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.
We kick off the month of May with strength as our faith skill. We have programmed our first workout as an AMRAP. Why? Because AMRAPs are repetitive in nature, much like our sanctification process is a repetitive battle with the same things over and over again.
The two in the 20 minutes represent the second letter from Paul to the church at Corinth. The 12 pull-ups will heighten an emphasis on muscle fatigue, reminding us how we may think we are strong, but weakness sets in overtime. The devil presses are the way we stomp on the devil by wearing what culture says is a bad thing in weakness, with a sense of strength because they create room for God’s strength. There is a 30-second rest in every round, we want you to take this time to meditate on the power of the Holy Spirit resting in us and refreshing us. Lastly, the 100 double unders can be mental, maybe even embarrassing when we trip. But we keep going, remembering that it is God in us who does the work.
20 min AMRAP
9 devil presses
– 30 sec rest –
100 double unders
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 ESV
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
I am known for being repetitive. Usually, I go through seasons where a particular thought dominates my narrative. It’s why these Faith + Fitness WODs will often sound similar, even if we are in a different faith skill.
“The kingdom of God is upside down,” is definitely a thought that has claimed a season in my life right now. So naturally, if we are to flesh out strength as a faith skill, and if the Kingdom of God is upside down, then we must talk about weakness.
The phrase, “You are enough,” will make me cringe almost every time.
I more often than not like to counter that with, “You are not enough, you never will be, and that is a beautiful thing.”
The problem with the thinking that you are enough is that it then implies the notion that you do not need to rely on God. We are all guilty of this, and I can prove it.
Think of an incredibly challenging moment in your life.
Go on. I will wait.
You have one? Good. I have a few in mind for myself. The fact is, we are quick to pray, almost instinctively, in those moments of hardship and trials. As we should! These moments are evidence that we recognize God’s sovereignty.
Here’s the thing though. Do you pray the same way before you get in your car and drive?
Do you pray feverishly before you open your computer and start typing away at work?
What about before you begin your workout?
These are all moments when we often forget to pray because we think that we are in control. It takes a certain amount of spiritual maturity to admit that what we are truly doing is denying God’s sovereignty in those moments.
I drive the car.
I type the email.
I lift the weight.
I am capable. I am able. I am strong.
That’s a quick way to experience God’s loving chastisement to remind you who is really in control.
Want to know what true strength is?
Weakness. Specifically contentment in weakness. As Paul wrote in our above reading, contentment with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.
But Jadi, that seems impossible! How could I ever be content in such lacking?!
I’m glad you ask!
Philippians 4:12-13 ESV
“I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
With the power of Christ, that’s how you can be strong enough to be content in weakness!
I still struggle with sin. We all do. But I do not struggle and wrestle with many of the sins that I used to when I first started walking with Christ.
Purity and alcohol to be specific.
Do you remember the first day you walked into a CrossFit gym?
I remember mine. I walked in through the doors of Great White CrossFit in Paramus, NJ, and saw people doing incredible things. Some dudes had the physique of Greek mythology gods, and women lifting more weight than me!
While my deep desire was to be like them, my initial feeling was intimidation. I was fearful because I was not sure I could ever get there. The road seemed way too long, the mountain way too steep.
I leaned on this memory when I first walked through the doors of Huikala Baptist Church in Honolulu, HI, on April 21, 2019.
It was my first day back in church, and I was committed to doing it right this time. No more Jesus crash diets. No more yo-yo Christian programs. This was going to be it! And I was hoping that Pastor Anthony King, whom I had met at CrossFit, would deliver a motivational message for me!
You know, because Christianity is all about motivational messages targeted at you, right?
Lord, I eye-roll at my own bad theology when I look back.
Anyways, I sat down in the front right of the small, three hundred person capacity auditorium, to the pastor’s left. I had gone out partying and drinking the night before because it was Saturday night and what else was I supposed to do?
My head was throbbing, and I lacked sleep, but I was excitedly anticipating a message that was going to light the spark of my fire!
Pastor Anthony, as all preachers should be, is a believer in expositional preaching. That means verse by verse and not this topical mumbo jumbo that so-called motivational preachers today love to do.
I had walked in towards the end of their study of Ephesians, and this is what I walked into:
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit”
-Ephesians 5: 15-18 ESV.
Immediately wrecked! Punch to the gut. It was just like that first day through the doors of my first CrossFit class. There was a deep desire to do this, and do this right, but an immediate realization that the road would be long and the mountain would be steep.
Praise God for His strength, for in my weakness to sin, His strength has freed me from the bondage to alcohol.
Romans 6:22 ESV
“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.”
The truth is we are never truly free. We are either slaves to sin or bondservants to Christ. The conversations of free will and predestination are as old as time itself. But I ultimately believe while God’s providence works all things for His good, He really does give us the free will to either choose to pursue holiness and glorify Him or be like dogs that return to their own vomit when we chase the sin He freed us from.
Make no mistake about it, my high view of God’s sovereignty thinks that there is no escaping His sanctification of the church, and we are the church. Pauls says in 1 Corinthians 12: 12 that just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
This is the doctrine of the unity of the body. We are one with one another as a church, but also one with Christ. Just like Christ was both fully human and fully God, we are both flesh and Spirit.
Which is your master? For we cannot serve two masters at once, can we? We either live in our strength and are futile to our bondage to sin, or we live in our weakness and are crucified with Jesus and live free in His strength.
That’s true strength.
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?
- What things in your life are you attempting to tackle on your own?
- Where have you lacked contentment? In what practical ways can you lay those things at Jesus’ feet and rely on His strength to free you from those desires?
- What sin has God freed you from? Can you think of something that He has delivered you from? What sins do you still struggle with to this day? How can you rely on His strength to help you with freedom from the bondage of those sins?