Monday, November 17, 2014

Stronger Than Yesterday

Read: Joshua 1:1-9

Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law… turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.                                             Joshua 1:7

     It is no secret that many guys enjoy “working out” their muscles. I am one of them. I am certainly not as obsessed as the hard-core body-builders, but I enjoy trying to strengthen my muscles. The way to gain muscle and strength is not by going into the gym with puny arms, working out one time with the heaviest weights the gym carries, and then walking out the size of Arnold Schwarzenegger. It doesn’t happen that way. It would be nice because that would be unbelievably easy – then everyone would do it. No, the real way to gain muscle is to work out day after day and gain a little bit of muscle each day. And here’s the good part: I don’t have to add ten pounds of muscle to be stronger than I was yesterday. One pound of a muscle added is stronger than I was yesterday. One-half of a pound, one-eighth of a pound, or even one-tenth of a pound of muscle gained is stronger than I was yesterday. The point is that if I am going to get stronger, I don’t have to do it all overnight; I only have to be stronger than I was yesterday, and I will reach any goal I have set for myself.
     The same is true if we want to grow in our spiritual lives. No one expects us to become a spiritual giant overnight because it is virtually impossible. It all starts with making a decision to do right; but, it is a step-by-step day-by-day process after that. Is your desire to be right with God stronger than it was yesterday? If that is true, then you have grown in your spiritual life. Just like a person desiring to grow physically can make lifting certain weights his goal in the weight room, a person can set practical spiritual goals to help him grow, as well. You can say no to one more temptation than you did yesterday. You can spend one more minute in prayer than you did yesterday. You can hand out one more gospel tract than you did yesterday. You can witness to one more person than you did last week. All of those are baby steps forward, but they are all contributing to your spiritual growth.
     You may look at men like Peter, Paul, Spurgeon, and Moody and get discouraged because you are not on the spiritual level that they were. That is okay because God does not expect us to decide one day to live for Him and be like those spiritual giants the next day. Just like a goal to grow one’s muscles is a gradual process of changing for the better, your spiritual life will change for the better as you do your best to just be stronger than yesterday. One day you will find that all those little steps have added up to the spiritual man you wanted to become.

Quote of the day: “If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. It’s the hard that makes it great.”

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