When I first started my healthy-living journey, my goal was to attain happiness by having the perfect body. (In other words, I started an unhealthy-living journey.) My motivation was not to become fit, body and soul. Here I thought I was aiming for the ultimate achievement, but I was actually aiming too low. Standards that feed and strengthen the spirit are far higher than earthly standards!
If we want to be happy standing in front of the mirror, it has little to do with what we see with our eyes but rather what we know in our hearts. We cannot be good stewards of our bodies if our souls are not aligned with God’s heart.
So that’s where we’re going to start—on the inside. When we align our hearts with God’s heart, we can know that we are motivated by what God wants for us. And how do we know God’s heart? By knowing His Son Jesus through His Word.
Our new goal should be to get close to the One who made our souls and bodies. We can’t expect inner wholeness to come any other way. Jesus invites us to drink of Him and be fully quenched, and yet our parched souls try to drink from other waters, hoping to be satisfied. There’s a story in the Bible in which Jesus speaks to a Samaritan woman at a well. She is there to fetch water in the heat of the day. She is weary and has a troubled life that she and others judge without grace. I can relate, can you?
Chances are, in our unique stories, we have a hardship or struggle that allows us to relate to the weariness and shame of the Samaritan woman.
I have a history of unhealthy motivations and methods for my workouts. I used to binge eat. I based my value on the shape of my body instead of the condition of my heart. My focus on external goals distracted me from the best reason to be fit inside and out: to honor my gifts from God and the person He created me to be. It took me a while to realize that until I pursued transformation from the inside out, I would never be satisfied. Never whole. Always thirsty.
When the Samaritan woman fills her vessel with water, Jesus sees the condition of her heart. He knows that the well water will only satisfy a physical need, yet this woman, like so many of us, has hurts, needs, and hopes that require answers and healing that go beyond the physical. He sees all that comes from her heart and that her motivation is only for physical satisfaction. She is aiming too low. Jesus says to her:
“Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will becomein him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” JOHN 4:13-14
Each of us is that woman at the well. We’re vulnerable and our hearts are aching for someone to notice us. We think our motivations for physical satisfaction are all that matter because that is all we understand until we see our lives through Jesus’s eyes and heart. His love and grace change everything. Then we recognize our longing for living water, spiritual refreshment.
Jesus is not saying that if you drink from Him that He will satisfy you by giving you everything you want in this life. No. Jesus is calling you to what is best: eternal life and satisfaction in Him.
Do you believe Jesus can permanently quench your thirst? Is the gospel enough to satisfy you? You will never thirst again when you find your worth in Christ. Your worth then is not found in applause from others. It won’t be determined by the accomplishments you reach or even the biggest setbacks you face. I don’t like working for things that will ultimately run me dry. How about you? When you give up the desire for lesser things, you’re never losing anything. In fact, you will lose nothing and gain it all.
Ask Jesus to help you be fully satisfied in Him rather than striving for satisfaction. If we pause to remember this each time we seek satisfaction from anything other than Him, we’ll be able to reset and refresh our spirits and our motivations.
It is this simple: Jesus Himself satisfies, and if we try to drink from any other waters in hopes of finding what’s exclusively found in Him alone, we will thirst again. Satisfaction is a state of the soul, the Bible says in Psalm 107:9: “For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.” Anytime we set a goal, we need to remember who satisfies. Not what satisfies. Who satisfies. Jesus Christ satisfies the longing soul.
Through her YouTube channel, podcast, weekly emails, and this book, Cambria Joy’s passion is to help others feel healthy from the inside out. She is a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Nutrition Coach with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Cambria lives in a tiny beach town on the coast of California with her husband, Bo, and her tiny dog, Meester.
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To celebrate the release of Cambria’s new book Growing Strong, we’re giving away a gift package featuring a copy of the book and some other fun prizes. Just fill out the form below to enter. Here’s to a healthy new year!
Grow Strong from the Inside Out
Cambria Joy’s new book will show you how to grow stronger physically, emotionally, and spiritually with creative workouts, delicious recipes, and wisdom from God’s Word. Discover that true strength starts from the inside out.