Developing Spiritual Muscles

As promised, I am going to turn to the positive side of the chapter.   Developing our spiritual muscles.
I love the analogy that Tripp uses to engage my brain in regards to having "Spiritual Muscles".
The negative side of things was based on giving up and giving in to the temptation to thinking the wait is negative.   The wait really is how God changes us... changes me.

Developing a good routine (not something we do just to do) but something we do to get better is important in many facets of life.  A good artist probably didn't just decide to pick up a pencil or brush on day and make a masterpiece.  --Though I suppose their are some that may have, it is probably not the norm.   A best selling author probably didn't just decide to write a book one day and poof, it is on the shelves being sold in record number.   It took time, editing, revision, and it probably wasn't the first thing the author had ever written.   A professional athlete doesn't walk out onto the field or onto the court for the first time they played the sport and started competing at the professional level.
I could go on, but I think the point is made...

So what about a Christian?   How do I become more like the one that I would like to be become like.
The word Christian implies that I want to be like Christ... Like Jesus... Like perfection.
I know this side of heaven that is an impossibility, but just because I can't reach it, doesn't mean I shouldn't work to get better.   That work comes through the wait in many cases.

My oldest son has started going to the gym again.  He has been putting in the time and has been doing his research.  He has committed to becoming stronger and due to his smaller frame, a bit larger.
He realizes it is a process... It takes time.  He has to use the equipment, the instruction, and the knowledge from others to achieve his goals.  I am seeing a difference.  He is filling out more, he is more solid, he is getting results.

God uses the wait as a means to get us to the spiritual gym.  The wait is the training time.  The wait is the time I should be using to maintain my spiritual disciplines so that when the time comes to stop waiting, I am ready.   So what equipment does God give me to use during this time of waiting?

The Bible... the spiritual instruction manual.  The guide for what is beneficial and for what is good.  For what I should avoid.  For how I should live to achieve the goals of being like Christ.

The Holy Spirit... the spiritual trainer.  The coach that sits on my shoulder and lets me know how to tweak my exercise.  The one who let's me know when I am about to hurt myself.   The one who keeps me in check

The Church... The people I surround myself with...  Like at the gym, I am more likely to push myself harder.  I can also observe how others are achieving the same goal.  I can be held accountable to meeting those goals... surrounding myself with like minded people trying to achieve the same purpose... to be more like Christ... is not optional.

Prayer... This is the one on one time with my coach.  This is the time we sit down and discuss what changes I am seeing.   This is also the time that I get away from the mirror of always looking at myself and take the focus off of me.   This is the time I focus on God... I focus on the larger purpose.

Good Books...  Like the devotion I was given, like other solid books I am reading, like good podcasts or youtube videos that provide additional instruction, techniques, and encouragement.   These two are good for rounding out my spiritual discipline to encourage those muscles to grow.

The training during the wait IS what develops me into who I will be, who God is wanting me to be. 

Comments

  1. Excellent thoughts today Ryan! I like the seque from Dom's working out to the need for developing spiritual muscles over time. Well done my friend.

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    1. Thanks, now if I could only have the same persistence.

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  2. I love your analogy of spiritual training to physical training in the gym, Ryan. Everything worth doing, and we know working to become more Christ-like, is worth all the time, training, dedication, and practice. No, we don't become a great Christian overnight, but with persistent striving for the goal, we will improve.
    Blessings!

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    Replies
    1. Improving is what I hope for Martha, even if it is just a little tiny step each day. On a side note, thank you for the books. I received them yesterday.. I am looking forward to reading them.

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