Psalm 145:14- The Message
God gives a hand to those down on their luck, gives a fresh start to those ready to quit.
I am so grateful for God’s Word! The message today is one of hope and this verse gives me tremendous hope and strength. Because it is so easy to just want to quit when things are tough and there seems to be no way out. In my profession as a fitness trainer I see this as one of the main reasons why we feel like we can’t get back in shape or lose that unwanted fat we’ve accumulated over the years. We’ve lost hope, we can’t do it, we’ve tried so many times and failed what’s the use? We’ll start a fitness program in the beginning of January full of commitment and in less than a month we’ve quit. I want you to know this doesn’t have to be.
What is Truth!
I believe it starts with having the correct perspective of our present condition. Where we are at in this moment in time. As human beings most of us equate our present situation as the “truth”, well maybe it is and maybe it’s not. Let me explain, as Christians, we know that Jesus is Truth (John 14:6 I am the way and the truth and the life.), He doesn’t lie. In John 1:42 of the Message it reads, Jesus took one look up and said, “You’re John’s son, Simon? From now on your name is Cephas” (or Peter, which means “Rock”).
At that time, in the present, Peter was anything but a rock, he was impulsive and unstable. Even after Peter was with Jesus for about three years the same night he told Jesus he would die for him, he denied even knowing Jesus three times. So was Jesus wrong when he called Simon Peter. Of course not! After Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension we see that indeed Peter becomes the rock Jesus had earlier named him for.
So what is truth? God’s Word is truth! Not what man thinks it is, or feels it is. So even if we see things with our own eyes or are actually experiencing events in our lives contradictory to God’s Word, those things are not the truth no matter how real they look or feel!
Don’t forget, God doesn’t operate on our timetable.
2 Peter 3:8 (NIV)
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
This is great news for all us wanting to get physically fit, we don’t have to put unrealistic time lines on ourselves, we just need to trust in the Lord and remember His Word is truth! So as long as we do our part and not quit and be consistent in the doing the right things long enough we will succeed!
How God Sees You
Do you really understand how God sees you? Let’s go to the book of Ephesians and see what the Word of God says.
Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Wow! We are His masterpiece, like I have heard said many times, God doesn’t make junk! No we are His special created, uniquely shaped and molded pieces of art. Masterly crafted, so we can serve Him with our talents and abilities that He gifted us with.
Trusting Brings Health
1 Th 5:23-24 (MSG)
May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it!
3 John 1:2 (NLT)
Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit.
Can you see how the Lord wants his saints to be physically fit as well as spiritually fit. It is in His Word.
Did you know that by trusting in the Lord and doing His will, helps you to be healthy? It’s right here in His Word.
Pr 3:5-8 (NIV)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
Science has proven this how you ask? Stress is the number one culprit of sickness and disease, and when you are truly trusting in the Lord and doing His will you have no stress. If you are stressing that means you are worrying, which means you are not trusting God!
I want to talk a little bit about our thinking and is it in line with what the Bible says, I really want you to understand how you think and what you think will either make you or break you. Whether you are a fitness trainer, teacher, policeman, lawyer, doctor, or an unemployed salesman. It doesn’t matter what your job is, your work will be affected by your thoughts. It doesn’t matter who you are, your life will be affected by your thoughts.
From personal experience I know that getting fit and staying fit is at least 90% mental. We need to realize that getting fit is not just about physical training but also about how our minds are instrumental in helping us achieve our goals, we have to have the proper frame of mind. Let us read what the Word of God says in Romanschapter 12:2a two different versions:
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. (NLT)
Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude](APM)
By reading these two versions we see that renewal of the mind is changing the way we think with new ideals and a new attitude which is God’s perspective, not man’s. The Bible is letting us know how important is is to have a good attitude and have the right ideals. Now this applies in every area of life. Without the right perspective how are we expected to accomplish our goals.
