It’s that time of the year where many people have made their resolutions and starting out the new year focused on their goals. It’s a good time to sit and reflect on the days that have past and really dig into what God has in store for you in the days to come. If you are a resolution/goal or new year’s list maker - you probably have something along the lines of eating better, losing weight or working out on your list.
It is important to take care of our physical bodies but we also need to take care of our spiritual bodies as well. There are spiritual "muscles" that we need to workout ......
The 1st muscle is our FAITH.
In Matthew chapter 17 we read about a father who brought his son to be prayed over. If we pick up the story at verse 16 - read through to verse 20. (You can read it here)
Jesus said that if you have faith as a mustard seed - you can move mountains. We all have mountains in our lives. Loneliness….loss of job….sickness...wounded relationship….trouble at work. Whatever it is - it can be removed.
Have you ever looked at a mustard seed? They are tiny - THAT is all the faith required to move a mountain!!
But just like junk food can limit your progress when you are working out, unbelief will limit your faith. If we look back at Matthew 17, in verse 20 - Jesus told his disciples that it was their unbelief that hindered the healing of the boy. Grab you a mustard seed and put it somewhere as a reminder that it isn’t the quantity of faith that matters - but the quality. Resist the unbelief and know that with God ALL things are possible.
The 2nd muscle to workout is the muscle of PRAISE
I think that we all know that exercise is good for us, right? So we can all agree that it is something that we should do. What about praising the Lord daily? That’s something we should do as well, right? Just like we may neglect exercising our physical bodies, do we also neglect singing praises to the Lord?
Psalm 100:4 says “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.
When we praise the Lord, it makes it less about us and more about God. Praise builds us up spiritually and keeps us from crumbling, for the JOY of the Lord is our strength.
There are so many scriptures on praising the Lord, that I can't list them all but I encourage you to grab your Bible and read through the Psalms - it is FULL of praises to the King of Kings!!
The next muscle to work out is Prayer
There is always a debate on how often we should work out physically but there is NO debate on how often we should pray.
Psalm 55:17 says “Evening and morning and at noon, I will pray and cry aloud; and He shall hear my voice”
1 Thessalonians 5:17 says to pray without ceasing.
Making prayer a vital part of our lives gives us strength. It uplifts and strengthens us as we go on our way. Prayer is a POWERFUL tool that we all have available.
The last and most important muscle to work out is The Word
Staying in the Word daily builds up our bodies. We’ve just got to keep reading, studying and memorizing God’s Word to stay fit and strong.
Psalm 119:11 - Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that i might not sin against thee.
2 Timothy 2:16 - All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
Just like if you were to walk into the gym for the first time, you couldn’t pick up the heaviest weight and begin to do arm curls. In order for you to be able to arm curl that heavy weight, you have to start with the 5 lb weight or the 10 lb weight and move up as you build your strength.
In the same way, you aren’t going to automatically know the whole Bible by heart. You have to start with what you know and build on that. Start with a verse…..or two and then keep trying to learn more.
In my own life, I can see where some of these muscles have gotten a little weak, maybe not as strong as they once were. I know that I need to work on these muscles - EVERY day. The easiest way to work out is with a group or a friend, so grab a friend and work together this year to hold one another accountable to grow strong in the Lord together.