s shown me and is longing to show you, He does a much better job of running our lives than we ever could. Give Him your all, and He’ll give you His.
I can promise you, you will not be disappointed!