We only grow stronger through overcoming resistance, both physically and spiritually. Muscles only get bigger and stronger through lifting and overcoming weight that challenges their current level of strength. Exercise, either through fitness training or hard work will make muscles grow. Intense weight training can cause after the workout. The pain experienced is because muscle fibers are actually tearing and repairing. Once repaired, the healed fibers are bigger and stronger. Spiritual strength works the same as physical strength. Romans 12:4 tells us that we are all given a measure of faith by God. Our faith is our spiritual strength. It is up to us strengthen our faith…to increase our faith. God promises in Isaiah 40:31 “but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Through God’s WAIT TRAINING, overcoming resistance and waiting on God, we can increase our spiritual strength, our faith.
However, trying lift weight beyond the capability of the muscle can cause strain or greater damage. If we handle the ‘resistance’ of life’s difficult situations responsibly, we are forced to believe in what we can’t see causing us to lean completely on God…our faith will grow, and we become spiritually stronger. But, just like physical strength, taking on more resistance that we are spiritually strong enough to handle can damage our faith leaving us weaker, which can lead to:
• Questioning God
• Broken Commitments
• Damage to the faith of those who draw strength from you
• Failure to complete what God has called you to do
In Matthew 17, after seeing Jesus feed over 5000 people in Matthew 14, after seeing Him feed 4000 in Matthew 15, …right after seeing Jesus transfigured, the disciples lacked the faith to cast a demon out of a boy when the father brought his son to them, not Jesus. They were unable because of their lack of faith…even after witnessing all the miracles. Read Matthew 17:17-21 as Jesus tells them why they couldn’t cast out the demon and how to increase their faith.
There were seven sons of a Jewish priest in Acts Chapter 19 who attempted to cast out a demon, but the demon responded, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” Then the possessed man leaped on them and beat them all leaving them naked and wounded (Acts 19:11-16). They weren’t strong enough in faith to do it.
Be responsible with your faith. Nurture it through God’s word, prayer and fasting, but also be careful that you don’t take on more than you are spiritually capable of handling. We are warned in Galatians 6:1, that even when we are trying to restore a brother or sister who has slipped up, that we should watch ourselves so that we aren’t tempted. This happens sometimes when we try to go back and rescue others from a lifestyle in which we were once caught up…we must be careful to not be tempted to slip back in.
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.
Be honest with yourself of your level of faith. Know your personal spiritual limitations, so you won’t strain or damage your faith. Yes, as stated in 1 Corinthians 10:13 God won’t allow us to be tempted with more than we are able to bear, but just as much as we need to have confidence that we are equipped to be victorious in whatever comes our way, we also need to be aware of our limits. Many times we can find ourselves taking on more than is meant for us, especially if you are a person who has a passion to help and bear the burdens of others. Many times we get caught up in helping others with their issues and problems and find ourselves feeling empty and unable to deal with our own issues, or many times we can step out into a ministry to which we weren’t even called.
Spiritually strength train responsibly…so you can be strong enough to handle what God has assigned to you.