We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
"Daddy, I love cuddling with you. You're like the world's best squishy pillow."
Talk about a punch in the gut. Granted, it is apparently a nicely cushioned gut, but a gut nonetheless. Even though my daughter's words strung, it didn't make them any less true. I had uttered "I'm tired" so often that my mind and body began to get in line with my lips. It was easier to blame my fluffiness on life being busy and chaotic rather than own up to me being completely lax about eating healthy and exercising. The reality is that I had failed to make caring for myself a priority.
Right then and there I decided enthusiastically and energetically that the "dad bod" had to go. Well, that was until the next morning came and I was faced with the option of hitting the snooze button or actually using my gym membership rather than remaining simply a silent monthly investor in a fitness center. Reluctantly, I got out of bed grumpy, headed across town and trotted on the treadmill. Next morning the battle to get rid of my muffin top and jiggling jellyrolls was even more daunting because every muscle in my body ached. I didn't FEEL like exercising, but I knew deep down that I needed to.
If I waited until I FELT like getting in shape before I put on my running shoes, they would still be collecting dust in a closet. The same holds true for tending to our walk with Christ. We often allow our feelings to serve as the sole factor in determining whether we will act on our faith and live out your values.
Feelings are fickle and relying on them to dictate our faith leads us to flounder.
Because we don't FEEL close to God, we keep our distance and don't pray or crack open our Bible. Because we don't FEEL like extending forgiveness, we hold on to our bitterness. Because we don't FEEL worthy, we convince ourselves we're not and ignore our identity in Christ. Because we don't FEEL like serving others, we enable opportunities to have an impact pass us by.
Making something a habit requires determination and only takes place when we have the tenacity to show up. Our appearance doesn't have to be perfect or pretty. All that matters is our willingness to place ourselves in environments for God to move. It is here where God transforms us and the change we hope to see becomes a reality.
Yes, engaging in spiritual disciplines will not come naturally and often seem forced or awkward at first. But, give it time. Disciplines allow our heart (and feelings) to catch up to our actions. The more we exercise our faith muscle the quicker these actions that once were not automatic become natural movements. "Have-to's" suddenly get replaced with "want-to's" and when that takes place it's one of the best feelings in the world.
- How are you allowing your feelings to dictate your faith?
- Where do you need to show up and exercise your faith muscle?
God, help me to stay engaged with You as I go about my day. May I act on my faith even during those times when I don't feel like doing so. Remind me that by simply showing up You mold and shape my heart so it reflects Yours. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.