Doug Creamer: Spiritual muscles
I am only a few days away from adding another candle to my birthday cake. The years slip by quickly. I feel fortunate to be in good health and in good spirits. I have noticed a few aches as I age, but I try not to let things slow me down.
Last weekend I was up a little early to go to our annual spring cleaning at church. I chose to work outside, I love being outside. The weather was cooperative and conducive for us to get a lot done. We had a good turnout and were able to get many areas cleaned up.
When I got home, I went to work outside. There is quite a lengthy list of things that need our attention around here, too. We pulled wheelbarrows full of weeds. We did some other cleaning and yardwork. It was about dark when I finally came in the house. It felt good to get so much done.
The problem was my body didn’t feel good. What was the matter? I have worked hard like that before. Maybe it has something to do with all those candles on my cake. Maybe I can’t work as hard as I used to work when I was in my thirties. Whatever it is, I have learned that it takes longer to recover from working that hard and long.
I know that muscles can be sore from hard work, especially when we haven’t been using them. During winter there isn’t much to do outside, so my muscles aren’t used to working. Well, it is spring; they will get plenty of use over the next couple of weeks.
Do you think the same thing applies to our spiritual muscles? Do we get spiritually lazy? I would like to think we all stay strong spiritually, but something tells me that we can allow weeds to crop up in our spiritual gardens. I think we can sometimes neglect our spiritual lives and therefore get out of spiritual shape.
Are you ready to pick up your shield of faith and the sword of the spirit? Maybe we have put our faith up on a shelf and now realize that we need it to get through whatever life has brought our way. If we have been neglecting our faith, that shield will feel awfully heavy. It might help if we opened up our Bible and begin to dig into the promises of God for our lives. That sword of the spirit can get rusty when we leave it sitting on the night stand instead of opening it daily to read.
I know we can get some stinking thinking going on when we haven’t been filling our minds with God’s word. It’s important to keep watch over our mouths and use our lips to offer praise and prayers for our situations AND our families and friends. While we are at it we probably need to clean out our ears from all the negative things we hear. We need to quiet ourselves and listen for that still, small voice from heaven. The ear muscles are small but critical to our spiritual growth.
My doctor recently told me that his patients who walk regularly are his healthiest patients. I don’t need to remind you that we need to be walking with the Lord if we hope to be strong spiritually. That implies that our spiritual growth requires movement. Faith is not idle, it is active. God is on the move and if we want to grow closer to Him, we will have to walk with Him.
Our faith grows in the most critical muscle of our body, the heart. We have to have a heart that is hungry for more of God. We have to guard our hearts and keep them from all the things that can and will pull us away from God. We need to allow our hearts to beat with the love of God. That is the key to strong spiritual growth.
The choice is ours. Do we want to be spiritually strong? I want to encourage you to come back to the place where your faith is the most important part of your life. I want to encourage you to become strong, to be a mighty warrior for the Lord. God’s given you everything you need to have a good trip through life. Your job is to grow the muscles through the discipline of applying God principles to your life. Walking with the Lord now will prepare you for walking with Him in eternity.
Contact Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org