Fit to Praise

“I’m gonna let go, really worship, letting my dance come forth… Dance! Da-ance! Let the Spirit move you, dance! Da-ance! Holy Spirit in you, dance!” (lyrics to “Dance” by Jesus Culture)

About two months ago, I split my original blog up into separate topics based on the advice of some fellow writers. That way, a reader knows roughly what to expect when they go to the blog.

But I can’t split my life up into neat sections quite as easy as I can the blog. So sometimes there’s overlap, and this is one of those moments.

I write a blog about fitness, or more accurately, my struggles with fitness and diet. Several years ago, I was a contracted Spin instructor at the base gym. I peppered my music set lists for exercise classes with driving Christian songs that were mostly well received. Even now, these songs make up a big part of my workout playlists on my iPhone.

Most worship albums have at least one or two high energy high tempo numbers that can be a fresh addition to a cardio routine or jog on the track.

And why not? Exercise can be an act of worship. In the military, it’s part of my job, so it’s one way I can demonstrate excellence based on my desire to please God. “Whatsoever you do in word or deed, do it as unto The Lord.” (Colossians 3:17)

Exercise improves physical health, of course. But it also relieves mental and emotional stress, giving a healthy outlet for frustration. Why not incorporate a spiritual component and get my mind on the things of God while “beating my body into submission” at the gym? (see 1 Cor 9:24-27)

Still, I assume I’m preaching to the choir. If you like to work out, and you like Christian music, then no doubt some of it finds its way into your playlists.

Listening to worship music can also trigger spontaneous moments of response to God’s goodness. I came home from the gym tonight and figured out my dinner plan. I got it started cooking, and decided I wanted to keep moving, keep working out a bit. So I started doing aerobics in my kitchen, with high knees, cross-steps, ski jumps, grapevines, arm motions, short jogs… it was great.

(I made sure no sweat dripped into the food.)

David Crowder Band’s Our Love is Loud came on, and I wanted to sing along. Why not? I’m hearing and singing “We lift our voices, louder still, can You hear us? Can You feel we love You Lord, we love You, we love You…” while lifting up my hands for the added aerobic difficulty. Why not consciously lift my hands each time as an expression of praise while working out?

Let the Praises Ring came on after that, with its verse: “Oh Lord, my God, to You I give my hands. Oh Lord, my God, to You I give my feet. Oh Lord, my God, to You I give my life.”

As Paul said to the Athenians,

for in Him we live and move and exist. (Acts 17:28 NASB)

So I’ll worship on the stationary bike, I’ll worship as I walk around the track, I’ll worship as I dance around the kitchen.

Because worship has to be a part of my life too, and as I said before, it’s very difficult to separate everything out into nice little compartments. That’s an exercise in futility and a game I don’t want to play.

So what songs jump off the worship albums into my gym set list?

(Note: I didn’t choose the vast array of Christian rock/pop/alternative/metal music that is also perfect for a workout. I specifically wanted to look at worship songs.)

Dance and Holding Nothing Back by Jesus Culture

God’s Great Dance Floor and Sing Sing Singby Chris Tomlin (the latter song off of Passion: God of this City)

Let the Praises Ring and Salvation is Here by Lincoln Brewster

Our Love is Loud and No One Like You by David Crowder Band (among others by the same band)

We Shine and All Because of Jesus by Fee (particularly the version of We Shine off Passion: God of this City)

All I Do and Take It All by Hillsong

Happy Day by Tim Hughes

Let Everything that has Breath by Matt Redman

So Good to Me and Freedom by Darrell Evans

Live God Loud by Acquire the Fire

How about you? Are there any worship songs in particular that get your feet moving? Let me know in a comment, please. Maybe I can add them to my playlist!


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