We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Lindsey Strickler.
I John 3:9-10
No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
Today we’re going to revisit the FAITH Workout portion of a FAITH + FITNESS Workout written by Marketing and Media Director, Lindsey Strickler, last year. It’s going to be an endurance workout, ie longer than most of our devotionals that we typically publish for the FAITH Workout of the day. So buckle up!
In the same way we develop our fitness skills, we want to take the same discipline and focus to develop our Faith skills. When I first started CrossFit, I became obsessed with anything upside down – handstand push-ups and handstand walking. Was I good at those skills? Absolutely not. It took me a year of practicing for 5-10 minutes after every class before I could successfully handstand walk.
It didn’t always look like me being upside down, either. I knew that my core strength was seriously lacking, so I would intentionally work on that area because I knew it would directly translate to being able to handstand walk. There were a lot of days where I wondered if it would ever get easier. Eventually, it did. After months, a year of months, of things not “clicking” it finally did. However, now that I can execute the skill, it doesn’t mean that I excel every time it is thrown my way in a metcon, nor does it mean I stop practicing and intentionally developing.
The same process is true of our Faith Skills; however, the difference is that while we are active participants in choosing to live and act out these skills, we don’t do it on our own. We have the Helper, the Holy Spirit, giving us the strength we need. These skills are not for the faint of heart. There are times when we’re tested and it takes the power of God for us to display something like humility, or peace.
In our previous talk we learned how true strength comes from God and is on full display in our weakness. In order for us to grow strong and well rounded in these Faith Skills, we have to be willing to admit our weaknesses and confess them to God. The Faith Skills for us to assess are Courage, Discipline, Endurance, Gratitude, Hope, Humility, Joy, Kindness, Love, Patience, Perseverance, Peace, Power, Purity, and Strength.
When we’re looking at these Faith Skills and what it looks like to practice them, what we’re really talking about is what it means to live a Christian life.
I John 3:9-10 says, “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.”
Kind of intense right? If we’re God’s kids, then we’ll practice righteousness. I think it’s significant that the word “practice” is used here. We’re not going to get it right all the time, and this is a life-long thing. With age, time, and God, we mature and will better understand how to live righteous lives, to put into practice right living, or in other words – we will practice those faith skills.
2 Corinthians 5: 17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we become new people. “The old us is gone, and the new us is here.” These Faith Skills help us know how Jesus wants us to live. If he really is our Lord, then he is the one we want to please and serve, so we need to know what that means and looks like.
When I stepped foot into a CrossFit gym and began my fundamentals class, I had to admit that there were things that I didn’t know and that there was a lot I needed to learn. I had to acknowledge that I needed someone else to help me and show me the way because my old way of doing fitness wasn’t working. That’s life right? My old way of doing life wasn’t working, so I needed to humble myself and ask God to show me a better way.
He does that in his work.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2 As we practice these skills, we become stronger because God is the one redeeming different areas of our lives. As we get to know him and spend time in his Word, he transforms our minds, making us even more sensitive to the opportunities around us so we can practice our Faith Skills.
So, again, as a reminder, those skills are Courage, Discipline, Endurance, Gratitude, Hope, Humility, Joy, Kindness, Love, Patience, Perseverance, Peace, Power, Purity, and Strength. If you want to dive into these deeper and understand what God says in his word about each one, you can sign up for our Faith Workout of the Day. Each month we take a deeper dive into one skill and provide opportunities to practice them. Grow stronger by taking that honest look at your life and at the skills you’re weakest in and can use intentional time growing in.
Father, there’s areas of my life where I need to get back to basics. There’s a life you’ve called me to, but to fully be the person you made me to be, I need to practice living the life you’ve called me to and see the areas where I need to be sanctified. Please make me sensitive to those areas, and give me the strength to tackle them head on. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Spend some time journaling the answers to these questions:
- What was the workout like for you? Did God reveal anything to you while you did it?
- Was there anything new that stuck out to you today during the message?
- Is there an area of your life you need to surrender, that you need to accept God’s strength to press in to?
- What ways were you challenged by today’s message?
To receive the Faith Workout of the Day every morning, please sign up here.