Muscle tone and energy is created not by doing nothing, but by doing something. Typically, in training, one would push hard, rest a bit, and push hard again, going to the max. This is what helps move a person forward in strength development. One might think sitting around on the couch all day would conserve energy, ready to go in the evening. Instead, it makes you feel more tired, even when you get up to go to bed.
I’ve been reading Jim Cymbala’s book, You Were Made For More. In it, Jim talks about how this principle works the same for our spiritual lives too. It’s why so many Christians seem to lack fulfillment and strength God wants for them. They haven’t flexed their spiritual muscle in a while. They haven’t lived to the max.
If we live a “bless me, bless me” sort of life, we miss out. The goal can’t be focused on us. Ironically, it’s when we begin to step out in faith, in ministry, in work and in trusting God that our lives become blessed. As CS Lewis says, “Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.”
Francis Asbury was noted saying to his young ministers, “Though the devil may attack you in a thousand ways and there are problems on every side, you are never happier than when you are in the work of the Lord.”
So, our job is to flex our spiritual muscles and allow our faith to grow. There’s a good chance we need to do more to be stretched. How do we flex our spiritual muscle?
TAKE A LEAP
Is there something you’ve been considering doing? Is there something you sense God is calling you to? Maybe you have been trying to ease into it. Maybe you’re still considering it. Maybe you’ve talked about it for years, but now, you must act. Jump in fully. Go big. All In. Today.
GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
Have you been invited, but you’re unwilling to try? Is there something you would like to see yourself doing, but you can’t seem to break out of your comfort areas. Are you trying to fill your time with things you know about, unwilling to the new thing you’re feeling pulled toward? Get out of your comfort zone – that’s where you will begin to rest in God’s strength since you’ll be unable to do it on your own!
JOIN WITH SOMEONE
Is there someone with whom you can partner? Has someone been inviting you to join them in a huge endeavor? Accountability is a huge part of living out the faith. As you join with someone in a faith endeavor, the spiritual temperature will rise in your own heart and life. You’ll begin to see God at work and see how much kingdom partnerships make a difference.
What really breaks your heart? When you begin to meet the needs of others around you, your spiritual life is strengthened. Find ways to reach out and serve others.
STAY THE COURSE
I’ve often thought about how many people go on mission trips while they are younger – in high school youth groups or college Christian groups, only to stop the practice when they get older. Sure, there are lots of reasons to not serve in mission as you get older – lack of time, lack of funding, lack of invitation or opportunity. This is just one example but we must continue to be faithful! Have you ever asked yourself this question: “Has there been a time in your life when you were closer to God that you are right now?” Depending on the answer to that question, you may need to get back on course. What new thing is God calling you to do? What trip or experience do you to need to sign up for? What ministry do you need to get involved with again?