This Is One Tough Exercise

Jess RayMinistry, Music, Musings, ResourcesLeave a Comment

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“Sixty seconds!! Let’s go!”

I clear a small but sufficient space in the corner of our bedroom. A meager collection of hand weights line the wall. Teddy the goldendoodle lounges on my unmade bed, passively observing the strange spectacle before him. The voice of the instructor bellows from the TV:

“Keep moving! Thirty seconds!”

Burpees. As many as I can do. For 60 seconds. The heart-pumping, sweat-inducing work of elevating my heart rate and keeping it there.

And while I have a visceral disdain for this particular exercise, I know it’s good and necessary. And eventually I’ll enjoy the payoff of this exercise.

There’s another exercise I don’t care for. But it has nothing to do with elevating my heart rate.

It’s the exercise of taking stock of my thought life.

It’s just the absolute worst. I don’t like doing it. But I know it’s good and necessary. Because I’m forgetful. I forget God’s promises. I forget my identity found in Him.

If I’m not continually filling my mind with truth, the enemy is happy to offer a narrative laced with lies, deceit, disunity, and chronic self-focus.

Scripture urges us to examine our thoughts and make them obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). If a thought doesn’t align with God’s Word, we bind it in Jesus name and show it the door.

But we can’t stop there. We have to fill our minds with God’s life-giving, bondage-breaking, sword of the Spirit truth.

Our song “Hidden Your Word” is based on Psalm 119:9,11, which says:

How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word…I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

It’s not enough to arrest harmful, deceitful thoughts. We have to completely replace them. And memorizing Scripture is a key ingredient to this exercise.

Need a place to start? Try out these Scripture memorization cards, based on the Scriptures used in our latest album, Hope.

Print them out for your ministry. Set goals and offer incentives for committing God’s Word to memory. Place them on your own bathroom mirror or next to the coffee maker. 

This exercise will ask for disciplined steps. And some days you’re just not going to feel it, like doing 60 seconds of those dreaded burpees.

But it’s a good and necessary exercise. And God’s Word promises to reveal what’s inside our hearts (Hebrews 4:12), give us new strength (Psalm 19:7), and equip us for the work set before us (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

And that’s a pretty awesome payoff.

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About the Author

Jess Ray

Jess Ray is a worship leader, vocal director, and recording artist from Houston, TX who serves alongside her husband, Dave, at Salem Lutheran Church. She and Dave are the creators of Doorpost Songs, a series of songs and resources designed for kids worship, multi-gen worship, and family worship. Dave and Jess are the parents of three rambunctious kids, Evan, Jackson, and Addison.

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