Sermon "Skill in Your Hand & God in Your Heart"

Friday, May 15, 2015

Life gets hard sometimes; can I get a witness?! But I thank God for reminding me that what He allow us to go through is not meant to destroy us, but to make us stronger. 
My mind goes back to when I first went to college. I was in a new environment and sort of at a crossroads in my life. I had to decide who and what I wanted to be. It may sound silly but, though I wasn't all that clear about what I wanted to be, I clearly knew what I didn't want to be anymore...and that was skinny. I was 6 feet tall and I weighed 135 lbs, if I had a few extra quarters in my pocket. I grew up as a skinny boy, and I didn't want to be a skinny man. So, at the encouragement of my friend and roommate Tony, who I envied as being naturally muscular, we started going to the gym.
I wonder if God chuckles like I do when He thinks about my first few days in that gym. My goodness, I can't believe I had the nerve to go in there with a tank top on. I'm glad that at that time cell phones didn't have cameras and Facebook didn't exist. I could barely lift the plates off the rack to the bar, much less the bar off the bench with the weights. But it's not all giggles. I realize now looking back, God taught me some spiritual truths from that experience too.
I can see now that living life is like lifting weights. To build my faith muscles, I can't just look at the weights of life's tests and trails, nor can I watch someone else workout and expect to see results in my own life. I have to lift the weights. And even though I have family and good friends like Tony and others, they can't do the lifting for me. My workout. And now I understand why things sometimes seem to get harder and not easier. It's because God wants my faith to keep growing. He is strengthening me through what I am going through now so I can lift the heavier weights I will face in the future. Faith, like muscles, will plateau and cease to grow unless more weight is added. Now I get it...ever-increasing weight for ever-increasing faith.
Though I know I'm not as spiritually strong as I can be, I'm glad that I'm not the spiritual weakling that I used to be. The devil now thinks twice before he kicks sand in my face. So I thank God for believing in me enough to add more weight to my bar. And I believe in God enough to spot me if I can't handle it. I am a faith-builder now, and I'm ready for my workout.