Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Exercise Program

“Believer . . .banish your fears; cast out all doubts; lift up the happy head; clap the exulting hands; rejoice; give thanks. Your heavenly Father cannot set you in wrong place. Your loving Savior cannot lead you in wrong paths. All is well.” by Henry Law

Looking at and pulling out the action words in this quote made me think of an exercise program. Banish, cast, lift, clap, rejoice, and last but not least give. You can almost hear the instructor at the head of the class, “Ok everyone on the count of three…ONE… TWO…THREE…banish, cast, lift, clap, REJOICE, GIVE!

Too often we assume we can sit around on our spiritual fanny and do nothing. We act as if we have discovered the fountain of youth in our thought process that believing is the cure all for all therefore the end of our exercise program. It reminds me of the cartoon I drew once that said, “Every time I think about exercise I lay down till the thought goes away.”

We act that way with our Christian walk and we find ourselves not “laying down” but standing paralyzed on the first stepping stone labeled “believe.” A stepping stone to the ultimate cure but it’s only the beginning. As Moses told the Israelites in their exodus adventure, “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.” (Ex 14:14 NIV). It was a great place to start for this large group of people but it was only the beginning. Next it was the Lord who did the speaking when He said, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward.”

Facing a big sea in front of them the option of “being still” had to of sounded much better. However, they had to work quickly to banish any fears they may have had. It was time to move forward in true faith and banish any fears from traveling with them. To allow their fears to paralyze them where they were was not an option. It wasn’t an option for them and it’s still not an option for us today. Moving forward in Christ is our ultimate goal.

The next step in accomplishing that goal is to cast out all our doubts. The human race can be pathetic sometimes, we complain about things with “strings attached” yet we constantly are tying strings to the things we are told to “cast” out. We find it difficult to let go of our anxieties, our fears, and our doubts as if they were some sort of security blanket. We use them as an excuse to stay where we are and not move forward in spiritual maturity and faith. Instead of seeing it as not trusting in the Lord we pride ourselves into thinking we are simply being cautious.

As tough as the exercise program may be at first if we stick with it long enough we find the results we are after. Things such as a happy head to lift high, clapping hands, a rejoicing heart that is forever giving thanks and so much more. Indeed labor and hard work paid off because we were willing to take that first step with Jesus and believe.

Frequently we find believing in Jesus is the easy part. It’s when it comes to the climax of the quote that we find ourselves standing back a stepping stone or two. Back on the one we were supposed to overcome as we cast out ALL our doubts. When we think about the fact that God cannot set us in wrong places or lead us in wrong paths we tie a big string to it to flag the world that we are different. “This may be true for other people but evidently not with me, my situation is unique,” is the claim we like to stake in our heart.

The stake we need to drive in our heart is one of trust and the willingness to gain knowledge in whatever it is God wants us to learn in the situations we find ourselves in. A good place to start is by shedding those extra pounds of doubts and fears we tend to add to a heavy heart as we make the commitment to exercise daily in our faith.

The pain of our efforts and the consistency of our faith will eventually pay off. It’s not up to us to question, “What in the world was Jesus thinking!” Our job is to flex our spiritual muscle of trust only to tighten an already firm grip on the hand of God.

God’s not going to lead us into some brick wall somewhere. The Instructor at the head of the class hasn’t given up. “Okay everyone on the count of three.. Faith….Hope….Trust!” There’s no better time than now to move forward with Christ. All is well!!!


Jennifer said...

The exercise analogy is great! I've been so convicted lately about the "intentionality" of those actions...we must choose and then act. So often we tend to be so passive in our faith. Thanks so much for participating today!

MiPa said...

Some great exercises for us to do. Bless you for sharing today!

Debbie said...

I loved your take on this quote Karen. Using exercise to illustrate was very helpful. You always seem to write so well and I enjoy looking forward to what you write each Tuesday.


Denise Hughes said...

The metaphor of exercising our faith is excellent. Yes, we must resist the tendency towards a passive faith and choose to actively pursue Him. Thanks for adding such thoughtful words to today's quote.

Anonymous said...

Ewwww . . . exercise . . . okay . . . .I got past that and THANK YOU for this great post and sharing today! :)