Building Spiritual Muscle

When I did research about building abdominal muscle, I learned a person must have a low percentage of body fat in order for the muscles to show. This means a person can train for hours each day, but until he or she changes what they eat, they will not see results. This fact made me think about the spiritual realm. God showed me that a person can spend hours doing spiritual exercises (i.e. praying, fasting, reading the Bible) but it won’t profit them until they turn away from their sin.

The Pharisees (Jewish leaders) in the Bible were very religious; they knew a lot of scripture, prayed, fasted, tithed and etc, but Jesus compared them to whited sepulchres (tombs), which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. (Matthew‬ ‭23:27‬). Jesus was addressing the fact that outwardly the Pharisees did the religious exercises, but inwardly they were full of sin.

If you want to grow in your relationship with Jesus Christ, you can’t continue in sin. You need to repent (confess and turn away) from anything in your life which goes against God’s Word (the Bible). If there is a sin that you struggle to break free from, Jesus can help you! Seek Him about that that sin thru prayer and fasting. If you persist, Jesus will give you victory over it!

‭‭1 John‬ ‭2:3-4‬ ‭King James Version
And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
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Are You Ashamed To Talk About Jesus?

Mark 8:38
Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

When I looked up the definition of “ashamed,” that word was defined as: reluctant to do something through fear of embarrassment or humiliation. Well, are you ashamed to talk about Christ and the Bible for fear of what people will think? Do you worry that someone will get offended? One thing God convicted me of is that we must care more about what God thinks than what people think! After all, God is the One who created that human you are being fearful about.

If you have been fearful or embarrassed to talk about Christ, first repent. Then bind and cast out that spirit of fear in Jesus Name! Also pray for Jesus to fill you with boldness. Note that we must be led by God when talking about Christ, so before doing so ask God if it is His right timing and what He wants you to say.

Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Believing God When You Don’t See What He Promised

Numbers 14:11
Then the Lord said to Moses: “How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them?

One of the things God taught me from the book of Exodus is how easily the Children of Israel doubted God in spite of all the miracles He performed for them. God promised to deliver them from slavery in Egypt and bring them to a land flowing with milk and honey. However each time they faced opposition on the way to that land, most of them feared and doubted instead of believing what God told them.

Do you continue holding on to God’s promises in the face of troubles? Or do you only have faith when things are going your way? Maybe God said He will heal you from an illness but the doctors say you are getting worse. Will you still believe God? Maybe God promised you would get married yet much time has passed and you’re still single. Will you still believe God? Maybe God promised your loved ones will get saved, yet they don’t want to hear anything about Jesus. Will you still believe God?

I have learned that God’s promises don’t always come easy. Just as the children of Israel faced opposition on the way to the promise land, we will also have opposition on the way to God’s promises in our lives. What we should remember is that God is faithful to His Word. When God’s promises are put to the test, He wants us to continue believing. If you are struggling in this area, repent for any unbelief in your heart. Pray for Jesus to strengthen your faith and remove doubt.

Hebrews 11:6
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Don’t Give Glory Or Admiration To Humans, Give It To Jesus Christ!

One of the weaknesses I have had in my walk with Christ is overly admiring other servants of God. One thing we must remember is that it’s Christ’s power and wisdom that works through people, it’s not their own!

For instance do you know someone who can pray for the sick and they are healed? It is not them, it is Jesus! Do you see someone who understands the Bible very well? It is Christ’s Holy Spirit who gives them understanding! Did you hear a sermon/ message that encouraged you in a hard time? It is Jesus who gave that person the sermon/message! Christ gives those gifts/abilities to people in order to help other believers. Therefore, when God is using someone in our lives, let us not give glory/admiration to that person but to Jesus Who is using them!

Psalm 62:11
God has spoken once, Twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God.

What We Think About Affects Us Spiritually

One of the things that we should keep in mind is that anytime we are allowing ungodly thoughts in our mind we are weakening spiritually/distancing further from Jesus. If we want to be successful in our walk with Christ we have to be intentional about what we choose to think on.

