One of the greatest tragedies in life is giving up.
For those that may not really know me, I have what you call a fast metabolism. This means I will most likely remain thin unless I am willing to eat twice as much as the person with a much slower metabolism, and also work out to maintain that weight. I don’t care what anyone says but this is one of the hardest things to do. Year after year I commit to a workout but at a later stage during the year I just… you know… I go back to being Innocent and allow myself to believe I’m happy with that. It has come to me that we tend to do that towards a lot of things. The evidence is on the incomplete new year’s resolutions we set every single year. The evidence is on the things we say when we are completely motivated for those couple of minutes, only to see nothing come to manifest. The evidence is on the goals we set but don’t score. Today we will look at the “Spiritual workout”, because believe it or not, the evidence also lies on God’s visions for us that don’t come to pass, because of us.
So last night I set out to try working out at home again after I spoke to someone who told me they went to the gym. I was so psyched and started off with those inspirational videos on YouTube that normally speak some sense to me. While I was about my “business” I keyed in to one man who was speaking and one of the most interesting things he said was this : “ A lot of people become comfortable, they stop growing, they stop wanting anything, they become satisfied”. He later mentioned that “when you’re not pursuing your goal, you are literally committing spiritual suicide” The funny thing was that it confirmed a conversation I had with one of my sisters earlier on about how she felt like her spiritual level had gone lower this year than it had last year, which is something I’ve also realised towards my own life. God has very funny way of revealing things.
A few months ago I received this analogy that I’d hoped to share for quite some time so here it is. when you work out (Lets say lifting weights) you begin to see temporary results as you progress. You may also endure some pain since you are in the early stages. As time goes by you adapt to the pain and the only way to get bigger results is to add more reps or more weight. Time goes by where you stick to a certain schedule and follow up on work out plans and so on. However, if you’re like me, you only work out for a little bit and see some sort of results and don’t feel comfortable going through the pain to the point where that pain becomes quite discouraging. This my friends, is how we treat our spiritual lives. There is a time in our lives where we are what they say “on fire for God”. This is also known as the “Honey moon” phase, where you’re in good terms in with God; He speaks to you whenever you want, you read the bible to receive more knowledge about Him and He helps you understand every single thing. However, there comes a time of trials and tribulations where we mistake God’s movement of refining us with fire for something much more tragic, to the point that we lose our sensitivity to Him. There comes a time where instead of giving in to trials, we give up.
Here’s another thing we fail to realise. Working out is a lot like reading the word of God. You cant grow physically without increasing reps, in as much as you cant grow spiritually without increasing scriptural knowledge. You can’t simply ignore your gym instructor or friend, or even your inner self shouting at you to do better, in as much as you shouldn’t ignore the Holy Spirit that screams in your conscience to endure pain, and yet we normally do. When we workout, we are to push it to 100% with determination, which is quite similar to us worshipping in truth and in spirit, that is, with all of our hearts. We actually fail to realise that whatever we sow brings about a harvest later on so instead, we wait in vain. We tend to allow distraction to be our companion and procrastination to dwell in our hearts without realising that they both work together to ruin our destinies. We fail to let prayer be our daily protein, only to starve and be weak.
To round it all up I leave us with these few lessons about Spiritual growth:
1. It is very hard- one of the other quotes I heard from the work out video stated that if “If it were easy, everybody would do it”. Does this sound familiar to “For many are called but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14) ? Spiritual growth is not easy. It takes a lot of obedience to acquire it and a lot of patience and trust in God.
2. If you ignore the growth process, It’s harder when you come back- Make no mistake, God is faithful and forgiving even when we stray from the path. However, in as much as he sees our hearts, we have to earn that level of spiritual growth once more. One of my work colleagues told me that she previously worked in our company as a manager but had to leave. So when she came back now they put her as a normal sales associate under a temporary contract. We are in the same position. Things like that you have to earn back yourself, needless to say He will always help you.
3. You can endure- This is for whoever is out there trying to achieve their life-long dreams, spiritual growth, life-time goals etc. It will be hard, but you can endure. One of my teachers used to say “If you haven’t experienced hardship or haven’t been under attack from the enemy, you haven’t started”. Enduring hardship brings about your total strength and discipline for the future. That’s why they call it survival of the fittest.
To anyone that isn’t seeing any results right now in their spiritual life. To anyone that feels as if they have lost that drive or motivation to do better, or to anyone that feels that God isn’t moving in their lives right now. The only encouragement I can offer is that you be patient because God’s not finished with you yet. You’re not dead and neither is He. To anyone that wants immediate results…. it’s about time you put in some work. If you can’t lift weights, surely you can lift a bible.
“Life is growth. If we stop growing, technically and spiritually, we are as good as dead”- Morihei Ueshiba.
And That’s not #Omni
God bless you for reading.
Originally published at innocentmatthew.blogspot.ie on January 14, 2016.