5BX SPIRITUAL FITNESS PLAN
There never seems to be and end to new fitness programs that
will slim waist and make you feel better. I do not know how far back such
fitness programs go back, but in the late 1950s, there was an exercise program
called 5BX (Five Basic Exercises). It was developed for the Royal Canadian Air
Force and was published as a booklet with 23 million copies sold in
In this lesson, I want tell you about a similar 5BX plan designed for Christians that will help make them spiritual fit. But this program take much more 11 minutes per day. But it worth the commitment because it will help prepare you for heaven.
This program is called the 5BX Spiritual Fitness Plan.† In the original 5BX plan, the first exercise involved stretching.† Our spiritual 5BX plan begins with a daily regimen that will stretch our souls.
1. READ THE WORD OF GOD
Just like stretching gets you loosened up and prepared to exercise, reading Godís Word will loosen you up and get you prepared for your spiritual growth. Just look at what the Bible has to say about this:
1 Peter 2:2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby
Psalm 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;† 8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;† 9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.† 10 More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
We are to desire Godís Word. It is to part of our daily routine because it will help us to grow and to remain spiritual fit. It was by the Word of God that Jesus resisted the devil - Mt 4. We are told that when we put God Word into our heart that we will have the ability to resist sin Psa. 119:11. The Word of God is the foundation and† the most important starting point for our spiritual growth.
Like any exercise program, you have to make the commitment to follow the steps it outlines in order to be successful. I want to encourage you to develop a habit of reading Godís Word every single day. You need start out slow so that you do not burn yourself out. Start with NT and read just a chapter a day. Then as you get used to that, start adding more chapters to you daily reading. Before you know you will find yourself reading the entire Bible every year. The more you do it, the easier it will become. Let us do our best use the Word of God to help us grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord.
In the original 5BX plan, the second exercise involved sit-ups to strengthen the midsection.† Our spiritual 5BX plan involves a spiritual exercise that will empower our souls:
2. SPEND TIME IN PRAYER
There is much to be gained by making prayer part of daily routine. Notice what the following verses teach us about the second part of our plan:
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
By using the power of prayer, we can have forgiveness of our sins.
Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;† 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Prayer will give us peace because we can know that when we pray to God that He will guard our hearts and minds.
Ephesians 3:14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,† 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,† 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,
Prayer gives us access to
great strength that will give us the stamina we need to push on with our
spiritual workout. According to Paul in
Ephesians 6:18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit Ö19† that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, †
James tells us:
James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.† 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.† 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;
Prayer will help us gain wisdom. †Many more benefits could be named about the power of prayer, but these are enough to show how prayer in fundamental part of our spiritual fitness.
Just as we should read Godís Word daily, we should also pray daily. The more you pray the better you are going to feel. Why would anyone not want to pray for forgiveness, strength, opportunity and boldness? Let us:
Colossians 4:2 Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;
In the original 5BX plan, the third exercise involved back extension that increased flexibility. Our spiritual 5BX plan involves a spiritual exercise that will enrich our souls.
3. SING PRAISES
Singing praises to God is uplifting and edifying. Again. Let us see what the Bible has to say about the 3rd part of our exercise program.
Acts 16:25 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.
Though beaten and wrongfully accused, Paul and Silias found great comfort in praying and singing hymns to God. There is something about singing causes most of us to feel better about ourselves. When beautiful words about Godís love and the hope of heaven are sung, it has away of melting away the troubles you are experiencing.
Hebrews 13:15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
Whether we are praising God through prayer or song it considered as a sacrifice to God that is pleasing to Him. So, not only is singing good for us, it makes God happy as well. Paul also tells us that singing is way too be filled with grace and melody in our hearts:
Colossians 3:16 †Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Ephesians 5:19 †speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord
From these verses we learn that our singing can effect others as well because the words we sing are used to teach each other and even warn each other of the dangers of sin.
Singing is also away that we can express the joy of being Christian:
James 5:13 †Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.
Singing praises to God is another important part of exercise program that we can do daily. It not an exercise limited to Sunday and Wednesday. Sing while going done the road or while working. Again, singing is great way to express the joy of being Christian.
The fourth exercise in the original 5BX plan was pushups to strengthen the upper body.† Our spiritual 5BX plan involves a spiritual activity that strengthens our relationship with God and other Christians.
4. FELLOWSHIP WITH BRETHREN
Christian fellowship is key to a successful spiritual
workout. It is always easier to remain committed to an exercise program when
you have friends that are working out with you because they will encourage you to
remain faithful when you feel weak.
Ecclesiastes 4:9 Two are
better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor.† 10 For if they fall, one will lift
up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he
has no one to help him up.† 11
Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone?
†12 Though one may be
overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not
Christianity was designed to be a one-person religion. We are to work together to keep each other strong. We assemble together as the church, we build each other up and we help grow the church by doing our part:
Ephesians 4:15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head -- Christ --† 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
When we assemble it will cause us to stir each other up to show the love of God and do good works:
Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,† 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
Not only does Christian fellowship encourage us to live like Christians, it also a source of comfort and edification:
1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.
When we make fellowship with like-minded brethren a part of our daily routine it will help keep us from becoming hardened by the deceitfulness of sin:
Hebrews 3:12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;† 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
Therefore, frequent fellowship is crucial to remaining faithful and steadfast to the Lord.
Let us do our best to assemble together with Christians every opportunity we can. Not just one time on Sunday, but every time the door is open. Let us look for ways to be with Christians daily - by phone, Bible studies, social activities. Our fellowship with other Christians will defiantly help us to remain spiritual fit and we can also encourage others to do the same.
The fifth and final exercise in the original 5BX was running in place or walking to increase endurance.† Our spiritual 5BX plan includes spiritual activity that produces endurance as well.
5. DO GOOD WORKS
Part of living the Christian life is doing good works that will glorify our Father in heaven. We are not saved by our good works because there is nothing we can do to earn or merit our salvation, but we were created to do good works.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,† 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.† 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Matthew 5:16 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
The works that we do are works of love and obedience. The Bible teaches us over and over again about being fruitful and be good examples so that people can Christ living in us. We must be more than hearers of Godís Word, we must also be doers of it:
James 1:22 †But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
Every exercise program requires work, so does our spiritual
workout program. We are never to give up and quit.
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.† 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Doing good works includes sharing the gospel with the lost, ministering to the brethren and to the lost in need both physical and spiritual. We should use our resources that God has blessed us with (time, money, talents) to help the poor and the sick. Each day try to do something that blesses another person. Good works done systematically builds our spiritual endurance.
We have seen that the 5BX Spiritual Fitness Plan contains these five elements:
If we make these 5 elements part of our daily routine, we will become spiritual fit for the Lord. Please understand these are just basic exercises, because much more can be done to help you grow spiritual, but these 5 elements are good place to begin. We can know that this kind of exercise is far better that physical exercise because it will make us run the Christian race with endurance and cause to finish our life with the crown of righteousness. As Paul said:
1 Corinthians 9:24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.† 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.† 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.† 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
I hope you begin this program starting today and allow yourselves to continue to grow closer and closer to God. I close with Paulís words to Timomty:
1 Timothy 4:7 But reject profane and old wives' fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness.† 8 For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.† 9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance.
Adapted from Mark Copeland