Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Secret to Spiritual Strength ~ 2

 Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:18

Are your spiritual muscles sore this morning? If not, your workout wasn't challenging enough! But maybe they were already strong, so didn't get sore, which is a good thing. God loves when you're strong spiritually. Even King Solomon tells us what spiritual exercise is all about: "If you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God." Call out? Cry aloud? Do you know anyone who has done that lately? I suspect we take a lot more for granted than Solomon did! But Solomon knew that if there is to be gain, there must also be pain. But remember the promise the Lord made: "They will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. They will soar on wings like eagles!" You don't get those kinds of promises from walking on a treadmill.
LaGard says: "It's kind of nice the way it all works out. If through physical exercise I am now half the man I used to be, through spiritual exercise I can be twice the man I used to be." Hmmm...sounds like a plan. Moses was jubilant after feeling God's strength in the crossing of the Red Sea. He tells us: "The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation." That's the kind of strength we're looking for with our spiritual exercise. And the stamina! We want to say with the Psalmist: "Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.... They go from strength to strength." And how about Joshua? He was still fighting battles at 85 years old! And he was still just as strong as the day Moses sent him out. Now that's showing us strength in the Lord!  

Delilah was certainly curious about Samson's strength, so much so that she pressured him until he told her his secret: his hair had never been shaved, but if it were shaved, his strength would leave him. What did his hair symbolize? His vow of commitment before God. It was only with God's strength that Samson was twice the man he could have been. Without God's strength, he was half the man he had been. So if you're wondering how to get spiritual strength, you must have commitment.
How can you climb those walls in your life that seem so impossible to get over? Spiritual strength can get you over them. Trusting in God's strength and not your own may allow you to say like Paul, "With God, all things are possible." And he also said, "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength!" Strong statements of commitment and belief. Having such faith helps us face whatever challenge or temptation comes at us in life. Like the "wife of noble character" in Proverbs 31 of whom it was said: "She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come." Is it just me, or would you also like to "laugh at the days to come"? The future of this country looks pretty bleak, so I would like to be strong enough in the Lord to take on my future with confidence. How about you?

Whoa! Wait a minute! Back up! Isn't all this getting fit spiritually going to take a lot of effort? I'm not sure that I'm up for that. How many times have I committed to getting fit physically, only to fail miserably? And my commitment to getting more fit spiritually was sincere--at least when I made the resolution on January 1.

 But I may have forgotten something...I may have forgotten in both cases that to grow stronger, I'll have to work at it. And to grow stronger in the Lord will take stretching every spiritual fiber within me...even to the point of pain. Ouch! I don't like pain! 
Well, what am I...a man or a mouse? I spent years in school preparing to teach, yet find it difficult to have time to study God's word. I have time to talk on the phone, email my friends, take care of my meals, and all kinds of other details of my life, but how about time enough for God? Where would I be physically, if I ignored my physical needs that much? So where am I spiritually right now? Do I even know?  Let's look at our souls to see if they're sagging a bit for lack of spiritual exercise. So from now on: Make the #1 priority on your To Do list every day Spiritual Exercise 

Have a beautiful Sunday and thank God for your precious children.

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