Having been very active in sports during High School, and throughout my life, I have a deep and intimate understanding of the title for today’s Drash.
It’s not wise to hurt yourself, but when you push your muscles to their limit, you will feel it over the next couple of days. It is a “good” hurt because, although having sore muscles does hurt, it represents that you have done a good job, you pushed yourself to the limits of your ability, and (so far as physical exercise is concerned) that means you will gain more muscle and endurance.
Real muscle grows when you destroy it. When you feel that “burn” and your muscle is “pumped”, the excess blood flow that causes that feeling is going there in order to help the destroyed tissue. The destroyed tissue isn’t just replaced; the body builds more tissue than there was originally. That is how body-builders get those large muscles (even without the ‘roids’). The constant destroying of muscle and careful rebuilding through proper diet and rest results in larger and stronger muscles, with greater endurance.
Faith is a spiritual muscle that we need to work with, every day. And, just like biceps, pecs and abs, we need to push it to it’s limits; indeed, we need to destroy it so that we can rebuild it to be stronger and more enduring. The way we exercise our faith is to live in a way that pushes us to do more than we want to do. In other words, we need to force ourselves to get outside our spiritual comfort zone.
Get more involved in activities at the place where you worship, witness to friends and family, even strangers, more often. Risk their disapproval. Go on mission trips, help the homeless and needy, volunteer, just get off your butts and do something that takes faith. Pray more often (see my section on Prayer for some ideas about that), read the Bible more often, trust more often (oh, that is a hard one). And here’s the really difficult one: forgive more often, and more completely.
Exercise your faith by using it. I gave you some ideas above, but I don’t know what you need to do. I don’t know where your faith is weak…but you do. You know what makes you feel uncomfortable, you know what you don’t like to do, and you know what God is telling you to do. Finally: it’s all about you now.
Search your heart, seek those things that God tells us we should all be doing and that you know you don’t do, and do it!
That’s pushing your spiritual muscles to the limit. And just like the professionals, rest and eat properly. The proper diet is to read the Word of God (Man doesn’t live on bread alone but every word from the mouth of God) for food to nourish your spirit, and rest through intimate and private prayer time with the Lord. Prayer is refreshing to both your soul and your spirit, and even to your physical body.
So get on out there and work those spiritual muscles! Feel the burn, get pumped; Yeshua worked His spiritual muscles completely and showed us how we are to do it. Stop being a Weakling of Worship, and become a Schwarzenegger of Spirit!
Remember: Yeshua was the first one to say, “I’ll be back!”