Not long ago I read a book called Fitness After 40. It was an intriguing book that helped me to understand pretty much everything that has gone wrong with my body over the past couple decades!
The list of changes was quite lengthy, but one of them had to do with the way we tend to become less and less flexible in our muscles and joints as we grow older. Every athletic coach I’ve had over the years has always told me how important it is to stretch, but this book seemed to flip a light on in my mind as I began to understand just how important stretching is for our bodies… over time.
In a similar way, we must also remember to stretch SPIRITUALLY as we grow in the Lord over time. And when we stretch spiritually, it always has to do with our faith. God wants us to stretch in our faith.
Paul lays out an amazing list of Bible personalities in Hebrews 11 who demonstrated their faith in powerful ways. This passage has come to be known as the “Faith Hall of Fame,” and we can find many examples of how to live by faith.
Hebrews 11:6 says,
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Faith is absolutely central to the Christian experience. We enter into a relationship with God through faith (Romans 10:9-10), and Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God. Faith is a big deal!
And faith is powerful! Jesus said that if we will have faith as a grain of mustard seed, we can pray and see mountains cast into the ocean. I wonder how small my faith must look in that type of comparison!
As you read this, I’d like to suggest to you that it is likely that God wants to stretch your faith. And just like physical stretching, spiritual stretching is not easy. Stretching requires us to push beyond our normal level of comfort.
I’ve seen some pretty amazing feats when watching MMA fighters on TV. It’s stunning to see how a fighter can effortlessly swing his foot over the head of his opponent with no thought at all. But one thing I know about that fighter is that he took many, many years to stretch those muscles so that he could get to that level. And the stretching in his gym was always designed to push him beyond what felt comfortable.
And so it is with our faith. God wants to stretch you beyond your normal comfort zone. And that is where you will begin to see growth and progress like never before.
An Important Point:
It is likely that God wants to stretch your faith today.
Consider the following when it comes to the ways God may want to stretch you:
- God may want you to DO something.
- God may want you to STOP DOING something.
- God may want you to GIVE something.
- God may want you to SAY something.
- God may want you to STOP SAYING something.
- God may want you to SELL something.
- God may want you to BUY something. (presumably for a person or ministry in need)
- God may want you to START something.
- God may want you to END something.
- God may want you to LOVE someone.
The chances are great that God likely wants to stretch you today!
When it comes to your spiritual fitness, don’t forget to stretch!
Heavenly Father, I want to serve You. Lay on my heart how You want me to serve You. I will go where You want me to go. Stay where You want me to stay, and speak what You tell me to say. Lord, give me confirmation and then courage. Things may seem unlikely or impossible, but I know all things are possible with You. Lead me by Your Holy Spirit. I will follow. In Jesus’ name. Amen.