If You Don’t Use It, You Lose It

Last year my wife and I went through a pretty big life change. After ten years in the fitness industry, we walked away. We moved on to different careers. With taking care of remodeling a new house, and starting a new job my workout routine went out the window. I soon realized there’s a spiritual lesson written all over this situation.

 

Over the last month or so I’ve gone to the doctor a few different times. First I went to the eye doctor for an annual vision check up, then a DOT physical for work, and finally to the dentist for a teeth cleaning. At each visit they took my pulse, blood pressure, and a few other stats. I had an alarming realization. My blood pressure had crept up to a pre-hypertension stage.

This may not seem like much, but as a person who has had healthy or below normal blood pressure for the last 33 years this was cause for concern. What was root cause? Outside of hiking or the occasional mountain biking, I had stopped working out consistently since we moved. So that old saying is true!

If you don’t use it, you lose it.

I’ve lost 15 pounds of muscle, and my blood pressure has jumped 10-20 points all in a matter of 8 months or so.

 

Now, let’s flip this on to the spiritual realm.

Have you lost it spiritually?

When was the last time you studied God’s word?

When was the last time you sat in quiet meditation and prayer before the Lord?

When was the last time you challenged yourself to grow spiritually through a discipleship course or reading a book on the deeper Christian life?

When was the last time you followed your spiritual instincts (i.e. the guiding of the Holy Spirit)?

When was the last time your “flexed your faith muscle,” stepping out against all “common sense” to follow the Lord?

If you don’t use it, you lose it.

You can’t live off your Sunday school experience from fourth grade. You can’t live off yester-year’s experience of what the Lord did in your life 10 years ago.

Christ desires a living and active relationship with you. Imagine for a moment if you got married, and then never spoke to your spouse again except for the occasional “hi” and “bye.”

What if you only went to them when you had an emergency, as some of us do with the Lord? Imagine you never went on another date after your honeymoon. Imagine if you were never intimate physically, emotionally, or mentally with your spouse.

What do you think would happen?

You and your spouse would be miserable, and the relationship would crumble.

Why then do we find it ok to do this with our relationship with the Lord?

 

Frank Viola once said,

Modern Christianity is ten miles wide and one inch deep.

Could this be why the state of Christianity is so impotent in America today? Could this be why the divorce rate in America is roughly fifty percent? Could this be the reason the church and bride of Christ are having so little of an impact on the world today?

When I saw the shocking change of my blood pressure, it prompted me to get my butt in gear. Between my DOT physical and my teeth cleaning, I have picked up my workout routine again, and guess what? My blood pressure has already begun coming back down.

Have you stopped exercising your faith?

I challenge you today to get back to it. Pursue the Lord with new vigor. He is long suffering. He is waiting for you to return and build a thriving relationship so you can partner together to impact this world. Paul urges us in this,

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. – 1 Corinthians 9:24

I’m not talking about earning your salvation through works, but making intentional effort to build a thriving relationship with the Lord. Christ wants all of your life. Let’s pursue as Bonhoeffer calls it, costly grace, rather than cheap grace that costs us nothing.

Don’t lose your faith muscle or your spiritual tone. Stay spiritually fit, because if you don’t use it…you lose it.

 

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