Whenever I am getting ready to have another Beauty Treatment Retreat, I re read my own book Beauty Treatments. I love to be reminded of the beauty that God has created in me. However, because I know that the Lord is not done with me, it seems I need these beauty treatments over and over again. I hope to encourage you with parts of my book that encourages me to keeping building on my own faith.
One of the beauty treatments that I struggle to apply the most is the beauty treatment of stretching. The same way you build your physical muscles is basically the same concept of building your spiritual muscles. Building your muscles requires repetition and persistence. The bigger your muscles are, the more weight you are able to lift. In the same way, the more you build your spiritual muscles the more weight that you are able to bare. If the burdens of life are getting bigger and you don’t seem to be able to bear much more that is coming your way, then it is time to start building your spiritual muscles. When you do not build up your spiritual muscles, you have what I call flabby faith.
Those of us who suffer from flabby faith are those who are not making our spiritual fitness a priority. Our spiritual fitness is just as important to the health of our whole being as physical fitness.
First, starting off with our daily bread is essential to having a healthy spiritual body.
Secondly, building up our spiritual muscles by praying in the Holy Spirit in faith will make you strong in the mighty power of the Lord. Jude 1:20
Thirdly, the spiritual muscles need to be stretched out to bear with the failings of the weak, and instead of just building ourselves up we are to build up our brothers and sisters for their spiritual good as well (Romans 15:1-2). We help build their spiritual muscles by cheering them on and encouraging them that they can do all things through Christ Who strengthens them.
As we build others up with the Word of His grace, we are not only being made stronger, but we are also becoming a healthier vessel for God to use in His works of service to build up His Church (1 Corinthians 14:12).
The beauty treatment of stretching is to reach to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
We are going to start with our spiritual diet. When an athlete is training or exercising and building muscles, they eat lots of protein, and meat is usually the preferred source. You know where I am going, don’t you? That is right, in order to build up our spiritual muscles we need to eat the meat of God’s Word. The Bible says that we need to leave the milk, or the elementary truths, at the foundation and build on that foundation with meat. We do that by chewing on the tasty Words of God, and slowly digesting so that it goes down deep. Milk is swallowed up quickly, which leaves no time for reflection of the taste. Milk is good for the baby Christian, but once we have our foundation, it is time to grow and build on our faith in Christ. Milk is full of fat. The fat becomes the security most of us fall back on, because it sure is easy to get fat on God’s Word, but it is not as easy to build the spiritual muscles that produce a strong foundation. When God told Moses to tell the people that every day they should go out and collect their daily bread, there was always enough. Anything that was left over turned into maggots. It’s not about how much we take in of God’s Word, it is how much of it builds our faith and stretches us to trust beyond our own understanding. That is why we are told not to lean on our own understanding; our understanding will only produce weak theology. I think that if we are spiritual beings, then feed us something spiritual. The meat at this banquet is for the royal officials. This meat is not for those who desire only milk.
And working out is not easy. In fact, when we workout we tear our muscle fibers. Have you had just about all you can take? Do you feel like you are going to crumble? Ultimately, it is God Who formed you. You may have more control in how you build the physical body, but the cool thing about our spiritual body is that God is the One Who forms and shapes and builds you into the beautiful fullness of Him. He is the Potter and we are the clay. He is in total control and He allows everything that comes at us to build us and prepare us for His coming. Whether you have lost loved ones; been without a job or income; raising your royal children as a single parent; dealing with rebellious teenagers; living in darkness, shame, guilt and depression; holding on to the past; fearing the future; and just about any affliction that tears at your heart strings: it is all used to make you a more beautiful Bride of Christ. So let Him stretch you to that capacity and you will only benefit from the results.
God wants to be the Church’s Personal Trainer, preparing each of His children for a Heavenly race of Olympic proportions.
Linking up with Abby McDonald and the #raralinkup to encourage others and be encouraged.