I have a love hate relationship with my workout DVD. It’s appropriately named the 30 Day Shred.
I love it because it’s just 20 minutes a day, I hate it because…well I don’t love exercise, not at all! The workout is circuit training, so you indulge in torturing yourself with a well-rounded mix of ab exercises, cardio and weights.
Every time I use it, I think I am going to preach a message using quotes from this DVD. So here it goes…
First, I have to say the reason I dislike exercise, is because it opposes my flesh. My flesh is happy to eat whatever it wants and never do a push up! My health, on the other hand is not!
The whole time I’m working out, my flesh is thinking of reasons why I should stop and never start again! This is where my will comes in. I have to will myself to exercise. Why bother? Because it’s good for me!
This analogy is very similar to our relationship with God. It would be so easy to just love God, accept Him as savior, live however we want and when life is over, see Him in heaven. Well sorry, that’s not the Bible’s interpretation of relationship with Christ or of salvation.
One statement my personal DVD trainer makes is, “You have to push—you do not get results for free!” Basically salvation is free, but costs you everything—kind of like exercise.
The one quote that continually rings in my ears is this, “There are no modifications for a jumping jack” In my world, I can and I do think of many modifications for jumping jacks—there’s the stand in one place and just move your feet…first your right, then your left and so on. Then there’s the one that keeps my cardio going, where I move side to side, one foot behind the other, but never jump off the ground as with a real jumping jack.
Believe me—I can come up with modifications! But isn’t that the way it is with our flesh? Always trying to modify Christianity, or doing what’s right? We need to remind ourselves—there are no modifications!
Next this beautiful, slender women on my DVD says, “So often people think they’re not strong enough, you’re told to just take the stairs, this gives you a false sense of lethargy—you can change!”
Isn’t this true in life as well? Following God wholeheartedly seems too hard, so we make excuses for half-heartedness—this absolutely gives us a false sense of lethargy! We can change, we can make heart, soul and lifestyle changes. By the power of God’s grace—we can follow God wholeheartedly!
The last motivational phrase is about quitting. She says, “I know you want to quit, you feel that knot in the middle of your stomach, that’s fear leaving your body!”
One very real opposition to living sold out for Christ—is fear.
Fear of change, fear of failure—of success—fear of pain.
Following is a quote from my book Thirsty Heart. It’s taken from the chapter, Sexual Healing for the Heart and Soul. In context, I’m talking about how sexual healing frees you to know and love God wholeheartedly. The following is a list of reasons given for not getting free, it was compiled after talking to a person steeped in fear of freedom.
Study the list below. Fear is the common thread. Fear immobilizes and disarms us, paralyzing our faith.
- Fear of the unknown: I know how to live like this and I am afraid to live differently.
- Fear of facing who I really am.
- Fear of facing the root cause.
- Fear of rejection and not being accepted; once people know who I really am they will reject me.
- Fear of pain.
- Fear of pain for others: I’ve caused enough pain to those I love already.
- Fear of the process to get free: Getting free is too time consuming and embarrassing.
- Fear of the cost to get free: What will be lost in the process?
- Fear of truth—Denial: If I ignore it, it will go away.
I love what 2 Timothy 1:7 says,
God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
For a lot of people, change would mean—freedom. Healthy change that draws us near to God is priceless. Sometimes we just have to take a leap of faith, trusting and knowing that God loves us and He will help us!
The last phrase I want to leave you with is “Time and pressure.”
A planted seed breaks forth into a root bearing plant with time, pressure and the right environment. A piece of coal turns into a diamond with time and pressure.
Sometimes the pressure of life and its circumstances are the best environment for change—could it be that your time to change has come?
Please be encouraged to stand strong, with no modifications to your Christianity.