21st April - Thought For The Day - Resistance Training
Words by Bev Jones
In the corner of our dining room, there’s a bright pink, thick type of rubber band that has appeared over the last couple of weeks. Upon questioning where it had come from, and indeed, what it actually is, I was informed by my daughter that it belongs to her and is a ‘resistance band’. She apparently uses it during her online exercise sessions to – and I quote: ‘build and tone up muscle.’
Of course, once I’d questioned it, she suggested that I tried it, so I’ve had an impromptu resistance and strengthening session. Don’t you just love that even in these times, we can learn new things every day. Strangely though it brought to mind a couple of verses that God has been putting on my heart recently:
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of suffering. 1 Peter 5: 8-9
Photo by Kike Vega via Unsplash
Resistance training can obviously have a spiritual dimension then. Lions attack weak, young and trailing animals – those who are on their own or not alert, so Peter here was writing to the Jewish Christians who were going through a hard time, to remind them to be attentive. At a time when the church globally is dispersed, and collective fellowship is reliant mainly upon technology, it’s easy to see that as individuals we are more prone to doubt, fear and panic. How important it is then, in such a challenging time to build into our days, a regular, robust spiritual exercise session, that will build our resistance as we encounter Jesus in the reality of the situations that we find ourselves in.
Allowing him the time and the space to speak into our souls and to strengthen our core.
Communication with God includes many different forms, but whatever else we do, if we’re to build spiritual muscle, we have to allow God to speak to us personally, and that involves making time and space to come and just to be. No lists, no requests, no demands. Just be. Elizabeth Elliott – the widow of missionary Jim Elliott says,
‘the devil has made it his business to monopolise on three elements: noise, hurry, crowds. He will not allow quietness.’
Those three elements for many of us at the moment have been stripped away, and what we’re left with is quietness. What a fantastic opportunity then to make that quietness count as we improve our spiritual fitness. And then as he speaks to us and strengthens us – as he will if we give him time, space and quietness – we need also to support and encourage each other, so that the whole body of Christ is built up and our collective resistance to the enemy is reinforced and intensified. Now that will be a force to reckon with when the church comes back together.
Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued so that when it’s all over but the shouting, you’ll still be on your feet. Ephesians 6:13 MSG