Strength Training by Louisa Guzman
Having reached a certain age, I've realized that I didn't do enough weight bearing exercises in my youth. Except for my legs since I do a lot of walking, I don't have a lot of muscle. Therefore, I don't have a lot of strength in my arms and my midsection is weak.
Building muscle and strength requires discipline, determination and perseverance. If you don't start building muscle early on and use your muscles, they weaken and break down.
The same goes for growing stronger in the Lord. In order to do so, it's imperative to read the instruction manual (the bible) and exercise (pray) every day. It's important to ingest the right nutrients (bible study, church, fellowship with Christians). Lucky for us, we don't have to spend on a gym membership, or purchase expensive equipment. We don't need to invest time and money on a personal trainer, because our very own personal trainer is the Holy Spirit, who will "strengthen and help you; who will uphold you with His righteous hand" [Isaiah 41:10].
Like some personal trainers, God even gives us daily inspiration to carry us through and help us reach our goals:
"Your strength will equal your days" [Deuteronomy 33:25] is a simple reminder that whatever God calls you to do, be confident that He will equip you with whatever you need in order to get it done. If you feel weak and find your strength lessening, go to this verse for encouragement to continue.
Now how many personal trainers do you know who will tell you to go out and enjoy food and drink? But God is like that. He tells us to "go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks...the joy of the Lord is your strength" [Nehemiah 8:10]. He wants us to enjoy all the pleasures He offers us. Our personal trainer, God, wants us to "delight in the Lord, so He can give you the desires of your heart" [Psalm 37:4]. When we are filled with His joy, strength comes naturally.
Like the trainer who pushes you to get through those last few sit-ups, God also pushes and sometimes requires us to step out of our comfort zone in order to mold and shape us, and achieve a 'chiseled' new creation. What's awesome, however, is that when we've run out of gas, "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble" [Psalm 46:1]. Whenever God has called me to do something challenging, I remember that God is with me and that He empowers me.
Unlike the tough weight loss reality show hosts we see on TV today, God reminds us to slow down and rest. Our 'workout' gets easier when we go to God. He tells us in Matthew 11:28, to "come to Me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest". When I trust the Holy Spirit to work in me, my mind enjoys rest. When I try to do it all myself, my energy is sapped, and I'm exhausted. Isaiah 30:15 reminds us that " in quietness and trust is Your strength".
The good news is that this isn't a quick fix that only lasts a little while. God's strength is here to stay. God's Word says, "I am confident...that He who began a good work in you will carry it to completion until the day of Jesus' coming" [Philippians 1:6].
"And this is what He promised us - eternal life" [1 John 2:25]. What a promise! Once we put our life and trust in God, He promises He will reveal our life purpose. He will provide the power needed to get it done. What are you waiting for? Go get your workout on!