It’s time to get spiritually fit, so you can be used by God and fulfill your purpose! Let’s take a trip to the spiritual gym and practice these six steps in this faith-filled training plan.
Do you like watching the Olympic games? Yeah, most of us do. Why? Because these players have the heart of a champion. They are in it to win it! If you’ve ever watched the Olympics, you know what takes place in a matter of minutes took years of difficult and consistent training to achieve.
Most of us couldn’t jump on a pair of skis and whiz down a snow-packed hill, or pick up a fencing sword and step in a ring with only a few days of instruction and practice. No. To be fit for that level of competition—to win the prize—requires a life that invests in victory.
You may not have been called to compete in the Olympics, but you have been called by God for a specific purpose. He has a personalized plan for your life. He loves you and wants you to enjoy all that He has for you. But to be of use to Jesus, you must first get in spiritual shape to fulfill that specific calling and purpose He has for you.
How do you get in spiritual shape so you can fulfill your purpose? You become prepared and equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:17). Just like the Olympians train so they can be fit and prepared for competition, you, too, must prepare for your calling.
First Timothy 4:7-8 says, “…train yourself to be godly. Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” What this verse is telling us is godliness does not come without the intentional act of training. We can’t remain spiritually feeble and weak, or wait until we feel inclined to make a change—we have to pursue it.
To “run with endurance the race God has set before us” (Hebrews 12:1), we need a faith-strengthening, endurance-building, mountain-moving fitness plan. Are you ready to get fit for your calling?
Let’s take a trip to the spiritual gym and put into practice these six steps of our faith-filled training plan.
1.Build Spiritual Muscle
If you’ve ever worked to build natural muscle, you know it takes time. First, you start with light weights, then gradually work your way up to heavier weights. It doesn’t happen overnight—it takes persistence and dedication!
The same is true when we start working to build spiritual muscle. To do this, start by reading a few chapters in the Bible each day, pray in the spirit for 15 minutes and listen to Word-based teaching on your drive to work. Then, over time, build your “muscle” by extending your time spent in each of these areas.
You may not notice a change at first, but the next time a challenging situation comes your way, you may be surprised at how powerfully your faith responds.
2.Use Proper Technique
One thing Olympians work to perfect in their particular sport is proper technique. They know it can be the difference between gold and silver, or no medal at all.
The same is true in our spiritual race. 1 Corinthians 9:24-25, “So run to win!” Winning the race is dependent upon the way you run it. It’s not just a matter of being in the race.
Paul gives us a hint about the proper way to fight the good fight of faith in 1 Corinthians 9:26 when he said, “Therefore I do not run uncertainly (without definite aim). I do not box like one beating the air…” (AMPC).
What’s the problem with beating the air? You never make contact. Without contact, there is no impact. Our fight of faith should make an impact in this world, but it takes technique. Otherwise, we’re wasting our time.
So, how can you perfect your technique?
Practice, practice, practice. When you practice the basics of faith over and over again, you will begin to master a good faith technique, and it will become more and more powerful in your life. Begin small, say by believing to shorten the length of a cold or for money to pay a $25 bill. Then, it will grow into faith that overcomes disease, walks in divine health and pays off a million-dollar bill.
Don’t beat the air. Determine to make contact with your faith.
3.Determine to Go Pro
Professional sports and the Olympic games garner a large audience. Why? Because people resonate with the desire for victory. The heart of a champion is one that God put within each one of us. We watch these athletes perform at a level most of us wouldn’t even attempt. They’ve mastered the basics—they’re set apart.
Did you know you are set apart by God for the same kind of awe-inspiring victory?
You are called to go pro with your faith—to be at a level that most never achieve. But no athlete becomes a pro without training, and you can’t become great by doing whatever you feel like doing. To master the fight of faith, you have to make a decision that, spiritually speaking, you’re done being weak. You are done letting sickness walk all over you. You’re done being defeated, done living in depression and done with lack.
Abraham was a pro-faith fighter. He was heir to the world, because he had mastered the basics of faith (Romans 4:13-20, NKJV). How did he do it? He learned to believe God, live by faith and never waver at God’s promises—even when they seemed impossible in the natural.
Make a decision today. Become a master of the basics of faith—go pro in your life and in the fight of faith. Make victory non-negotiable in your life.
4.Maintain Your Focus
Have you ever tried driving forward while looking in the rearview mirror? Of course not! It puts you in danger and keeps you from navigating the road ahead. What you focus on determines the outcome of your journey.
Paul tells us the same is true in our spiritual lives. In Philippians 3:13 he says, “I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead….” God wants us focused on His plans and purposes for our lives—which is our future and hope.
But the devil is determined to use our yesterday to keep us from spiritual advancement today. He relentlessly reminds us of past mistakes, hurts and disappointments. We must purpose to “throw off everything that hinders…and run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1, NIV).
How can we avoid looking behind us? Hebrews 12:2 says, “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.”
5.Follow the Master Instructor
So, where should your focus be? On the Word of God.
Abraham was a master of this important faith skill. When God told Abraham and Sarah they would have a baby in their old age, he didn’t deny the natural impossibility, but the Bible says, “He didn’t consider it.” The word consider means “to look intently at, to focus on.” Abraham knew he and Sarah were too old to conceive, but he chose not to focus on that. He chose to focus on and magnify what God said, contrary to natural evidence.
Whatever you talk about and think about most is what you magnify. So you have to make a decision—what are you going to magnify?
When trouble comes in your finances you don’t have to ignore the need or pretend it doesn’t exist, but don’t magnify it. Instead, magnify Jesus and what He says about the situation. You can call it like you see it, or call it like He sees it. One is living by faith and the other by sight.
Are you prepared for every good work yet? No? Well, don’t quit!
To be fit for God’s calling on your life, you must have relentless determination. The kind of perseverance that doesn’t quit, doesn’t lay down and never gives up. It pushes past the fear of change, the fear of not pleasing God and the fear of sacrifice. It allows the pain and discomfort of growth to build strong faith and indomitable spiritual muscle.
This is the life that God can use. This is the life you are called to pursue. In doing so, you will find an overcoming victory that will move any mountain, conquer any fear and thrust you into a new level of service in God’s kingdom.
Paul had this determination when he said, “That is why we never give up” (2 Corinthians 4:16). He knew faith is a way of life.
If you’ve disengaged from the fight of faith, given up or become weary after some difficult battles—be encouraged—and get back in the ring. Plug back into the Word and reengage in the fight of faith. Spiritually train to be fit for your calling, and you will eventually walk in everything God has planned for you. Don’t settle for less!
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