In the New Testament we read on numerous occasions a comparison between one’s physical life and discipline on one hand and one’s spiritual condition on the other. In I Corinthians 9, for instance, Paul explained how he disciplined his body as an athlete so as not to be disqualified (see verses 24-27). In I Timothy 4:7-8 Paul told Timothy to train (discipline) himself for godliness, arguing bodily discipline is of some use. And, Paul used the analogy of an athlete in II Timothy 2:5, and of a marathon runner in Philippians 3:14.

We have so compartmentalized our lives that ministers can joke about being overindulgent in eating while talking about conviction in explicitly “spiritual” areas. But Paul saw no gaping chasm between one’s physical life and one’s spiritual condition.

And thus I have been more focused on recent days on fitness as well as on godliness. We have a man crisis in our culture and in our churches. Now, getting a bunch of men to work out does not mean we are creating a new generation of men. But ending the divided lives where we can be inconsistent in one area while hammering on the importance of another must end.

Question: what is one area in your life that keeps you from running hard after Christ?

I recently led a 30 day challenge to fitness on our campus. One young man lost 10 pounds, others had simliar yet varying results. We are told it takes 21 days to form a habit, and one can see change physically, spiritually, or in other areas in 30 days.

But 90 days has become for me the new ideal. P90X, and its predecessor Power90, convinced me of this. In 90 days you can see demonstrable change, and change that actually can affect your long term trajectory. I have become a coach in the network that produced P90X and plan personally to begin P90X2 in January (that is going to hurt).

I started a group in my coaching area that challenges others to join me for 90 days from January 1 to March 3, 2012. You will be amazed at what would happen if you planned now to get serious about your health during that time.

Note: If you are middle aged especially, get a physical. Make sure all is functioning before starting something grueling. If you are not in very good shape, stay away from P90X and by all means avoid P90X2. Get Power90, the thing I used for 90 days before doing P90X. You will only become discouraged if you try P90X unprepared.

That being said, whatever workout you use, remember two vital things: 1) you must also reshape your DIET. These workouts all include diet helps, and the website where I am coach (where you order all these things: has all sorts of dietary helps. 2) when starting out it is fine and typical not to finish the whole workout. The key is getting through the 90 days, not fizzling out the first week because you tried to keep up with the elite athletes on the DVD.

So what should you do? Start exercising NOW. Get a program: Power90, P90X, etc. Order through me and any profit I get goes to ministry (it will do to some random coach otherwise for who knows what). Start eating better. And if you have a busy life like me, start putting into your calendar workout times every day from Jan 1 to Mar 30. And then sign up as a free member at Teambeachbody so you can be in my group and we can provide mutual encouragement.

Across the nation and my beloved Southern Baptist Convention more and more are realizing the need to be focused both spiritually and physically. Join that movement! You just might be amazed at the energy you have as a result. I just finished a 3 state run in just over 5 days where I spoke 14 times. And I feel great! I can tell I am so much more healthy today than two-three years ago.

90 days can change your life. I know. It changed mine.

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