I’ve talked with a number of fitness trainers and they all share the same opinion that most people need to spend more time working on their core muscles, and if you ask me, I’d say that most people need to spend more time working on their spiritual core muscles. When we talk about core muscles in your spiritual life, we’re talking about your heart, not the organ pumping blood, but the center of your being, emotions, affections and will. In Psalm 119, David talks about disciplining yourself to lift your heart to God in an effort to obey his word, and he recognizes this won’t happen without the intentional effort of exercising your core and doing the training necessary to strengthen your muscles. Lasting positive spiritual change in your life will only come about when you set your heart and incline it to God’s word. Turn away from the junk food that might feel good and satisfy you for the moment, but will only lead to weakness, laziness or a crash. Instead turn to your trainer, the Holy Spirit, who will coach, encourage and lead you along the path of righteousness.
My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words.
Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart;
For they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.
Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.