Exercising our Spiritual Muscles
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My message is titled “Exercising our Spiritual Muscles”. To walk in victory over oppression, bondages, sin, and bad habits, we must exercise our spiritual muscles on a regular basis.
I am going to show the correlation between physical exercise and spiritual exercise.
Hindrances to Deliverance
For the past 3 weeks I have been working out at the gym. Can you tell the difference? Don’t I look more muscular and buff? No? You mean in 3 weeks of working out my body is not drastically changed? Of course not! We all know it takes more than 3 weeks for there to be a physical change. We also know it takes more than working out more than once a week.
So tell me something? Why do we think that we can have amazing spiritual growth by going to church once a week and not do anything else spiritually during the week? We may go to some special revival meeting a couple weeks and we think we ‘have arrived’.
Why do I exercise my spiritual muscles?
So I can be like Pastor Bob? I will never be Pastor Bob. But I can be Rich
Dover who is becoming a godly man reflecting the character of Jesus Christ.
Let’s make sure we have pure motives when we exercise. James 4:6 says
Price of Exercise
So, what to do I do in the morning? I say “Body, you will do what I say. We are going to go to the gym whether you like it or not.” “Yes, it may be hard to get started, but I will do it anyways.” There are times that I must miss a morning work out, so I go in the evening. Sometimes all I have time for is 15 minutes of stretching at home. The key is I get my exercise every day. Are each of us getting our spiritual exercise each day not matter what?
Once I am at the gym, the first thing I do is stretch for a minute and then I jump on the treadmill. I make sure I walk/run for 1 mile. My goal was to start out at walking a 16 minute mile with the goal at some point to be consistently running a 12-minute mile. Currently I am at a 13-14 minute mile. How did I increase my speed? I pushed my body to do more. I have been willing to feel some pain. The pain is not bad pain. It is the pain of making my body do what it has not done for some time. I did not run from the pain. As a matter of fact I have learned to embrace the pain. In order to grow spiritually we need to be willing to embrace the pain of dying to the flesh. As long as we allow the flesh and emotions to control us, we will not grow spiritually. Do you want to a 12-minute mile (in other words be a man or woman of God)? Then it takes starting your day with prayer and reading the Word. It is ok to start out slow, but be willing, actually be more than willing, do more each day. I don’t know about you, but I need to do much more than I do.
Lies of the Enemy
We need to renew our minds so that we believe what the Bible says about us and walk in victory. The Bible says, “No weapon formed against me will prosper” and “I can do all things through Christ Jesus.”
Romans 8:37-39 (KJV)
2 Cor. 5:14-15 (NASB)
There is nothing stopping you from being a man or woman of God and being an ambassador for God.
Exercise is Hard Work
The same concept happens with non-Christians. They don’t want to be accountable to God. So what they do is find problems with Christians. They focus on the weirdo Christians instead of the balanced Christians. They find reasons why the Bible must not be true, so they can continue in their sin. Listen, if you are a non-Christian sitting in this service, there is a day you are going to be accountable to God. You can do that tonight, or you can do it on the day of judgment. You can be set free tonight from your sin or you can continue to walk in sin and experience the destructive power of rebelling against an Almighty God. Listen, God is on your side, but you must get on his side by confessing your sin and asking Jesus to be the Lord of your life.
Remember, James says Faith without works is dead.
Here is another distraction that can
happen at the gym. This distraction happened while I was working on this
sermon. I went to the gym meditating on my sermon and I suddenly realized
that there were more women than ever before at the gym. And many of them
were good looking. Do you know how most dress when they are at the gym? So
what am I going to do? Lust after them while exercising? Stop exercising and
leave? Listen to me closely. Whenever you are making efforts to do what is
best for your spiritual life, the devil is going to try to find a way to
make you stumble. Sometimes the answer is you are not be where you at. You
must flee. If I found myself lusting after the women, I would have quit
exercising and run home to my beautiful wife. But you know what? I can
exercise and not lust. You can be around evil and not sin. It time for
Christians to stop using excuses for sinning. It is also time for Christians
to start walking in wisdom and not willfully put themselves in compromising
situations. It is time to walk in holiness.
There are so many other comparisons I have regarding exercising physically and exercising spiritually. The main point I want to make is you have a choice if you are going to exercise your spiritual muscles-if you are going to grow spiritually. It is time for Christians to stop being fat, lazy, wacky, and walking in bondage for years and years. It is time to take drastic steps to grow up. Time is short and we have a work to do.
As I finish my message, I have a question for you. Is there something you are in bondage to? Are you struggling with a sin that so easily entangles you? Are you tired of it? Are you sick and tired of it? Are you willing to do whatever it takes to be delivered? Listen to me. Are you willing to do whatever it takes to be delivered from it? I will say it one more time. Are you willing to do whatever it takes to be delivered from it? How about doing whatever it takes to stay delivered? Do you believe God can deliver you? Do you want to be delivered tonight and are you willing to start exercising your spiritual muscles?
Everyone stand up please.
If there is anyone here who is not a Christian-you have not confessed with your mouth and believed in your heart that Jesus is Lord, tonight is a great night to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Listen to me. Being a good person is not good enough. One sin not covered by the blood of Jesus will send you to hell. Christianity is not about good works. It is about receiving Jesus as your Lord & Savior and then doing good works. Someone here may feel they are too evil, too dirty, too sinful to receive the forgiveness of God. Listen, Jesus died on the cross for your sins. You can be forgiven and it is not too late to start over.
Tonight every chain can be broken because the chains were actually broken a long time ago. It is time to receive what God has already accomplished for you. Is there anyone that is willing to be bold enough to walk to this cross right now to lay your burdens down? I don’t care how many times you may have down it in the past. Today is a New Beginning. It is a night to be set free. To receive the miracle of living a victorious life. If you will come to this altar, confess your sins, and cry out-listen to me CRY OUT for deliverance, you will be set free tonight. And then you will walk out of this building and exercise your spiritual muscles by spending time in prayer, reading the Bible, getting fellowship with other Christians, receive godly correction, being accountable to a cell pastor, not letting pride get in the way of your ongoing deliverance, and truly allowing Jesus to be the Lord of your life.
Do you have fear, a spirit of slumber,
feel rejected, depression, mental illness, addiction, bondage to a bad
habit, unforgiveness, I don’t care what it is come up and be set free. Drop
those burdens and chains off here at the cross. And do not leave the cross
until you are totally set free. Let’s pray.
In His Steps
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In His Steps Ministries All rights reserved.