Believe You can Reach Your Goals
For example, I feel the first and most important step in achieving our goals, is to truly believe that we can in fact can reach them. Now, I don’t think we consciously set goals we don’t think we can reach, yet if we have the wrong perspective about our ability to attain these goals, a lot of us will have self doubt about reaching our goals. This ‘wrong’ thinking causes most of us to quit our pursuit of getting fit. We have to continue to read the Bible so we can take in God’s message and our hearts and minds can be renewed.
This is the truth. So as a fitness Minister when I sense someone is believing it is going to be overwhelmingly hard or that they don’t have the discipline or focus that is necessary to accomplish the job, I have to tell them that is a lie from the pit of hell. Yes, I can agree with them it is going to be difficult but not so difficult they cannot achieve it. With complete confidence I share with them they indeed can do it! Because of the power of God, through the Holy Spirit, inside of them!
We also needed to be grounded in the Truth so as not to be deceived by Satan.
Rev 12:9a (AMP)
And the huge dragon was cast down and out–that age-old serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, he who is the seducer (deceiver) of all humanity the world over
Jn 8:44 (NIV)
You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
I want you to seek the truth to understand that this world is much more than just a physical world. There are forces at war! Good vs Evil. All you have to do is turn on the television set to any news channel and know this is true. This my friends is spiritual warfare and our enemy likes to use submissive tactics, guerrilla warfare, to take us out without us even suspecting a thing.
Eph 6:12 (NLT)
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Because so many of us are naive about what the Bible says about this we are easy prey for our enemy. In the Bible Jesus calls Satan the Father of lies, and I assure you he is. He’ll use such subtle deception, you won’t even believe it when it’s happening. Take a look around you. Do you actually believe that 7 out of 10 people want to be fat or 70 percent of Americans all have unique circumstances which are causing them to be heavy and they don’t want to lose the weight. I don’t think so.
My fellow Christian brothers and sisters I am a professional fitness trainer this is my passion, what I love to do. I am not exaggerating when I tell you the obesity epidemic we are facing is a direct attack from the enemy.
From reading Scriptures we know Satan’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy (John 10:10).
What better way to take us out, don’t you think.
Thankfully, we are facing a defeated enemy, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has defeated him, by dying on the cross for us. The only way he can take us down is by causing us to take ourselves out, he uses deception as his weapon. Frankly because it’s his only weapon since he is a beaten foe.
Jesus Dwells Within Us
Now that Jesus is the new covenant and the veil was ripped in two when he died, he now dwells in every believer and our body is now His Holy Temple!
1 Cor 6:19-20 (MSG)
Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.
Our Lord still wants his Temple, our body, to honor and glorify Him.
Now if any of you are feeling guilt or shame or something negative because you haven’t been taking care of your body as well as you could have, Stop It! Just stop, you know those thoughts and feelings are not coming from the Lord.
Rom 8:1 (NIV)
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Not by our Power
Another thing I want all of us to understand it is not about discipline. Discipline is well and good I don’t mean to imply that it is bad. However what I am saying is that you cannot do this with your own power. I believe this is where most Christians fail. We have to confess to God that in of ourselves we are to weak to do this but through His Holy Spirit we can attain our goals.
2 Cor 12:9-10 (NCV)
But he said to me, “My grace is enough for you. When you are weak, my power is made perfect in you.” So I am very happy to brag about my weaknesses. Then Christ’s power can live in me. For this reason I am happy when I have weaknesses, insults, hard times, sufferings, and all kinds of troubles for Christ. Because when I am weak, then I am truly strong.
Worship the Lord in all that you do.
Rom 12:1 (MSG)
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.
When We Fall
One last thing I want to cover is when we fall. Notice I didn’t say if because we will stumble. How do I know this because we are human! It is OK to stumble it is not OK to beat yourself up for it. Remember there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. I don’t want any of us having a short term view on this. One bad meal or missed workout won’t wreck your entire program. However the way you view it just might. Remember as long as you don’t quit, God is right there with you!
Remember God is on our side!
If God is for us who can be against us?(NIV)Rom 8:31b