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Why Is This So Hard-Part I

Why Is This So Hard-Part I
Getting Spiritually Fit

 Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me? Jeremiah 32:27 (NKJV)

I was at the gym earlier today, and I was doing some cardio exercise on the cross-trainer elliptical machine.  As I was exercising I saw a large lady come up and get on the machine directly next to me.  She had a berry smoothie in one hand, and her work out towel in the other. She took a look around at all the people who were preoccupied with their own workout--many were in either good or great shape, and none of them really took note of her or paid attention to her obvious newness to the gym.  

She started to exercise and had been doing it about a minute or so, when one of the gyms personal fitness trainers came up and asked her, "How are you doing?"

She replied, Fine, thanks... as she paused, and then asked him, "Why is this so hard?"

I started to think at that moment about how easy it was for me to do these exercises, and I identified that it was because I had been doing some sort of physical exercise somewhat faithfully most of my life.  The very thing that I took for granted seemed to be a little overwhelming to this lady who had obviously made a step to try and be more balanced with her health.

The gym trainer smiled and looked over at the machine she was on to make sure that she hadn't cranked up the resistance or something like that.  Seeing that it was on "Zero" and couldn't be any lower he looked her straight in the face and answered her question of why it was so hard by saying with a smile, "Its suppose to be--Its exercise."

I then thought how this was a great illustration for an analogy with respect to our Christian walk.  Exchange the fit people for those Christians who have been walking with God their entire life, or for a large portion of it at least--they might not realized how difficult it is for someone to walk cold turkey into a church and get involved with a walk with God.  To them, it can be just like exercise was for the lady in the gym--"Hard."  It is obviously different, and it can be somewhat awkward, as they are coming face-to-face with those who seem to have a walk with God and the Christian-life all figured out.  This in itself can either be encouraging and motivating--causing them to want to get to know God and the body of believers, or it could cause them to be discouraged and feel as though they could never achieve that spiritually fit walk with God.

In the same manor, the trainer was right when he said, "Its suppose to be hard," because doing any kind of resistance training is fatiguing. The whole process of our training is to crucify the desires of our flesh to quit, and to bring it into submission with the course you have decided to follow within your mind.  It has been said that, "A crooked creek takes the least path of resistance," and that can be said of a body that is out of shape, both physically, and spiritually--it too, will be inclined to take those routes that are easy to go along with.

So, the trainer went on to ask her how long she had been coming to the gym, and if she had taken advantage of the gym's trainers that were available to show the patrons how to use the equipment and how to get the most out of it.  He then offered to help her with a personalized program, and he told her not to get discouraged; that she was going to have to work up to the ability to exercise a little longer each day; the more she continued to do these things, the more they would become a new way of thinking and acting.

The lady at the gym proceeded to handle every question that was proposed by the trainer with regards to her new commitment to live healthy.  She gave every excuse imaginable to detract from "her" responsibility that she was going to have to give up old "Bad habits," and replace them with "Good habits," which meant a healthier way of eating, and exercising.  

If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them John 13:17 (NKJV)

No matter what excuse she gave, the trainer stood fast to what was true, and didn't waiver.  He continued to respond in a loving way but in a firm way as well, as he asked what her plans were for her days workout. He finished by letting her know that he would be happy to help her in her new commitment and gave her some encouragement.

In Part II of this message, we will conclude this story of the lady at the gym to see what she decided to do.  And we will continue to look at this story and use it for an analogy of our being "Spiritually fit."

I want to encourage you today, to make that decision within your inner Christian spirit to become a "Spiritually Fit" as you can possibly be.  Making the decision is the most critical part of your journey.  You need to know that you will meet resistance within your physical body in the same manor as you would if your alarm clock rang loud early in the morning.  But once you have made the decision, take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and take one step at a time with a goal of becoming "Spiritually Fit."

God is the one who gives us the power we need to accomplish every good thing.  We need to exercise this power and learn how to flex it continually.  The more we do, the better fit we will be.  And the byproduct will be a blessed life.

STUDY QUESTION: According to John 13:17, what advice does Jesus give us that we should know concerning His will for our life?  Can you see how this Scripture applies to both spiritual and physical applications?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you doing the things that you know to be right by God?

APPLICATION: Keep it simple by applying what you know by God's Word to be right in your life.  If you know that it is the right thing to do, then persist in doing these things--don't take the easy route, or go along with the ways of the world.

Father, Thank You for Your Word and guidance in my life.  Help me to persevere in the things that I am faced with.  Remind me to draw upon the power of Your Holy Spirit during these times, and to keep focused on those things that I know to be right.  In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000