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Posted by Lisa Lewis Koster - - 6 comments

Since school started this year I've been watching my grandsons on Mondays and Wednesdays, the same days the local gym offers aerobics class. Since I can't go then, I make it a point to get myself to Pilates class on Fridays.

Or try, anyway.

This morning I arrived at the gym only to find myself locked out. Aargh! Now, when the weather was decent (this has happened before) I would run around back, pound on the door (which doesn't open), and eventually someone would hear me. Then I'd run back around to the front door and they'd let me in. (Sometimes I get my exercise just trying to get into the gym!) However, if you've had any glimpse of the news lately you know that the weather has been anything but decent here in Michigan. Since the thought of breaking my neck on the snow and ice trying to get to the back of the building wasn't appealing to me, I called the instructor and waited at the door. To be honest, I didn't wait too long because it was cold out and I'm not all that patient. Plus I wasn't sure she got my message since I knew she doesn't always have her phone on, especially after class starts. 

Now, it would have been easy to get upset and forget about the gym, or I could have just taken it as a sign that I wasn't supposed to work out today. But giving up is not going to make my jeans fit any better, is it? What is true for our physical fitness also hold true for our spiritual fitness.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, it takes discipline and time to develop our spiritual habits just as it does for the physical ones. There are going to be days when it's hard, but we're never going to experience the abundant life God wants to give us if we quit short of our goal. That's why it's important to have a goal, that specific reason we're spending time with God. (And no, "because I should" doesn't count, even though it is true that you should!)

In order to develop discipline, I know what I need is a good dose of determination. Thankfully, after the defeated stage - "If it's not making a difference, I'm just going to eat it anyway/skip the workout," I hit the determination stage - "I WILL make these pants fit and I am NOT buying any new ones until I'm back to my normal size!" Evidently this is followed by the accountability stage - "Here I am sharing this with all of you!" (stay tuned)

This same determination is necessary for our spiritual lives as well. Rather than living in the defeated stage of "I'm never going to be good at this/I'll never have time/it's too hard/I don't understand it anyway" we must forget our past failures, strain forward to the blessings God has for us, and "press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." ~ Philippians 3:13-14 Do you know what the next verse says? "All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things."

Think about that for a moment.

"All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things."

It's the mature Christian that doesn't give up on her pursuit of Christ. It's the mature Christian who picks herself up when she falls and tries again and again and again! And those who do give up? According to Scripture, they are immature, babies.

Ouch!  Hard words, I know, but true nonetheless.

Don't give up on your pursuit of God!  You can do this! 

"Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. ~ Romans 8:35-37

In Christ you have the power to conquer any obstacle that may come your way!

Remember, "neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39

So, what did I do this morning?  Well, the gym "officially" opens a half hour after class starts (I know, it makes a lot of sense doesn't it?) and since I forgot my water bottle, I decided to run to the nearby grocery store to buy one. Still having time, I then proceeded to the local Subway to say "Hello" to a friend I haven't seen for a while. And what happened there? A divine appointment! Another friend of hers (Miss Popular, I know!) was just leaving, a friend who will soon be traveling to Africa. Hmmm.  Having a school in Kenya and having traveled there five times, I know a little something about Africa. 

Even though missing class wasn't part of my plan, it was a part of God's plan and His plan is always better (whether we recognize it at the moment or not.) And after talking with the friend of a friend, I went back to the now-opened gym with my newly-purchased bottle of water and got back on that arc trainer.

Loving Father, thank you for allowing me to remember when my plans don't go the way I'd like it's because that wasn't Your plan. Thank you for placing me where I needed to be when I needed to be there this morning. Thank you for giving me the determination to receive all you have in store for me, because there's no way I can accomplish anything in my own strength.  Sorry it took me so long to learn that, but thanks for giving me the determination to learn!


6 Responses so far.

  1. Thanks, Lisa, for this word. Reminds me how often I pray for God's orchestration!

  2. Renee says:

    Thanks for this great reminder about pressing on & for visiting me at Doorkeeper last week. I'm so glad I stopped in at your blog today, Lisa. Blessings!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Great reminder that we are in God' hands even when life gets out of hand! Stopping by from Michelle's place!

  4. jviola79 says:

    Lisa - I love that you were creative in the use of your time. And in that discovered that it was all a part of His plan that morning. May He give us eyes to see the bigger plan unfold when He redirects our days. Love this! Stopped in from Soli Deo Gloria this morning. Blessings!!

  5. I like your determination! God's direction is often not realized at the moment, but soon we see what his plans for us were all the time. Thank you for sharing at "Tell Me a Story."

  6. I love divine appointments. Sometimes we just have to remember to ask God to order our steps and help us to see opportunities so we don't miss them. Thanks for visiting my blog, Amanda's Books and More. I'm based in South Africa. God bless!

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