The FAITH portion of our workout was written by Jadi Rodriguez, FAITH RXD Interim Executive Director and member of the Board of Directors. The FITNESS portion was programmed by Anthony Davis, Games Athlete and FAITH RXD Coach.
It’s time to suffer! Does not sound too exciting, I know. However, if we are going to talk about perseverance, we have to reject the idea that we can avoid suffering, and that in this workout we will suffer. There’s no time cap today, you must persevere!
The workout moves through what looks like 5 rounds, each representing the 5 chapters of 1st John. During the rounds, the power cleans and burpees stay the same, in other words, they are consistent and stay with you, the same way we are to stay consistent in the faith. Yet the movement with 21 repetitions will change, they are not consistent.
It is not a coincidence that the largest rep scheme is the movement that does not stay the same. It represents the fact that the road for many, the road through the gate of salvation, is narrow. In the big picture, we should have a sense of mourning for those who do not persevere through these movements.
1 Power Clean (185/125)
1 Power Clean
21 Toes to Bar
1 Power Clean
21 Handstand Push-Ups
1 Power Clean
21 Wall Box Jump Overs (40/30) or Box Jump Overs (30/24)
1 Power Clean
21 Kettlebell Deck Squats (53/35)
1 John 2:9 ESV
“They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.”
Have you ever quit a workout? Have you ever quit anything?
We all have. The reality is, that while we all would like to think of ourselves as formidable warriors who will see every single thing through, even the best of us find ourselves leaning on excuses when the going gets tough and the rubber meets the road. It’s quite normal to be a quitter. From the earliest memories I have, I have had coaches, teachers, mentors, and family members who have tried to instill in me the value of perseverance.
“No one likes a quitter.” That’s what I heard over and over growing up.
Yet, I have quit plenty of things. I have quit majors at university, sports, teams, workouts, relationships, you name it.
That is ALL good! There’s just one thing I cannot quit. In fact, I did quit it once, for twenty years already, and came back.
Jesus Christ, my Lord is something I cannot deny, and I cannot quit. I am terrified of the notion, for the Word is clear. If I walk away from Him, not to return, then I was never in the faith, to begin with.
Is that what we make of those who leave the faith never to come back?
In the words of Drake, “They was never gang gang, they was never one of us.”
In other words, a person’s perseverance is one of the righteous fruits by which we can know that they were indeed justified and glorified in Christ after death.
2 Timothy 2:11-13 ESV
11 The saying is trustworthy, for:
If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
12 if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he also will deny us;
13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful—
for he cannot deny himself.
There is just no way around it. While it is indeed a difficult subject to wrap our heads around, scripture is clear. We must endure, we must persevere to the very end if we are to be truly called amongst His elect.
I’m not trying to scare anyone into coming to Christ, that’s not my theology. I do not believe fear produces faith and I do not believe anyone chooses to come to Christ. I believe God elects His saints and faith comes from hearing the word. Period.
However, we have two conscious realities. One is that we will have brothers and sisters who are going to walk away from their relationships with God, never having truly been of the faith. The second is that we have an opportunity to view our trials, not as pointless sufferings, but as opportunities to produce evidence in our lives that affirms to us that we, ourselves, have been born again.
Remember your first couple of months at CrossFit? Not the timidity and the frustration of it all. I am talking about the insecurities about a movement or a lift. The absolute fear in even attempting something because we just knew that it was not going to happen.
It is kind of like that. You persevered, you kept putting your body and mind through the trials of fitness, through the pain. You remained steadfast in your commitment to seeing the sport through.
Now here you are! Doing muscle-ups and pistol squats! OK, OK, maybe not, but you have still shown something. You have grown your fitness past certain insecurities and fears. You can do things you were not able to do before, and now you can walk up to a weight on a lift that you once doubted for your warmup. I remember when 100 lbs seemed daunting on a snatch, now I warm up with 95 lbs. Nearly the same weight!
Those trials and frustrations, through perseverance, have produced an assurance.
Yea, it’s like that!
Philippians 1:6 ESV
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
Finally, the good news! If you have bared with me through this whole message, here is the best part.
It is not up to you anyways!
I was reading in Matthew 6 the other morning about how we are not to swear by heaven because it belongs to God, nor by the earth for that is His footstool, or by Jerusalem for it is the city of God; when an interesting passage stuck out to me for the first time ever.
Side note, don’t you just LOVE when that happens? When there’s a chapter you’ve read tens of hundreds of times, and something new sticks out!
Anyways, like I was saying, I came up to the part where Jesus is giving the sermon on the mount and says, do not even swear by your own head for you do not control even when your hairs go gray. I’ve read this so many times and the commandment was clear, but I had never paid attention to the underlying rationale!
This passage is about sovereignty! God’s sovereignty!
The rationale is that we should not swear by our own life for we do not even control that! He does!
Circle back to Philippians 1:6 now, and how this applies to our perseverance in our faith and our salvation. I’ll make it quick and painless:
You persevere by God’s grace! It is He who gives you the power and the ability to remain faithful.
Those who fail to persevere? Well, they was never gang gang.
No, but seriously, all joking aside. While you and I may want to lament those who we love that don’t come into a saving faith (which it is OK to mourn those who do not persevere with us), be very careful you do not cross over the line into coveting for your will to be done, instead of God’s. Rather saturate yourself in the grace that has secured you to Him!
QUESTIONS FOR GROUP DISCUSSION OR PERSONAL JOURNALING:
- How was the workout for you? Did it reveal something unexpected to you, either mentally, physically, or spiritually?
- Do you know anyone who has deconstructed and left the faith? Have you ever had a season of deconstruction only to come back like the prodigal son?
- What are some trials and difficulties where your faith has been tested and you have persevered?
- Are you aware of God’s miraculous grace? Do you have a hard time accepting it? How have you at times tried to make yourself sovereign? Have you shown yourself grace for those moments? Do you struggle with grace?