Spiritual Muscle

November 14, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Personal Growth

By Donna McCrary –

Stress. Fatigue. Exhaustion. Strenuous. These words are not typically associated with making things stronger; except in the world of muscle building. Look up any blog or “How-to guide” on ways to increase muscle and you will find phrases such as ‘trigger the muscle building process by stressing the muscle;’ ‘fatigue the muscle to breakdown muscle fibers;’ ‘work the muscle to the point of exhaustion;’ or ‘muscle fibers will breakdown after strenuous exercise.’ The process to develop stronger muscle requires exercise designed to rip tiny fibers in the muscle. After a time of rest, the muscle will heal and become stronger.

Is spiritual muscle built in the same manner? In order for us, as Christ Followers, to grow stronger and become more resilient in our faith must we first be stressed, fatigued, and exhausted by strenuous experiences?

A quick journey through the scriptures confirms that spiritually fit people experienced times of stress, fatigue and exhaustion. Think about it. Living inside a great sea creature for three days like Jonah had to be a little stressful. Standing in front of a nine-foot-something warrior must have been stressful for David, the puny red headed baby of the family. Spending the night with hungry lions in a den must have been exhausting for Daniel. The one that makes me laugh is Peter. Image how stressed, frustrated and exhausted Peter had to be to scream at a little girl who simply asked if he knew Jesus. Big Peter versus little girl. Little girl wins. Now that is stress!

God uses stressful, exhausting, strenuous experiences in our life to help us strengthen our spiritual muscle. These times of intense training break down the fibers of who we are. Then after rest and healing, it produces stronger spiritual fibers because we gain a deeper understanding of who we are in Christ. During these strenuous training periods we recognize our strength comes from Christ. We recognize the truth of His Word. We stretch our faith to extents we did not think possible. Each training session requires us to build spiritual muscle.

Every soldier has to go through exhausting training exercises before they reach the battlefield. Every athlete participates in strenuous training before game day. Every farmer labors beyond fatigue before they reap the fruit. Every Christ Follower experiences seasons of stress, exhaustion, and fatigue in order to produce strong spiritual muscle.

Don’t forget – Training is hard but victory is sweet!

PRAYER: Father, help me desire to grow stronger in You even though that could mean struggles and difficult circumstances. Help me embrace the training necessary to fulfill the purpose You have established for me.

“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope” (Romans 5:3-4 ESV).

About Donna McCrary

Today’s devotion is by Donna McCrary, wife, mother, speaker and author. Her greatest passion is inspiring others to live the “impossible” through Jesus. Her one-of-kind speaking and retreat seminars will leave you with a willingness to walk on water to get to Jesus. Book her for your next event at www.walkofpurpose.com.
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One Response to “Spiritual Muscle”
  1. Hally Franz says:

    This is often not the message we get about stress, but you make a great point! Thanks for this unique perspective, Donna!

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