You’ve heard it all before: to be healthy and fit, we need to exercise. To sleep well at night, we need to exercise. And lately, since I’ve been lacking sleep and eating more, my mind’s been sounding the exercise alarm.
The thought of exercising has been hounding me lately, so I wasn’t surprised when I was praying yesterday about a message to use for the offering, and God told me to USE EXERCISE!
“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones.” -Luke 16:10 (NLT)
One important thing that God helped me realized this past year is that faith is a way of life; it’s not a one-time thing. One way of looking at it is that faith is a muscle, and just like our body muscles, our faith needs to be exercised.
Yes, I said the E-word again!
Exercising our faith can come in many shapes and forms. One usual way that we’re called to exercise our faith is in giving tithes, but there are many other ways that God calls us to exercise our faith. It could be moving to a new place, leaving a job, giving away some of your belongings, forgiving an enemy, letting go of an addiction, speaking in public, singing on stage, getting married, staying single, learning how to drive, etc…I can go on and on! After all, we find ourselves coming face to face with our fears (big or small) on a regular basis. Whenever we make decisions like these that move us out of our comfort zones, we find ourselves exercising our faith.
Athletes exercise to make their muscles stronger. When their muscles are strong, they can run faster and leap higher. They also have more power. Look at all the weightlifters…those weights they have to lift are mind-blowing! But before they got around to lifting 200+ kg, they had to start small. As their muscles were strengthened, the weights were increased. It was important for them to work on strengthening their muscles to get them prepared for carrying the heavier weights.
God wants us to exercise and strengthen our faith because He wants us to be prepared and ready for the LARGER things that He has planned for us. They could be larger roles, larger responsibilities, or larger blessings. We need to exercise our faith so we can strengthen our faith!
Chances are, you and I may never be able to get the physical exercise that would allow us to lift 200kg, but the Bible tells us that our faith can move mountains! There are no limits to what God can do; however, we tend to put limits on our faith. These are the times when we might find ourselves saying, “I know God is great and all, but that [insert dream, desire, or request here]…it’s impossible. It’s never going to happen.”
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” -Matthew 19:26
I find that my faith is weakened when I forget who God is in my life. On the other hand, my faith is strengthened when I remember that each time I stepped out in faith and obedience, God met me (usually more than halfway!) and ushered me into His wonderful plan every time. But if I did not have those ‘strengthening’ experiences to look back on, I don’t think I’d be as confident and convinced. God uses those strengthening experiences to build my faith muscle, because He knows that I would need greater faith for the greater things that He has in store for me.
Is God calling you to step out in faith today?
Maybe at this moment, you feel that what He’s telling you to do is too difficult, too “BIG” for you. Let me assure you and encourage you…even if it feels like a big step or a big sacrifice, know that our God is loving, generous, and faithful, and believe that what He wants to give you is much better, and much, much BIGGER. We can’t out-give God! So exercise and build your faith today, and get ready for the fullness and LARGENESS of what God has in store for you!
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