After an incredible weekend at Backcountry CrossFit in Denver, Colorado, I found myself encouraged and challenged at the ministry the Lord has laid before us. In Matthew 9:35-38, Jesus said as we look around it is obvious that the harvest is ready to be reaped for the Gospel. His exact words are that it is plentiful. And yet there are not enough laborers to do the work of the harvest. CrossFit, though it seems massive, is a relatively new concept and sport. For that reason there are few people who are looking at fitness as an opportunity for the Gospel. There are Christian-based and gospel centered organizations that are broadly pursuing sport, business, and other facets of our lives on mission for the Gospel. However, because CrossFit is such a new thing, there are few who are making it their mission to bring the Gospel to the world of fitness.
This weekend I was not only challenged and convicted to that end, but the Lord impressed three specific things on my heart.
1. Read your Bible. Many of the questions and concerns and convictions that were pressed on me this weekend as well as pressed towards the attendees stem from a lack of time in God’s word. Jonathan Morgan probably told us to read our Bible 25 times in his third session. I cannot stress this enough to myself and to y’all. God’s word is THE source for continual, growing intimacy with Him. It is also the source for our knowledge and personal understanding of who Christ is. The Gospel is found in the Bible. The immense power and strength of who God is can be found in the Bible. The proper understanding of how we are to engage culture for the cause of Christ is found in the Bible. Many of the questions and misunderstandings of how CrossFit and Christianity marry together are answered inside those pages. I was convicted and challenged personally to read my Bible more. Life with Christ cannot continue healthfully without God’s word.
“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32
2. Don’t Fear Rejection. As the weekend progressed I felt God was pressing on the camp attendees to be more intentional about how they shared their faith inside of their gyms and what it looks like for them specifically to do that. Just talking to my breakout group yesterday, we realized that much of what keeps us from sharing the Gospel to friends and folks in the gym is fear. Many of us have an idol of acceptance that prevents us from doing anything that might cause rejection. We are scared of rejection. We are scared that in our next conversation about who Christ is and what He has done, we might offend somebody or make somebody uncomfortable. I think back to when one of my best friends stepped up to the plate and risked our friendship on the opportunity to share the Gospel with me. He knew I might reject him (and I did) and he knew that his sharing of the Gospel with me might be the end to our friendship. Yet, he found that it was more important for me to know Jesus than it was for me to know him. I will be forever grateful for his prioritization of Christ over his own social acceptance and over our friendship. We know that we are called to share the Gospel. We know that our gyms are fields ripe for the harvest. Yet our fear keeps us from it. One of the biggest convictions and challenges I had all weekend was to place Christ in his proper place as Lord over every aspect of my life and allow for potential rejection or awkward conversations for the cause of Christ. The Gospel is always better.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16
3. I think the third thing that touched my heart and many of the hearts of the attending athletes is the magnanimity if who God is. Maybe it was because I have lived in Dallas, Texas for the last four years but the scenery and expanse of the Rocky Mountains constantly caused me to remember who it was that created those mountains. The more I considered how much God created and how little effort it took, the more I found myself with a healthy fear of Him and an incredible affection for what He’s done on my behalf. When you take three seconds to consider all that He has done in the creation of this world and all that He is continually doing in the transformation of peoples’ lives and you think about how easy it is for Him to do it, you should be in awe of who He is. Everything God has done we have barely begun to comprehend, and yet He did it with ease and knows every aspect of every piece and part of what He has created. I found myself this weekend extremely grateful that He would care enough about my heart to send a perfect Savior as the replacement for my wickedness. Peace and security come with knowing that God cares enough about my soul specifically despite having created things that are so much bigger than me. This past weekend I found myself much more grateful for the Gospel knowing that God has created everything, and yet makes me a priority.
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” Matthew 6:25-26