Foundations Faith & Fitness was founded on the concept that God wants us to take care of our bodies and be physically fit so we can carry out His purpose for our lives. By uniting our physical and spiritual lives, we submit to God our need for His involvement in every aspect of our lives.
To encourage women everywhere to develop sustainable lifestyle habits so they can pursue God’s will for their lives.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
This does not mean we need to be hyper-aware of our image, or have rock hard abs, or be able to deadlift 500lbs. This means we choose to work on the fruits of the spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23a). Just because self-control is listed last in this verse does not mean it deserves any less attention. It is through self-control that we are able to draw nearer to God – to do the work each and every day to be more mindful of Him and His will for our lives, and to win the war that rages on each day for our time, attention, and love.
Your mind, body, and spirit all make up who you are. You are not a body with a spirit, you are a spirit with a body. Furthermore, these earthly homes are not our own, so why do we choose to abuse them? Why don’t we take care of them? If we are constantly sick, tired, and worried about our health, how can we focus on the ultimate goal of furthering the kingdom?
1 Tim. 1:7 For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Contrary to popular belief, self-control is NOT simply a trait you have or don’t have – like blue eyes or a birth mark. Self-control must be practiced to be mastered. That’s why, at Foundations, we believe that in any endeavor you choose to take on, habits are the foundation of your success.
Just like healthy lifestyle habits, habits of personal development and spiritual maturity (or growing nearer to God), can be cultivated as well. However, there is one caveat. Let’s take a look at the definition of habit:
Habit (noun) : a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up
Note the second part of that definition: “especially one that is hard to give up”.
What “habits” are easy for you to give up? The term “falling off the wagon” is frequently used in the fitness community, but we hear it in the faith community quite often as well – we call this “falling away from God” or “I lost my way for a bit.”
Chances are, if you look back on your faith or fitness journey, you’ll be able to pinpoint the times when you got a little too relaxed with your habits. You skipped a gym day here or had a bit too much to eat there. Or you didn’t go to church one weekend and you told yourself, “It’s just this time…” Then one turns into two, two turns into three, and pretty soon you find yourself in the Word less, praying less, being mindful less… and one day you wake up and think, “What happened? I used to be so good at ‘xyz’.”
That’s how the Devil works his magic – distracting us, one little slip-up at a time.
And that’s why habits are so important. Even going-through-the-motions habits.
Somedays you don’t feel like going to the gym – but you do it any way. The sheer act of carrying out your habits tells the Devil “Look buddy, I HEAR you in my ear, but you won’t win.”
Or you hear him say, “You can skip this one day of prayer and devotional time, it doesn’t MEAN anything…” But it does. It means so much. It means you’ve given him just an inch to stick his grimy little toe through the door – and that’s all the he needs to bust it wide open.
Fortunately for us, this can work in a positive way as well. All you need is one little decision – one moment, one habit – to give Jesus a reason to open the door. Because when you knock, the door is opened to you (Matthew 7:8).
So what does this mean for us as Christians? What are some of the foundational habits that will help us build a closer relationship with him? At Foundations, we’ve developed a list of daily actions to help us stay grounded in Christ, but because this is also a fitness community, we’ve included daily habits for your physical health as well. We call these our Five to Thrive.
In order to have a relationship with someone you must spend time with them – this is common sense when it comes to human interaction. So why should it be any different with your Heavenly Father? Spending time with God, talking to and listening to Him, is our first foundational habit. If you get this one down, everything else becomes just a bit easier. Asking for what we need, sharing our thoughts, desires, and fears, and giving thanks to God sets our minds for hope and success, because we know that God can do abundantly more than we could ever think or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
Habit : Pray at least three times a day. Set a reminder on your phone for morning, noon, and night, or pray before each meal. Find a simple system that works for you and gives you momentum to begin to talk to God more frequently throughout your day.
Matthew 25:29 To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.
As we’ve already established, your body is on loan from God. It would be insulting to Him to treat it like a dumpster! Our bodies were made to move, but this tech world has us sedentary, immobile, and highly susceptible to injury. The scripture above confirms the old adage : If you don’t use it, you lose it! This is especially true for physiological functions like muscular development, endurance, and flexibility.
Habit : Move your body at least 30 minutes a day. This could be walking, jogging, yoga, strength training, swimming – whatever gets you going!
In order to protect ourselves against the Devil’s unrelenting warfare, we must arm ourselves with the Word of God. Spending time in the Word is just another way that we can grow nearer to God by learning things like who He says we are, what He wants for us, and how He instructs us to live our lives.
Habit : Read a devotional or start a Bible Study. Study the Word for at least 20 minutes per day. The YouVersion Bible App is a great place to start if you don’t have access to a study or devotional.
Just as Jesus is essential to our spiritual lives, water is essential to our physical lives. Proper hydration has been linked to clearer focus, better performance, joint health, cardiovascular health, and so much more. Because our bodies are made up of up to 60% water and we are constantly expiring and perspiring, we need to be constantly rehydrating. Fun Fact : One of the first signs of thirst is often hunger. So if you think you are hungry, have a glass of water first.
Habit : Drink at least ½ your body weight in ounces of water per day. (Ex. 140lbs = 70oz of water)
We were designed to function best in a state of gratitude.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Have you ever tried to be grateful and sad, or grateful and fearful, or grateful and hateful at the same time? It’s just not possible! When begin to adopt the habit of having an abundance mindset, the concept of lack slowly starts to melt away and you find yourself living a fuller, more meaningful, happier life.
Habit : List 3 things each evening that you are thankful for and give God the glory for these things, because everything good comes from Him (James 1:17).
Over time, these five habits will become a part of your lifestyle – but they must be done every day without fail to become a habit.
Does this seem like a daunting task? Pray this prayer before beginning each day, and remember what it says in Matthew 6:34 : “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Thank you for this day you have given me to do Your will here on earth. Help me continue to develop self-discipline to carry out the daily habits I need to draw nearer to You and to be a vessel for your work here on earth. Strengthen me and gird up my mind. Help me resist temptation and continue to draw me closer to You.
In Your name,
Download this free Five Foundations Guide or the Five Foundations Checklist to help you stay on track and accountable!