Written by His Grace,
Kevin K. O’Connor
Main Thought: To examine the importance of building healthy spiritual muscles vs. unhealthy fat
BUILDING MUSCLE, NOT FAT
I think we all know the importance of building healthy muscle. And yet, after our metabolism has died, we often find it easier to build unhealthy fat. There are those of us who appear strong because of our large mass but unfortunately, many times a lot of that mass is fat which serves no useful purpose when in excess. Many times we as Christians appear quite religious because of our many outward activities but unfortunately that too can be a lot of wasted energy. There are those individuals though who may appear small and scrawny, but are really quite strong. And again, there are those in this life who appear as though they are not very spiritual but on the contrary are quite close to the Lord’s heart. I think we all know what makes us strong in the physical realm, eating right and exercise. But what makes us strong spiritually? For after all, we’re going to leave these bodies of clay behind no matter how big or how fit they may be. In the physical realm, fat tends to get put on through just eating those foods that taste good rather than are good for us. The end result is that the action that is to keep us alive, leads to our death. So too, within the spiritual realm when all our hearts can focus on are the external workings of what Christ is about, we may in all appearances look as if we’re growing spiritually but in fact we’re actually only killing ourselves. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. (Whole Chapter: In context: ) and another good verse is There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. (Whole Chapter: In context: )
We need to look through the workings of Christ into the Being of Christ! Until our hearts unite with His, all of our efforts are just wasted effort. So what is it that produces spiritual shallowness within us? It’s the focusing on the blessings of God’s Hands rather than the character of His Heart. Remember the incredible earth moving miracles God did for the Israelites? How he shook the nation of Egypt and then led them through a dried up sea bed and then rained down manna and meat from heaven to feed them. What kind of spiritual depth did that produce? Not much! What produces spiritual depth or the uniting of our hearts with His? It’s the spiritual diet of obedience to His Word. It’s learning how to close out the world around us and to enter into listening to what He is saying. Psalm 51 16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.17 The sacrifices of God are  a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. And, if we’re only going to His Word for insight instead of being broken so that He may make us whole, we’re entering the Word for selfish reasons and not for the purpose of knowing Him. I’m afraid there will be many people who can quote many verses of scripture in Glory but will find that there will be those with less knowledge of God in their heads and yet with greater knowledge of God in their hearts.
We get so busy with the things of Christ, we’re missing Christ Himself. May our God Bless the heart that hungers for Him, not the things of Him. There will be streets of gold and foundations of most precious gems in the new Jerusalem but it’s not going to be for those seeking them but for those who are seeking Him! Appearing righteous makes us feel so good before others but unfortunately doesn’t make us appear very righteous before Him. Is our focus on how much time we’ve read His Word today, how many souls we witnessed to, how long we’ve prayed? Or is it, Lord draw me nearer to you today than I was yesterday? Oh Lord, please help us to rise up out of ourselves and our empty efforts and draw near to your heart not for what you may or may not do for us but because of Who you Are. I’m afraid there will be many of His children who in this life felt quite comfortable in the faith God had given them and the Word that they had laid up in their minds, but on the day they stand before God, will realize how much they didn’t get to know Him. How He desires us to rise up out of our places of comfort and ease and seek Him; 2 Timothy 1 6For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. The fire of passion seems to settle within our hearts almost as fast as silt settles in a lake. Oh that God would help us awaken from our comfort zones and seek His Heart!
It’s funny, but when I was courting my wife to be, I wasn’t concerned with how I looked or how I acted because I was in love. Oh how our love cools off way too quickly. Oh Lord, help us not be overly concerned with our appearance before others or our “spiritual positions” that we feel we must hold onto. May the only position we desire to cling onto be in your arms of Love and Grace! It seems that the miraculous pumps up our faith almost as fast as sugar pumps up the body with energy. But, just as sugar is only a quick pickup, it soon lets us right back down. So too, the miraculous may get a lot of people jumping into the kingdom of God, but just like sugar for the body so is the miraculous for our faith. The miraculous does not produce depth of character, obedience does! Note the following verse; Matthew 13 20The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. We need to learn from God’s people of the past that were delivered out of Egypt and who probably saw more miracles than anyone ever will within this old world. It didn’t produce depth then and it won’t now. And yet, just as sugar is there for our enjoyment, so is the miraculous. We just need to keep the miraculous in its proper perspective; 1 Cor. 13:8-10 8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. I believe that we may be on the edge of God moving in very powerful and miraculous ways very soon but we need to see through the miraculous into His Heart.
Heavenly Father, prepare our hearts for what You would like to do and help us never to wrap our hearts around the workings of Your hands and forget Your Heart. Behold, the Bride Groom cometh Soon! Let us arise to meet Him! Father, may our lamps be trimmed and burning brightly for the Precious coming of Your Son! In Jesus Glorious Name, Amen
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