“You need to be exorcised!” Would you believe that I hear these words often and that I love it every time? Please let me explain.
Bob (my husband) and I enjoy cycling together. Almost every weekend in the spring, summer and fall, we take a fun bike ride on a trail or we bike to a restaurant to eat lunch and then bike back home. We started doing this about 15 years ago when Bob gave me a new bike for my 40th birthday because he knew I enjoyed cycling when I was a kid. For years, we took weekend family bike rides with our kids and we have continued that tradition as empty nesters.
One part of our weekly bike ride that has become a tradition is that, at some point, Bob will pick up his speed, whiz past me and yell the words “You need to be exorcised!”
Translation: Pick up the speed or get left behind! I accept that challenge and we ride the next few miles at a leg burning and heart pounding pace.
“You need to be exorcised!” It’s a fun play on words. I need to not just be exercised, but exorcised. The word exorcise is typically used when we talk about spiritual warfare as the act of attempting to drive out (a supposed evil spirit) from a person or place.*. Spiritual warfare is serious. Bob’s play on words is funny. But the two come together for a very important purpose – to utilize exercise to help me fight my spiritual battles. Yes, you heard that right! Exercise is one of my battle strategies in spiritual warfare. In fact, I am amazed at how victorious I can be when I am working out regularly (1 Corinthians 10:13).
You see, I have some demons (1 Peter 5:8-9) – demons that tempt me to do things like:
Why do I need to be “exorcised?” Consider that the synonyms for the word “exorcise” are: drive out, cast out, expel.*
Exercise helps to drive out, cast out and expel my negative emotions so that I can think clearly enough to deal with my problematic circumstances in a God-honoring way!
Perhaps the best way to explain this is to give an example. I remember one day during our early years of marriage, Bob did something that upset me. I was waiting for him to come home so that I could, in my anger, tell him all about it. At that moment, my focus was on wanting to vent my emotions rather than to honor God and my marriage relationship. Good thing for Bob that he was running late that day and so I decided to go to my aerobics class and vent my emotions when I got back. A funny thing happened at my aerobics class. I had a great workout and I walked out of that workout in a completely different emotional state than when I arrived. What happened? That good workout drove out, cast out and expelled my intense emotions. I then went home and had a good discussion with Bob about the problematic issue. I said what I needed to say in a way the honored God and my husband and we discussed a resolution to the problem. Now that’s what I call a victory in spiritual warfare!
So, how about you? Could exercise help you to effectively fight some of your spiritual battles? Could a good workout help to drive out, cast out and expel some of your negative emotions that sometimes drive ungodly behavior? I don’t know about you, but I freely admit it. I need to be exorcised on a regular basis!.
*Source: Oxford Dictionary
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About the author:
Hello! My name is Ginger Hill and I am a Christ follower and a wellness professional. Over the years, I have personally and professionally seen the benefits of healthy living and I have also seen the hardships of struggling to practice good health habits in the midst of a busy and sometimes stressful life. I am passionate about helping myself and others to live a healthy lifestyle and I believe that good health is essential in helping us to do the good works that God has called us to do. Because I am a work in progress, I write these blog posts to encourage myself and I share them with others in the hope that they may be encouraged as well.
Psalm 92:12,14 (NLT)
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