This post was first published in April, 2020.
One of the passions of my life is FITNESS (D’uh lol)
I mean, I bleed green, for real. If I am deluded, then I am deeply deeply deluded.
However, for most of us into fitness, (or just generally any passion that is external/aesthetic, think fashion, makeup, and the likes), there is a huge tendency to start to glorify our passions over and above our faith, especially as we start to see those external fruits…
You have the body of your dreams, complete with abs, biceps and well-toned hips
Your face beat is so real that your instagram pictures are blowing up the ‘gram
Your dresses fit like a glove, stop me if you can
You may have started doing it for the KINGDOM but as flesh, applause and success increases, you find yourself doing it more for the CULTURE
I want to tell two stories to buttress my point. I will stick to fitness since that is my passion.
There is this Hollywood couple really into fitness. I love their passion for it, and they have quite a cult following BUT I have seen them glorify their bodies over and above anything else. It is almost like worship…
Because there is fruit to their labor and disciplines (both to work out and eat clean), every action they take is about the glorification of their bodies, including dressing.
Then I recently started to follow Avery Jackson, a Neurosurgeon who has a fine way of juxtaposing his faith with his career, and links it all up with fitness.
I was watching the series of interviews he did with Copeland a couple months ago, where he talked about the many benefits of exercising on the brain (and more) as he encouraged us all to be very intentional with working out. Basically, the same thing I preach with #JesusGirlsFitness, on how physical exercise is critical to carrying out our God-assignments on earth.
Copeland shared a story of how the dude could have been in an 8 hour long surgery (or longer) and as a result, may have skipped or not had time for his exercise. So, what does he do? He can walk in the door at night and immediately get into doing jumping jacks as he greeted his wife, and would just keep going until a certain count.
You see, he could have conveniently missed a workout without issues, but he knows that if he is going to withstand those long hours of surgery on the brain, his physical body better be fit.
For Dr. Avery, physical fitness is not just to get them abs and show it off daily on IG, it is to be strong and fit enough for his God-given assignments.
He is not just fit for show off, he is fit for purpose
I love it.
Same dedication to a lifestyle by both people
But different purposes to it, with Avery having a higher purpose.
Does he look good? Yes. But it is more than that.
I love it.
Love love love love love it.
That is the kind of testimony I want to have about my fitness. I don’t just want to look good, I want to look God, that is, look like God.
I want it to be all about Him and that’s the kind of Coach I want to be too.
That is why we run our Squads the way that we do, with our faith all up in our fitness business.
But business aside, I would like the rest of the blog to be personal.
You see, the thing about this fitfam life is that it can be all consuming, both of you in general, and your time in particular.
You start small small, and then soon, it just spreads. If you are not careful, you start to make some fitfam-friendly, but faith-destroying decisions
On a personal note
I wake up and want to jump straight into my workout since I really want to work out and post it to my squads before 5am. This means I rush through my Jesus time OR I decide to work out AFTER it.
I spend more time researching and trying out new recipes than I am spending in the Word
I am more committed to my fitfam routines than I am with spending time with my kids.
These are all real tempting situations that I have had to navigate, and I would like to share one
So this particular morning, I had woken up, prayed, worked out and had to jump into the kitchen to do something. Can’t recall what exactly it was but I had plans of making a batch of celery juice right after that. Then boom, NEPA strikes and I was just like
‘Oh gosh, please let power be restored by the time I am done in this kitchen, because I want to juice abeg…’
And instantly, I felt the Holy Spirit call me into a time of fellowship instead of that celery juicing I planned to do, and I KNEW that just to check my obedience, NEPA would bring the light just before I got done, but would I juice, or journal and spend time in the Word.
So the deal with me is that I am such a planner. I plan plan plan the entire hours in my day, so when you shake things up, I don’t like it.
That time was for juicing and not sitting down quietly before the Lord. When would I then juice if I spent my juicing time sitting down? Lol
However, I was determined to be obedient and just come and sit with the Father, and truly, just as I got done in the kitchen, light was restored, but your girl was like ‘…I see you satan, and I jump and pass’ so I left the kitchen and went to my prayer place.
And that was when this blog post was birthed and even the post title… Jesus OVER fitness.
I just felt the Lord showing me how we can miss it so easily because fitness is also a good thing, and so I needed to do this blog.
Yes, I am so into fitness, and the hashtag #JesusGirlsFitness is huge for me BUT Jesus over fitness any day any time, and that is how this #JGF coach is training herself
Yes, I want to inspire people with my early and consistent workouts BUT if I must knock it out before 5am, I better wake up EARLY ENOUGH to spend time with Jesus FIRST before getting the skipping rope out.
This also determines what time I go to bed and the kind of late night relationship I have with my phone.
Yes, fitfam knowledge is so dynamic and I want to stay cutting edge. In fact, I trained myself to gain a new knowledge from my field daily BUT when I find an obsession with anything more than I am obsessed with the love letter from my Father, I make the needed changes.
JESUS always always has to be OVER fitness in my life, or I have joined the circus.
Yes, it would be great to workout morning and evening and appear like I am such a beast, BUT if it is affecting family quality time, and now making me irritable when for some domestic reason or the other, I miss it or I am delayed, I know to quickly lay down one of my workout sessions so we can enjoy family time, OR be willing to be delayed, make all the adjustments and then allow for my children to join in the workout too.
I can’t honor fitness over ministry to my family, or I have joined the circus
Fitness is important, oh-so-important to me, but I don’t want it to take over my life.
And no, I am not tilting to the other end of the spectrum either, where I say abeg I don’t have time to invest in my fitfam because I am spending all the time with Jesus or my family
I love and I am reminded of this scripture
1 Peter 5 v 8 AMPC
Be well balanced…at all times…
I mean, we CAN be balanced.
I have done so much research into nutrition and exercises, while juxtaposing and benchmarking it against Scriptures, that you cannot, NEVER, convince me that Jesus is not VERY INTERESTED in my fitness.
He wants me healthy
He wants me to work out
He wants me to eat the right foods, and fruits and veggies
He is my fitness plug and the reason I invest so much into this, but I want Him to KNOW that He is LORD over my fitness too.
He can legislate it, and I trust Him at all times.
Did I make the celery juice later?
And I still had a super productive day.
In fact, let me tell you how beautiful it was.
The HS told me to delay that juicing till when my kids woke up so we could do it together in the kitchen. And I did, and the kids LOVE to help out, even if all they do is turn the switch on the blender and scream as the blending happens. Or put my chopped veggies into the blender after making a show of washing their hands. Lol
Kids are so precious. Everything is a moment for them.
So yes, that day won on many levels
I made room for God to download the fine details of this post to me, and to teach me at this profound level
I made my celery juice AND bonded with my kids #DoubleMommyWin
And most importantly, I won on OBEDIENCE.
Come all the way ON now.
And I am excited at you reading this in 2020 or 2037, because when you come to that place where satan is trying to twist the blessing of fitness and glorify it over Jesus, you will remember that CoachE’ had this battle too and did the post JESUS OVER FINTESS and then you can take that knowledge as a sword into the battle field and do damage to satan.
You will do your fitness disciplines but in such a way that we don’t make Jesus jealous.
Who knows what revelation God will give to you too as you elevate JESUS over every fitness activity in your life.
So good, so good.
And this applies to literally everything.
JESUS OVER EVERYTHING
Thank you for reading and I pray this inspires you to bring your best game to Fitness but make sure it doesn’t ever trump a personal, customized and spirit driven relationship with our King Jesus
To YOUR own obedience
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