Chin Over the Bar
You might say I’m a glutton for punishment. ...
I’ve learned so many spiritual lessons from working out it’s crazy. Two years ago when I started out on my fitness venture all I knew is that I wanted to lose weight. Praise God! Not only have I lost over 100 lbs but I’ve also built muscle, leaned out, built the body I want and I’m much happier. However, my flesh is weak! Let me tell you what I mean by this. Two days ago I squatted 225 pounds. Thats right, two forty-five pound plates on each side! I can’t lie, the first attempt down and up almost took me out! I literally just about fell to the floor face first! I had to grab a bar that was positioned just right for me to pull myself up and the additional 225 pounds up with me.
Immediately, my body, my flesh told me to stop! I was feeling weak and embarrassed wondering who in that gym saw me make a total and complete fool of myself. My legs wanted to give up and move on to the next leg workout or even leave altogether. I would have been totally justified for leaving. Then, every muscle in my back said, “Surely there is an easier way!” My hamstrings and quads were screaming, “Let’s do something that doesn’t require fight and focus; something we can breeze through and still be able to walk tomorrow morning!” My hip muscles joined in with an emphatic shout, “TWO BABIES! Don’t you remember you’ve had two babies?!”
To exercise, I mean to really workout, takes extreme focus. That’s why you usually see all the buff people with headphones in their ears. Me personally, I have to get in a zone. I have headphones, usually playing some sort of uplifting music, and then I have to tune everyone and everything else out. It’s almost as if I’m the only person in the gym. I set my eyes on something, it can be anything from a point on the wall to my own reflection, and then I lift!
I truly believe my flesh (my body), can do anything, but naturally wants to give in or give up! Whether it’s give in to some sin or give up in the midst of some trial! It’s weak! It needs someone or something to govern it! I want to suggest that most people who are inconsistent with working out, or those who start and go for about three weeks then give up (I’ve been both of these types of people), give into their flesh. They have yet to discover the power of the will. I forgot to mention that after almost falling on my face with that 225 pounds on my back, I focused my will, my mind, my inner strength, then told my body “I would not give up” and I pushed through five squats after that.
This spiritual journey takes intense focus! It takes being in “the zone.” It takes having your eyes set on Jesus tuning everyone and everything else out. It takes mastering the flesh. Allowing the Spirit of the living God to govern it. If not, you and I will fall flat on our faces and give up or (at best) have an inconsistent spiritual life. But if the power of the Spirit of God is speaking to your flesh every moment of everyday you are going to produce abundant fruit! Deeds of the flesh will be mortified. The flesh won’t be left to its own devices. Overcoming sin will be common-place! We will be growing so much that even your flesh becomes strong and buff to the extent that doing the will of God becomes a natural instinct. I literally go to the gym at least four times a week and that’s a bad week! But now it’s just who I am and what I do!