Every Friday, I drag myself to the gym and stand in line for the most intense workout of my week—cycle class. It’s here that I know I’ll be pushed to my limits. I feel like I’m literally going to die or fall off my bike because my heart is going to explode from beating so fast.
I’m certain I’ve reached my limit until the instructor commands us not to listen to our minds screaming at us to stop.
“You didn’t drive all the way here and drop your kids off in childcare to give up, did you?”
“Come on, even my Grandma can pedal faster than that!”
I look up at the Borg Rate of Perceived Exertion Chart that’s supposed to help estimate the intensity level of my workout.
Most of the time it feels like I’m at a level 10. I’ve done enough. Worked hard enough. I can’t raise the gear and go faster!
But then I push myself past my own perceived wall.
I discover that my perceived level 10 was actually an 8.
Sometimes when I’m cycling I can’t help but compare it to my spiritual life.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way to get the prize.
But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. (I Corinthians 9:24,27))
1 Timothy 4:7 says that we should train ourselves to be godly.
To be godly means to be devoted to God.
For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present and the life to come. I Timothy 4:8
I’m convicted that my perceived level of exertion to gain scriptural knowledge is just that—perceived.
I know that I’ve barely touched the surface of the deep waters contained in the Bible.
There’s an ocean of treasures to find.
And unlike my grueling workout class, the time spent searching the word is enjoyable to me. I can’t get enough of it.
I’m always learning something new.
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul thirsts for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
I long to really know and understand the Bible. And that takes discipline, time, diligence and digging.
As I read Proverbs 2:1-9 I noticed all the action words that show how deliberately and diligently we should be studying scripture.
My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding
indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom,
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
I’m not writing this to make people feel bad or guilty for not spending time studying God’s word. God doesn’t want us to condemn ourselves.
But being convicted is different.
God often convicts our hearts towards something we can do or stop doing in order draw us closer to Him.
God calls us to a life of holiness and obedience and He gives us the spiritual resources we need to walk in righteousness.
The truth is, sometimes I get complacent. I need to push past my perceived wall of busyness.
If we aren’t studying the Bible, we’re going to miss out on the treasures found by actively searching for them.
And just like in cycle class,
sometimes, I need to hear the cold, hard truth.
That’s why I go to cycle class. I know the instructor will encourage me not to settle for less than my best effort and what I’m actually capable of.
When I leave cycle class, I’m usually glad I went. I feel good. I feel healthy.
Spending time searching the scriptures and hiding God’s word in your heart takes discipline, time and effort but it will make you spiritually fit.
The Bible doesn’t yield its treasures to the lazy soul. We can’t rush through each day and assume that spiritual nourishment will happen automatically. Chuck Swindoll
God isn’t interested in performance, He just wants us to become more like Him through reading His Word. He’s not trying to shame you and guilt you when you don’t, He just knows it’s where your soul will find nourishment.
When you honestly evaluate your spiritual fitness, have you become satisfied with your perceived level of intensity?
What could you do to dig deeper into His Word? I would love for you to share in the comments.
For me, I want to gain more knowledge by studying the context and history surrounding some of my favorite Bible passages.
I recently read Searching the Scriptures: Find the Nourishment Your Soul Needs by Chuck Swindoll and thought it was a great resource because the book teaches you through hands-on application how to study scripture.
I’ve included the link below. You can read my review of the book here.
I understand busy schedules! If you’re busy and just need something to get you started, I recommend Praying the Promises of the Cross. You can read about it here.