When you build spiritual muscles, you can let go of anxiety and fear. Spiritual muscles are faith, hope, peace, endurance and resilience.
This video was from a webinar speaking about building spiritual muscles, leading those in prayer, then leading a meditation to breathe in peace and to breathe out anxiety and fear. You can download the meditation on the meditation post to listen any time you are feeling anxious.
Fear and Anxiety Left Unchecked
We are just at the start of the Coronavirus outbreak. Nothing is normal right now.
There’s a lot to cause us to be afraid. Fear of the unknown, fear of getting sick and how mild or even fatal the virus could be, fear of not seeing loved ones, fear of the result of lost finances. It’s a LOT.
What is normal is how our body responds to fear.
We are all subjected to PTSD right now.
Our bodies fight or flight mechanism is kicking in because we are sensing real danger. Staying in that state will cause us to be anxious and release hormones into our bodies that if continued could impair our immune systems. It’s a normal response.
But severe anxiety that’s unchecked can cause our breathing to increase and escalate into a panic attack. Shortness of breath is one of the symptoms of the virus, so that can cause even more anxiety.
God gave us instincts for fear, but God did not give us a spirit of fear.
An Already Fear Filled Culture
Anxiety is rooted in scarcity. What is unfortunate about our culture, is it had already trained us to be stressed and anxious in “normal” times.
Advertising constantly bombards us with messages that we need the latest and greatest products to prove we are enough. The stressing and striving and multi-tasking to keep up made us feel that we could never get enough done.
I spoke to this not enoughness issue by letting go of the need of outward approval and focusing on God’s approval. To quiet the mind through meditation to let go of stress and connect more deeply with God.
I shared with many of you my own experience with challenging times caring for my mother, running a business, facing my husband’s Parkinson’s diagnosis and my son’s struggles with Asperger’s.
I touched on the importance of building spiritual muscles for times of adversity but I’m afraid I didn’t stress it enough.
Building Physical Muscles
Let me share a story with you about physical muscles first. Twelve years ago, my father-in-law gave me a check for Christmas and I decided I wanted to use it towards personal training. A friend had referred me to a gentleman named Rik Wilson. Rik played professional hockey for the St. Louis Blues.
I visited his gym and told him what my goals were. At first I wanted to build defined muscles – not crazy muscles because women aren’t built to have huge muscles, but I wanted to have defined muscles enough that people would say, “Woa, she works out!”
But I wanted to do strength training too especially as a woman to ward off osteoporosis.
When Robert and I were first dating, we would go for bike rides. He raced bicycles in college and was an experienced rider. While I walked my dog 4 miles 3 days a week, the exercise wasn’t the same as riding a bike. I’d be exhausted after ten miles.
But after the strength training for several weeks, we could go for a bike ride for 10 and 20 miles and I was no longer exhausted. I had energy to spare. I could walk up and down the steps to do the laundry without effort.
The time I had put in training had shown up when my muscles were put to the test.
Building Spiritual Muscles
Our spiritual muscles work the same way. When we spend time daily in meditation, prayer, reading scripture, reading inspirational material, our spiritual muscles kick in to serve us when we are put to the test in the form of peace, faith, hope, endurance, and resilience.
Physical muscles must literally be torn down in order to be built back up and to be built up stronger.
We need to tear down those anxious thoughts of fear, worry, and doubt, so that we build our faith, hope, and peace.
It’s never too late to build your spiritual muscles! When you do, you will be equipped to handle challenges now and in the future.
There are several resources to help you, a daily devotional in God Notes – Daily Doses of Divine Encouragement, God-centered meditations, and the Breathe In Peace – Breathe Out Fear Meditation featured in this video.
Philippians instructs us to think on what is true, honorable, pleasing, commendable, excellent, and what is worthy of praise and God of peace will be with us.
Guard your heart and your mind during this stressful time.
Breathe in peace and let go of worry, anxiety and fear.
Isaiah 41:13 says, For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you.
And Psalm 56:3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
When you build spiritual muscles, you can let go of anxiety and fear to weather life’s storms and challenges with grace and peace.