Philippians 2:12 "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."
After I had my second baby, I decided to start working out. I couldn't afford a gym, so I had to look into at home options that were effective. There were some changes I wanted to make and there were goals I had for myself ... and I wanted to find a good program to make that happen. I did a lot of reviews and research and found that the 30 Day Shred by Jillian Michels was a really good work out and that a lot of people saw great results with it. However, those reviews were also met with the comment that it was difficult and challenging. Many people shared their experience of being out of breath, soreness the day after, and the desire to quit right in the middle of the shred itself.
I promise this isn't a plug for working out, as I haven't been on a legit run since before I got pregnant with my third baby. (Exercise these days is chasing my three kids!!) Hang in there with me.
So, imagine how I felt when me, the girl who really did not like PE class and hated running, decided to do a workout program that was notorious for being challenging? Yeah. I was not that excited. I didn't know what to expect. A part of me wondered if I should just stay where it was comfortable, where I could still burn calories, but minimal effort was required.
And, to switch to a spiritual gear, how many times do we do that in our spiritual lives? We know God wants more out of us, more effort, but we would rather stay where it's comfortable. Your heart, which may not be spiritually fit, has to see some ugly things and get uncomfortable to experience change. When I got saved, do you think I was comfortable? I was broken to admit that my whole life had been a lie and my good works apart from God meant nothing. It hurt, but when I accepted Christ, He changed me. Following salvation, we should still be experiencing conviction and the challenge to grow in Christ, to put off the old man and the old ways. Although the end will result in changes that will bless you, it's not always the fun way to go. It's not always easy. It's not always desirable to realize things about yourself and make decisions to move forward. In fact, it could be the hardest thing you have ever done. But, it's worth it. The end result is worth it if it means you are closer to the Lord and stronger through Him.
The hard stuff is why we don't go to the gym and push ourselves physically, right? I mean, it's easier to walk than run. We don't want that stitch in our side or those cramps in our legs. We dread it once we have experienced it once, especially if we have a bad attitude about it. However, just like we have a goal to get stronger and more fit at the gym ... we ought to have the same goal as a Christian. We ought to desire to be a stronger Christian, to be closer to the Lord than ever before. We ought to "work out our salvation" (the outward working of what has happened on the inside after salvation takes place) and press on. The anticipation of what could come shouldn't stop us from serving and going forward.
All of these thoughts just kinda flooded my brain yesterday as I was praying about some anxiety I was having and the Lord reminded me of this verse. I have been in a very weird place spiritually and I desire to no longer be there anymore. However, I have been nervous about what that requires. I have been in a lukewarm, comfortable, complacent spot where I just kind of felt numb to everything around me. That's a scary place to be and I am glad God is slowly breaking through the walls I have had up and is showing these things to me.