Strength training is proven to benefit the body in a multitude of ways. I know this to be true from personal experience. Those of you who know me personally are well aware of my familiarity around the weight room. I am a firm believer that GOD designed our bodies to be strong and healthy, and gave us the built-in capacity to withstand some of the trauma from everyday living if we diligently adhere to the responsibility to be ‘temple caretakers.’
Being strong and striving to maintain a healthy body can mean different things for different people — we all have unique needs. But I’m sure that most would agree that the strength to perform the daily tasks of life are often times the best that we can measure up to — if that!
Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for and hope for and expect the Lord! Psalm 31:24 AMPC
Our Scripture verse here encourages us to be strong — spiritually. But how do we do that? Let’s revisit that weight room.
The intent of the weight room is to provide an environment for strengthening the body through various means (exercises) and (incorporating) the use of available tools. With each repetition, muscle fibers are challenged by applied force or resistance. In addition to the muscles gaining strength for increased power, there is a chemical reaction that occurs within the skeletal system (your bones), whereby they are also becoming more dense and structurally enhanced.
Walk with me through this weight room, Sister …
It is in the resistance training that our bodies become stronger and able to withstand and gain power to ‘battle’ against force. So why not with our spiritual strength training? Tell me about your current battle — I can bet that you’re probably in one. Maybe the weight plates are stacked and the lift feels unbearable. Are you sitting on that bench feeling defeated? Or are you determined to fight the resistance to quit?
Maybe you need someone to come along and show you how to properly work with that resistance you’re struggling with so that you come out of the weight room stronger? Yes I did say ‘work with‘ the resistance. I used to tell my clients to partner with the resistance so that you develop a relationship whereby you seek to overcome the temptation to quit and thus, walk out the victor. *Theme from Rocky playing in the background.*
Sometimes the resistance in our spiritual life is a result of GOD saying, “you are in the wait room” before you can receive that blessed promise. Consider the spiritual wait room the ‘place’ where we can flex our faith while we wait on GOD to open that next door. So the spiritual weight room gives us the opportunity to strengthen our trust and build our confidence — fighting the temptation to throw in the towel — but to allow the resistance to increase faith gains as we hope and continue to expect the Lord to do His Work in us.
And then there are those times when the temptation is the resistance we are fighting. The incredible urge to succumb to former ways (sins) that linger in our subconscious or are tangibly in our living space. Again, the will to overcome the desire to surrender and requires spiritual muscle — that could be why we are in the wait room. Character development, Sister — the promotion follows the devotion. We have to put in the work.
As women (and humans in general), we are impatient when it comes to achieving desired change. That goes for the physical as well as other areas of our lives. I sounded like a broken record, telling countless women that the physical changes that they sought after required adequate time to achieve. If it took us at least nine months of developing en utero, it’s going to take at least that long to achieve some of the changes that were the result of poor choices or habits that go back several years or even a lifetime. It’s certainly very difficult trying to convince people of this fact when we live in a microwave culture. Moreover, the proof is in the maintenance — whatever you do to achieve your results, you will need to maintain those same habits to sustain your accomplishments.
The very same principles can be said of our spiritual habits and beliefs. If we have fellowship with The Father through His Son, Jesus Christ, then we have our Help already available to us in the power of The Holy Spirit. The changes that we may want to make — being more diligent about daily communion with GOD through reading His Word, learning more about what the Bible says, tithing, supporting ministry, volunteering at church … all of these things are great things to aspire. But to develop the habit so that it is part of us will require time. Sometimes it involves a retraining or reconditioning of our minds.
So will you agree that maybe you’re in a wait room because GOD says, “Trust me, I’m going to allow you to get stronger (ready, prepared) for the blessing I promised you.” Could it possibly be that your loving Heavenly Father wants you fully able to receive and do well with your impending gift? But first you must increase your faith muscles and learn to flex that power so that you can be truly effective when you move forward with it in tote.
Some of you may say, ‘We are free to do anything that we want to do!’ But not everything is good for you to do. You may say, ‘We are free to do anything!’ But not everything helps you to be strong as a believer. 1 Corinthians 10:23 EASY
I used to say this Scripture in my own paraphrase as I worked training clients in the gym, as it pertained to their workout routine. Whenever I would be asked about the various machines and observances of individualized practices, I would simply tell folks that all things are good, but not all things are necessary (for everyone) to perform.
The same goes for our life as a Christ-follower. Some ideas may sound good in practice — but GOD may have something specifically tailored and designed especially for you, that does not include those great ideas. Time spent in the wait room trains us to learn to discern this and to fine tune our hearing so that it is GOD’s Voice we listen to.
I’ll admit that it takes determination to work at becoming stronger. You have to settle in your mind that it is a priority and that nothing will allow you to negotiate the time and effort set aside. It takes courage to set up a barrier against the tidal waves of distraction, but love does that. True and genuine love says it’s non-negotiable. If your love for the Savior of your soul is deep enough to go there — then go there!
Remember that I have told you this: Be strong and do not be afraid. Do not be weak but be brave. I, the LORD you God, will be with you, everywhere you go.’ Joshua 1:9 EASY
There are two contrasting words in that verse above: strong and weak. Both of them spoken by GOD Himself to Joshua. I love the comforting words of His Promise to go everywhere we go. I believe that includes the wait room where we will get pumped up, muscle up and ready to do the work.
Take hold of your time in that place, Friend — it’s where you will find the One Who loves you so much that He wants you fully equipped to do what your heart is longing to do — fulfill His Purpose in and through you. Remember, He promises to go there, too. So rather than moan and groan about your time there, cherish it and thank GOD for it and being there in it with you. Let it be a place of remembrance for you in the days to come. You will look back and thank GOD He sent you there.
I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~
LindaRJohnson, TitusTwo Visionary