While working out, I started thinking about how faith is like a muscle. Seems like a corny illustration, I know, but it’s a very accurate one!
When you first get into fitness, your muscles are in a state of shock. They quickly begin adapting and the results you start seeing are amazing and motivating! You feel happier from the endorphins, you feel strong physically, and you become more confident in both your body and your abilities. You can do more than you anticipated and you feel unstoppable. You crave more. Fast forward a little and here comes the inevitable brick wall. You are still strong, but the results you once felt ecstatic about are now the “norm” for you.
In this phase, many people get discouraged. They think that they are stuck where they’re at and they begin to lose sight of the big picture. They look down (to where they’re at) instead of ahead. Consistency is key; however, when the going gets easy — you must challenge yourself. When your weight that once felt heavy now feels light…you increase it! Same with our faith. When you get stuck in one spot spiritually — even if it isn’t a bad place — you have to challenge yourself. God is constantly providing us opportunity after opportunity to step outside of our comfort zone and if we accept this — we will grow stronger. What used to seem difficult we will do with ease. Our drive and passion will increase and we will be a consuming fire — shining a light (God’s light) in a dark, dark world.
The enemy wants you to be content with where you are. I am a strong believer that he wants to keep most Christian’s content with their life. Just floating along, not causing trouble for him. Now those of us that aren’t content with living a comfortable life — we are the ones he actively seeks to “steal, kill and destroy” as John 10:10 says. We all have weaknesses and unfortunately we all succumb to them at one point or another. This is where many throw in the towel and give up.
Another fitness term is called “muscle memory.” This is described as follows: Muscle memory has been used synonymously with motor learning, which is a form of procedural memory that involves consolidating a specific motor task into memory through repetition. When a movement is repeated over time, a long-term muscle memory is created for that task, eventually allowing it to be performed without conscious effort.
When you study the Word and immerse your life with prayer and actually living out your faith — it becomes so natural. The way you approach problems and treat others changes naturally. Even your thought process is more positive and efficient. Practicing your faith day in and day out is crucial — especially in the good times. When you prepare during the good times, your faith will provide that “muscle memory” aspect and you will realize the difficult times are much easier because you have a built up abundance of God’s peace and wisdom in your heart at your disposal. Your endurance in trials will be amazing! You’ll be like Usain Bolt, smiling and hardly panting as he crushes the competition and strolls to the finish line with ease!
So be consistent with your workouts…and be consistent with your faith. Be consistent with being passionate about the purpose God has for your life. Consistency in passion means accepting challenges and — while staying grateful for how far you have come — never settling for being comfortable with where you’re at.
By Emily Meadows