For this week’s Monday Minute, Kori shares how God showed her the importance of stewarding the gift of physical fitness.
The Gift of Physical Fitness
by Kori Yates
At twenty-one, I was headed to Madagascar as part of a basketball team headed on a mission trip. Arriving a couple of days before most everyone else, I had acclimated prior to our first game. The rest of the team had not.
On the 18-hour bus ride to our first game and clinics, everyone got sick – everyone but me. During our game the next morning, my sneakers never left the court, but my teammates took turns riding the bench.
They ran a much faster game than I was used to and I was not physically prepared. At twenty-one, I didn’t train properly prior to showing up because, well, I was young and capable. Who needs to train? The game felt longer than any I’d played in my whole life, by halftime I was just trying to suck air into my lungs.
Through that one game God taught me a lesson I will keep for the rest of my life. I need to be ready, at all times, for whatever the Lord has for me to do.
It is important to steward the gift of physical fitness well.
The Lord reiterated this same lesson during Marine Corps training at the age of thirty-one. Standing at the start of the O-Course, I ran through without issue because of a lesson he had taught me years before. I had prepared for this moment as best I could.
Exodus 25-31 talks about God’s people building his Tabernacle. You’ll notice the instructions are six chapters long and these aren’t the only mentions regarding building the Tabernacle. Reading through it, we see the details of its construction along with materials. The Tabernacle must have been beautiful – and mobile! The Israelites wandering the wilderness would take it apart and put it back together every time they moved. I’m sure there’s some military life analogy here.
In 1 Kings 6, Solomon is building the permanent Temple in Jerusalem. The size and magnificence of the structure is amazing. I would have loved to see it in person. In both the Tabernacle and Temple the presence of the Lord dwelled with his people. They were God’s home with his people, special places, beautiful places that were cared for and treasured.
In the New Testament, God moves his presence from a building to his people through the Holy Spirit.
Jesus tells us in John 14:16, “he dwells with you and will be in you.” To dwell is to inhabit or settle, according to Bible Study Tools. Basically, the Lord’s presence lives in us just like it did in Old Testament structures.
The elaborateness of both structures, the care and detail, and the Lord’s desire to be with his people was amazing. These attributes describe us as well. Paul reminds us in First Corinthians that we are God’s Temple, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16).
These are not words of condemnation, but a reminder of our value and how very much the Lord cherishes us.
A bit later, Paul encourages us not to forget that we are God’s Temple and bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). While this part of Scripture focuses on sexual immorality, I believe it is a valuable reminder of who we are in Christ and what our response should be.
On the basketball court in Madagascar, at Marine Corps training and in multiple other moments of life, God has reminded me that he has called me for a purpose and I need to prepare physically to fulfill it as best I can. I will most likely never run a full marathon or show up at Zumba class, but I will continue to value and care for the temple God gave me. Age, disease, and injury can all affect our physical abilities.
God did not ask us to match our Temple to that of our neighbor, but to care for and value the one we have.
My plan for the rest of this journey on Earth is to care for this temple as best I can because of the gift that it is and the value of what it contains. In so doing, I pray that I live a life that glorifies God with everything I have. Rise up, my friends, we have work to do.
Now hold on while I go get some WholyFit in. 😊 How are you stewarding the gift of physical fitness?
Train Find references in Scripture to the Tabernacle or Temple and write down attributes and other notes you learn about them. Then write down ways that might translate to the Temple that is you. Here are a couple to start: 1 Kings 6, Exodus 25-31, 2 Chronicles 7.
Worship Be reminded of your value to the Lord and worship him. Thank him for his presence in you. Take care of the gift of you.
Lord, thank you for your presence in me. Help me to see the value I am to you and care for the gift you’ve given me. Help me serve you as best I can with this gift. Amen.
For more resources on stewarding the gift of physical fitness, visit our Health Resources Page.