When ungodly thoughts try to come (i.e. thoughts of lust, jealousy, anger or etc) you must use scripture to fight against them. Also keeping your mind on Jesus throughout your day and meditating on scripture helps to keep those ungodly thoughts out! Remember that when our minds are idle satan will try to feed our minds with something evil.

Romans 8:6
For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Be Alert, A Thief Is Lurking!

One thing I have learned the hard way, is that anytime we are spiritually distracted we are like a house full of valuables with no security system. In other words, it is easy for the thief (satan) to come and rob us. For example, maybe you spent some good time in fellowship with Jesus. In a moment that you are distracted from Christ and His Word, a person says something that offends you, and boom! satan comes in to attack you with anger, and because you were distracted from God you give in to it and lose your temper. satan just robbed you of that joy and peace you had from being with Jesus.

satan will take advantage of any moment we are distracted from God. Therefore let’s stay spiritually alert by being prayerful, keeping our minds on Jesus, and meditating on His Word throughout our day.

1 Peter 5:8
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Are You Obeying God And Still Being Mistreated?

Luke 6:31
And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.

One thing I had to learn about the command Jesus gave above, is that when we treat others the way we want to be treated we are not guaranteed to get that treatment back! Jesus tells us to treat people the way we want to be treated because it brings Him glory when we reflect the love of Christ.

If you are doing good to others but are being treated unfairly in return, continue obeying Jesus! God is the One who will reward you for that obedience. Also remember while Jesus lived on earth He was treated very badly even though He was good in all His ways.

Luke 6:35
But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.

Guarding Against Temptation

This winter a rash started to form on my hands because of the cold weather. Once my hands were healed I noticed I was less careful to protect my hands by wearing gloves, which made a risk for the rash to return. This led me to think about how Christ can free us from sins that we are struggling with, yet because we expose ourselves to that sin we become bound to it again. For example Jesus can free a person from the spirit of lust, but if that person starts listening to lustful music or entertaining lustful conversations, it won’t be long before those lustful desires return. Once Christ frees us from a sin, we must continue to guard our hearts in that area of temptation. We should avoid/cut off anything that can open a door to that sin in our lives again.

Matthew 5:29
If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

Jesus Saves And Changes Sinners

Matthew 1:21
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.

There was a time in my walk with Jesus when my heart turned away from Him. It felt like I was in a deep pit that I couldn’t pull myself out of. I desired the things of the world more than I desired God, and I struggled greatly with sins like unforgiveness and lust to name a few. It was even difficult to go a short time without some evil thoughts passing through my mind. I was very overwhelmed by my sin, and it felt that no matter how hard I tried I could not turn away from it. During that time satan would bring thoughts like “You won”t change.” Or, “God doesn’t hear your prayers, why bother?” Or, “God doesn’t really care about you.” Well, Jesus Christ is faithful because in His timing He brought me out of that dark pit of sin and restored me. He turned my heart back to Him and removed my unforgiving and lustful ways. He also gave me more joy and peace than I ever had before.

You might feel like you are too far from God to come back, but He is very merciful and willing to forgive you. I can testify that no matter how deep you are in sin, Jesus Christ can pull you out of it and make you into a new person if you are willing to let your sin go. God has the power to draw you out of any evil that you may be entangled in.

Sin Drains Us Of Christ’s Power

The other day I had many ungodly thoughts coming into my mind, but instead of fighting against them I was passive and ignored them. When I went to pray I felt my prayers were very weak. Once I decided to repent and fight against those thoughts, I felt strength return to me in my prayers.

One thing we must remember is anytime we allow sin to fester in our lives, we are weakening spiritually. I’m not saying we will ever be perfect, but we will grow stronger in Christ when we deal with sin and repent right away. If there are certain sins/weaknesses that you continually struggle with, pray daily for strength to overcome in those areas. In moments of temptation you can use scripture to fight it. That is how Jesus did warfare when He was being tempted by satan (Mathew 4:1-11).