1 Timothy 4:7-8 “Train yourself unto godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way…”
Paul essentially tells Timothy to be at work in the spiritual gym. The word “train” is the Greek word “gumnaze” from where we get our word gymnasium. It is a mistake that we make to think that we can simply be spiritual without any effort or at least with minimal effort. A little 15 minute quiet time with prayer and reading the Word and we are invincible. Paul tells Timothy to TRAIN and makes as a comparison the physical training of the body. Timothy knew all too well the rigorous training that athletes went through and he would make the connection that Paul was saying, “In the same way athlete physically train, you need to spiritually train yourself.”
This is a slap in the face to the modern evangelical thinking of “I’ll just read my daily devotional from Oswald Chamber’s My Utmost for His Highest and I’ll be good to go–I’ll be close to Jesus and I’ll know His will.”
If only the Christian life were so simple and easy.