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STRENGTH TRAINING

Psalm 20:7, "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God."






The Lord wouldn't have supplied us with instructions for armor

if He didn't expect us to have to wage war.

Before we put on our armor in Ephesians 6, we are told to be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. (Ephesians 6:10)


The Lord wouldn't have reminded us time and time again to not fear

if He didn't expect us to face things that were bigger than us.

Hebrews 13:6, "So we say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?'"


The Lord wouldn't have told us that we would encounter tribulations

if it were not true.

John 16:33, "In this world you will have trouble."


The Lord wouldn't have taught us, through Paul's example,

that we would be weak at times

if we weren't prone to weakness.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10, "But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."



The Lord even knew that serving would wear us down

as He reminds us in 1 Peter 4:10-11

that He provides the strength for us, even in the use of our gifts.

1 Peter 4:11, "If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides."



My son is strength training. He has been for a while. He loves lifting weights and is really good at it now, but I remember so clearly, 4 years ago, when he first began to become more aware of his body and when he first started to desire to not only tone his body but also gain strength.

It was not easy. It was a long road. Four years later, he is still working at it, almost every day. Strength training involves dedication and commitment. It involves pain and stretching.

Strength training isn't just about 'getting stronger' and improving your strength, it is also about improving your endurance. It is fighting against resistance - an opposing force - or, even, fighting against yourself as you use your own body weight.


I think that sometimes when we encounter resistance in our daily lives, we tend to step back and weigh out the options of pushing forward, even if it stretches us and takes more dedication, giving up and finding another option, or simply just remaining where we are. And we have to ask ourselves how committed we really are to being open to where God wants to take us.

Is God asking you to start some strength training? Is God putting a little resistance in your life? How will you respond?



Your choice.


God isn't going to force you into 'strength training'.

He wants to bless you, but He also gives you the choice.

May I make a suggestion?

Choose to be resilient.

You only have one life. Only one. Live it well. Grow.

You don't have to be gifted. You don't have to be wealthy. You don't have to be popular. You just need to be determined.

You can choose to be the victim or the victor. The conquered or the conqueror.

Choose victory. Choose God's strength. Accept that you cannot do anything well in your own strength.

Choose to let God help you through the resistance to build your strength and your endurance.

If you are still waking up each morning - you are still in the game. Get up. If you have breath - you are still able to be 'trained' and you're still able to grow.




What if you fall down against the resistance?

Get up.

Choose to rise up. There is always a way to move forward. Always. I have seen people down. I have seen people rise up.

How you handle getting knocked down is everything.

If you get knocked down, there is nothing you can do about it except to either lay there or get back up.


Let's talk more about getting knocked down

and how to handle it,

because

God knew you would need armor,

He knew you would feel fear,

He knew you would have trouble,

and He knew you would feel weak.

And He's ready to help you with all of that.


The fight isn't over if you get knocked down. It is only over if you quit.

Push against the pain. Don't stop. Take your time. Go slow if you need to. But don't give up. Look at the enemy that has knocked you down and say, "Is this all you got? Is this it? Because I can get up from this."

When you find yourself in a place where you feel alone on the course, I promise you that you are not the first one to experience what you are going through. Let yourself feel the pain but don't keep picking off the scab to bleed again. It feels like you won't heal - but you will. In time, you will. With God's help, you will. God is a God of complete restoration.


I look at my own journey and my own 'stretching and strength training' and I see God working. I know now that I have made too much progress to give up. I worked too hard to simply remain alive. I have seen God move enough that I know He is capable of far more than I can imagine. He can take me farther, if I let Him set the course and if I run it with steadfastness, integrity and dedication.

If you keep going and keep pressing on, God is going to show you His glory in a way you've never seen and in ways you could never expect. It is a place of faith to remain steadfast under trial. There will be more glory in your rising than in your standing.




One of the most beautiful things about my son is that, as he's accomplished each goal, he hasn't forgotten where he started. He's the first one to reach out to a kid who isn't where he is yet to say, "You can do it." I am so proud of him.

That is part of the kind of strength training that God plans for you - take someone with you. Reach a step and then reach behind you and offer your hand to someone not quite there yet.

God doesn't just have plans for you. He has plans for everyone.



"Greatness lies, not in being strong, but in the right using of strength; and strength is not used rightly when it serves only to carry a man above his fellows for his own solitary glory. He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own."

- Henry Ward Beecher




Prayer:

"Lord, thank You for giving me tools to not only deal with daily life but to excel and grow during the journey. Thank You for teaching me and being patient with me. When I get knocked down, I count on You to help me get back up. Thank You for Your strength and promises. I confess that there are times when I don't want to be stretched and I tune out Your voice on purpose. Forgive me for those times and help me to desire Your will, at all times, for my life. May I be willing to go through spiritual 'strength training' so that I can best be used by You. I love You, Lord. Amen."



Be passionate about life and live well.

Sarah Jane




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annetteziesch
21 nov. 2023

I only need to look back a short while to see the enormous leaps you have taken trusting God to move you out of despair into where He is leading you. I’m beyond blessed that God has chosen me to walk with you thru this dark valley as it has strengthen my faith in ways I never knew I could! ❤️

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