By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

At the gym where I work out there's a piece of equipment designed to get to the "belly of the matter."
Stepping up on two steel bars, I rest my forearms on foam steel supports and grab ahold of  two handle bars in front of me.
My body is now in an elongated position and my arms are at perfect right angles.
I pull my knees up to my chest and do empowering gut wrenching belly crunchers.
I love this exercise.
My body is positioned and elongated so effectively that I actually feel a straightening in my spine while I'm at it and it feels so doggone good.
It also saves me a trip to the Chiropractor.
I begin and end my exercise routine by getting to the "belly of the matter" and I proceed more effectively from there.
It has a mobilizing, energizing effect on me.
Mmmm ...
At the internal core of man lies the "belly of the matter."
We call it the soul.
Because the soul is the central point of man,
It wields a prominent position and governs how the rest of the body works.
The soul is no small matter;
It is the only relevent "living" matter which will be preserved for an eternity within our mortal frames. For this reason it makes sense to tend to it with diligence and discipline.
Apart from God at work within us, there is no possibility of possessing true internal strength.
Nothing can be substituted for elongating the soul and positioning it for the afterlife and glorified state of reigning with Christ but God Himself.
No amount of goodnesses done or right things achieved possess the long term power of lending strength and structure to the soul.
Christ and Christ alone.
Christ's blood flowing through us and emanating from our core is what provides for mobilization and movement of all other arenas of our lives.
Membership and "sonship" are made sure, true, and eternal upon admission of sin and acceptance of Him ... and that's both the beginning and end of our earthly existance.
If we want to live out mobilized, energized, God-sized lives, we must get to the "belly of the matter" and we must call on Jesus in concrete and consistent ways day by day.
We must open His word, get near to His people, and call on Him in each trial we encounter.
We must rely on His Spirit and not resist His perfect, good, hard work in our lives.
He will strengthen the inner man,
Tone him,
Refine him,
And define him.
And God will choose what God will do with "His" man or woman in the end.
Order your life and entrust God this moment with its soul care.
Get to the belly of the matter,
And don't forsake what truly matters,
In the end.
For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
2 Corinthians 4:16