by Paul Tautges | February 24, 2018 10:49 am
This week, another pastor and I were talking about the analogy of faith as a muscle that needs to be regularly exercised in order to grow. This is based upon the simple understanding that true faith is living faith, as opposed to the dead faith warned against in James 2. True faith, because it is living, is continually being exercised toward progress in Christ-likeness. Unpredictably, this morning, I was reading through 2 Peter and noticed this devotional by Joni Eareckson Tada in the Beyond Suffering Bible.
Candy, a fellow quadriplegic, was my exercise partner in physical therapy. Every day the physical therapist positioned our wheelchairs in front of a wall of weights and pulleys for an hour of strenuous exercise. I remember sweating and straining while Candy merely played with lifting weights, not taking the task of physical therapy seriously.
Years later, when I returned to the hospital for a check-up, I ran into Candy. I was shocked. Her arms were thin, and the she looked weak and tired. As quadriplegics, we both had the same potential for gaining strength. But from lack of exercise, her muscles had atrophied and were useless.
There are many Christians who are like Candy—they play around, believing that the Christian life will just “happen” to them without any real commitment or tough obedience. As a result, they have very little power in their lives or stamina when the hard times hit. For this very reason, we must make every effort to remain strong in the Lord. Growth doesn’t just happen; we grow only when we exercise our faith. Are you growing stronger in Christ?
This weekend, spend time meditating upon 2 Peter 1:3-11. Ask yourself some questions, like:
Spend time in prayer. Thank God for the resources that He gives to all those who are in Christ. Confess sins and spiritual laziness to Him. Ask Him to strengthen you in the inner person so that you may persevere in growth. Tomorrow, go to church expecting God to speak to you from the Bible so that your faith muscles may be exercised toward growth.
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