Today, we have our first guest blog post from Kyle Winkler (Author and Minister) on his perspective on an active lifestyle.
1) Kyle, what does an active lifestyle for faith and fitness mean to you?
Scripture affirms that before the creation of the world, God designed you with a mission in mind (see Eph. 2:10). This means that you were created to do something—to be active and alive, and to achieve all that God has called you to do.
In order to be good stewards of God’s good plan, we should protect and take care of the equipment God has provided to execute His plans. It’s obvious to most that we need strong faith to take the risks that obedience to God often requires. And our faith needs to be built up enough for it to overflow into the lives of those to whom we minister. Still, even active faith is almost useless without strength in the bodily members needed to share faith (see James 2:26). For example, an exhausted person is typically most focused on sleep. Or a weak person on how to protect themselves from danger or injury. But a person who treats their body like a gift and tool is more fit to perform the tasks God has planned, to do them for longer and to overcome any challenges that arise.
As an itinerant minister, traveling is sometimes grueling. Lugging around suitcases, boarding airplanes and preaching up to three or four services in a single morning takes stamina. To help with this, I’ve made a commitment to physical fitness. While I’m not always perfect in this, I like to engage in some kind of cardio or strength training four or five days out of the week. I find this active lifestyle keeps my mind clear so that I can better hear God’s Word and process what He’s saying. But it also keeps me in shape to handle the physical responsibilities of my calling.
Of course, the way I stay active doesn’t have to be the way that you do. But I urge you not to neglect your physical fitness. Find at least some time each week for physical activity that challenges you. As you continue, I believe you’ll find as I have that a balanced commitment to fitness helps to fuel your faith.
2) Kyle, what is advantageous to activating the Word into our daily lives?
These days there is no shortage of voices that try to lure us into temptation or define us in many ways. As I shared in my book, Activating the Power of God’s Word, this was the story of so much of my life. For years, I lived with feelings and struggles that convinced me that I was wrong and rejected. Because you only rise to the level of who you believe you are, this identity of rejection and shame hindered my relationships with others, and held me back from blessings and opportunities.
Eventually, the Lord spoke to me that His Word is more real than what I feel, and therefore, I should trust His promises more than I do the circumstances, emotions and other voices in my life. Promises like “In Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith” (Gal. 3:26), “So you also are complete through your union with Christ” (Col. 2:9–10) and “We are God’s masterpiece” (Eph. 2:10) are all aspects of our new identity in Christ. And God challenged me to begin to “identify with my new identity.”
I found that declaring God’s promises over my life in a personalized way was an effective means of identifying with God’s Word about who I am in Christ. Rather than think or speak about myself as “I am a reject” or “I am different,” I needed to change my “I am” according to God’s truths and declare, “I am a child of God,” “I am complete” and “I am God’s masterpiece.”
Over time, as I developed a habit of activating God’s Word through my mouth, my mind began to believe what I declared and my behaviors adjusted accordingly.
Those who put this practice to work in their lives will see their own situations and struggles transformed too. While you might not be immune to various feelings or trials, you’ll experience that God’s Word through your mind and mouth is powerful to keep these things from influencing you.
3) Kyle, add anything else you’d like:
I’d like to conclude this interview with an exhortation. Hear this: You are not how you feel, what you fear or the ways you fall. Before God created you, He saw all the good, the bad and the ugly of your life, yet He still decided to bring you into existence. Way back then, God made a decision that He wouldn’t see you according to flesh and failure, but for those who accept Him, He decided to see you through the lens of His Son, Jesus—as holy and without fault in His eyes (see Eph. 1:4).
Don’t give any more ear to the voice that says, “You’re too much of this” or “You’re too little of that.” No, hear the Voice of Truth today: in Christ, you are God’s child (Gal. 3:26), a new person (2 Cor. 5:17), His righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21), loved unconditionally (Rom. 8:38), made complete (Col. 2:9–10) and His masterpiece (Eph. 2:10).
In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. James 2:17 NIV.
Thank you Kyle! Make sure to check out Kyle Winkler Book, Activating the Power of God’s Word and Kyle Winkler Ministries. Remember, God desires us to be healthy, so to be healthy we must be active. He wants us to be active with his Word. He wants us to Activate the Word in your lives and be active in our faith for others.