In our world of modern advances, technology and creativity, we have developed an attitude of “Why wait?” Because really…who likes to wait? I certainly don’t!
Where ever we look, we can see how society…people like you and me… have created a culture and environment of convenience to prevent us from having to wait…for just about anything!
Why wait to watch your TV show with commercials…when you can push your DVR?
Why wait in the long register line at the grocery store… when you can check out quicker on your own?
Why wait at a restaurant to eat…when you can make a reservation ahead of time?
Why wait to cook your family dinner (especially when your kids are screaming at the top of their lungs that they are hungry!)…when you can swing by the drive thru on your way home?
And don’t get me started with our “why wait” style of communication with our I-phones, I-pads, I- this and I-that!
But there is one area that comes to mind that modern technology and advances continue to try and help us in with our “why wait” attitude…and that is with our desire to get into better physical shape…whether that is losing weight or developing stronger muscles or just being healthier. Even though there have been weight-loss pills and other products created to help meet our physical goals, it still comes down to our diets, exercise, and flat out discipline that truly bring about the results that we desire.
I still can’t figure out why God created us in such a way that we can exercise for months… control our food intake…exert a lot of energy, sweat, and tears just to get into the physical shape we desire…and then? We stop our training for just a few weeks and we fall right back out of shape! Certainly a question I will be asking God in heaven one day!
However, this is a perfect example for us to experience the concept of having to wait in order to see the end result of whatever we are waiting for.
Waiting to reach our physical goals especially when we have been disciplined…sweating for weeks and working hard with our diet and exercise…sometimes months…can be challenging.
And so it can be challenging as well when God is asking us to wait…for whatever that may be.
Is God asking you to wait today?
What about when God is asking you to wait…and you aren’t even sure when your wait will end?
Why would our all-powerful God have us wait when He is so sovereign and almighty and can make things happen in an instant?
Because when God is asking you to wait…it isn’t just about what you are hoping for at the end of the wait, but about what you will become…in the wait.
Whatever you are waiting for today…it is in the wait that you will develop your spiritual muscles of faith…it is in the wait that you will be rescued from yourself and will give God control… is in the wait that you will be molded, shaped, and transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ… it is in the wait that you will grow stronger in your faith.
Waiting develops your spiritual muscles….waiting develops your faith.
Just as your physical muscles must be exercised, stretched, and fed in order to grow…so too your spiritual muscles must be exercised, stretched, and fed in order to grow in your faith….and this happens while you are in the wait.
Exercising Your Spiritual Muscles
Exercising your physical muscles will strengthen and grow your muscles just as exercising your spiritual muscles will strengthen and grow your faith.
Spending time reading God’s word, praying, and even fasting are just a few ways we can exercise our spiritual muscles.
My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Proverbs 4:20-22 NIV
Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105 NLT
Stretching Your Spiritual Muscles
Just as stretching plays a critical role in building your physical muscles by allowing them to expand the connective tissue that surrounds your muscles, stretching your spiritual muscles helps you grow in your faith and go beyond what you would try to do in your own power and strength.
Our faith will be tested and we will experience this stretching when we demonstrate, for example, patience, when we really want to take control…forgiveness, when we really don’t want to forgive…and self-control, when we really want to say something we shouldn’t.
Stretching our spiritual muscles will develop our character, develop perseverance, and strengthen our faith.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1:2-3 NIV
Feeding Your Spiritual Muscles
Just as your physical muscles need to be nourished with food in order to grow so too your spiritual muscles need to be nourished with “spiritual food”…God’s word.
We need to feed ourselves “spiritual food”…God’s word… in order for our faith to grow. The more we feed on God’s word…the more we will understand our God and believe His promises for us…the more we will depend on and trust in Him…thus causing our faith to grow.
A great place in the bible that will surely grow your faith is feeding on Hebrews 11 which has been coined “The Hall of Faith”. I love this chapter because when we read about the faith of others in the bible and what God has done for them, we will be encouraged and our faith will consequently grow!
When your words came, I ate them, they were my joy and my heart’s delight… Jeremiah 15:16 NIV
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17 AKJV
These are the tools God uses to shape our spiritual muscles of faith. God is not just interested in the end result of what you are waiting for but what you will become…in the wait.
Waiting is by no means easy…but God isn’t about easy. He is about building our faith. Our faith can grow or weaken…in the wait. Which one are you going to choose?
1) Is God asking you to wait today?
2) What are you doing …in the wait?
3) Is you faith growing stronger or getting weaker…in the wait?d
4) What can you do to build your faith…in the wait?
Exercise, Stretch, and Feed your spiritual muscles…in the wait! Review the points above on how to do this practically so that your faith will grow and be strengthened…in the wait.