Thursday, October 20, 2011

Faith Is Like A Muscle

“Mere change is not growth. Growth is the synthesis of change and continuity, and where there is no continuity there is no growth.” -C.S. Lewis

I enjoy weight training to grow in strength. For months, I’d lifted utilizing the same routine every week, which brought success. This strategy generally entailed working out at the same times, the same place, the same amount of rest between sets, the same amount of reps, and the same exercises. The other day however, I came to a rock-hard realization: I’d hit a plateau. I was no longer getting stronger.

Everyone had advice. Some suggested I quit lifting all together for a month, then, when I come back I’d be “stronger than ever.” A few recommended steroids. Others offered, “you’re doing fine.” After much contemplation however, I concluded that I needed to change my routine.

This was especially difficult. There’s just something about routine that gives one a sense of safety. I thought to myself, “this is how I’d been growing for a long time. I also knew others that worked by way of this very routine, and they seemed to enjoy success. I deliberated more: “I should stick with it just one more week.” My head was flooded with excuses on why I shouldn’t change.

It’s been said the faith is like a muscle. The only way for your faith to grow is to exercise it. Though I was raised in a Christian home, I’m newly learning to exercise my faith. Isaiah 58:9 says, “My thoughts are not God’s thoughts, and my ways are not God’s ways.” The key is prayerfully discerning the difference between your ways and His ways. Change for the sake of change is not always good change. God calls us to continue in His will, by virtue of His changes, and this is how He’s called us to grow.

Jeremiah 29: 11 says,For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Our goal is to grow, and His goal for us is to grow. In that, our plans to grow can never be as great as His plans for us to grow.

So, never, ever quit.

And it doesn’t matter how anyone came to know success, because what they have done is not necessarily what you are called to do. God made everyone different—with unique gifts, individualized passions, and personalized purposes.

While I might have appeared “fine,” I was actually stagnant.

As Christians, God has called us out of our comfort zones, and into the next dimension. We may fail a few times, and we will certainly have to continue through hardships. Nevertheless we must take chances. God never promised it’d be easy, but He did promise he’d be with us. Deuteronomy 31:8 says, “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

God will help you find contentment in ways you never imagined you could. He will also take you to new heights, because He always fulfills His promises. This is all part of growing in the Lord.

I conquered my ambivalence with changing my routine, and I’ve already begun to see my strength grow. I continue through rep after rep to reach another dimension. It’s both tiring and exciting. It’s a new beginning, and though I’m a little sore, I truly believe I can do ALL THINGS through Christ that strengthens me.

No comments :

Post a Comment