Building the Faith Muscle
Her words stabbed like a dagger to my achiever heart, even as she tried to soften them.
“She’s a little disappointed that this project is not complete,” my boss said as she explained what her boss had told her about my team’s progress on an important initiative. To an achiever who constantly struggles with measuring myself by my accomplishments, these words cut like a knife.
And even though I know better than to measure myself this way, I found myself at Target in Farmington three days later, desperate to find the new organizing planner system that would help this achiever achieve even more.
I did not find it. Even after pouring over the numerous ones they had for over an hour, I could not find one that would solve my problem. Deep down I knew that it was a heart problem. Not a problem that could not be solved by any earthly organizer.
Not so coincidentally, it is exactly a year after the demotion that opened my eyes to truth about my struggle to be defined by my accomplishments, that I write this. Yet again, I see my faltering. It seems my natural bent is leaning towards measuring myself this way. But that’s okay. We are all broken in some way. That’s why we need a savior.
Our brokenness is the reason we have to continually build our faith. Faith must be treated like any other muscle. You do not just go to the gym one time with a personal trainer, learn the things you should be doing and then believe that from the there you will be in shape. No, you actually have to put the work in to stay in shape. Over and over, you have to go to the gym. Faith works the same way.
It is the the hearing and then acting on the word of God that builds our faith.
How do we do this? We read the word of God and then go do what it says.
I know that is oversimplifying it. This is difficult in practice. Hence, my anxious Target trip. The key here is to remember that God is pleased with the actions of doing. He is not looking for those who have perfectly overcome their struggles, He is looking for the ones down on their knees in the trenches knowing they need His help. Praying is doing. Reminding yourself what the Lord has said, again for the fifth time this hour, as the fiery darts of the enemy come at you again, is doing. Opening your Bible to read the Word is doing. Writing a scripture or a reminder about what God says on a sticky note and putting it on your mirror so you read it again and again is doing too.
Jesus, in his sermon on the mount says that “everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his home on the rock” (Matthew 7:24). It is all about practicing, not perfecting.
Friends, God is pleased at your doings and you are building your faith muscle every time you do something in pursuit of God’s truth. Pray about what you should be doing to act on the Word of God that is most relevant to your brokenness right now. You have to keep building that faith muscle to keep it strong.
As for me, I prayerfully decided to stop my quest for the planner, and instead, remind myself who I am. I am a dearly loved child of God who works from my significance, not for it. I wrote this in the planner I already have at the top so I can see it all day long as I accomplish my tasks.
What are you going to do to build your faith muscle this week?
Lord, life is so hard here but you have saved us and given us a way to walk in your strength through it. Thank you for your grace that covers us and gives us the faith we need to keep moving. Show us ways we can build our faith in you for the areas we struggle with. In you we are strong enough to continue to fight the war. You are good and have provided us with the weapons we need to be victorious in you. In Jesus name, amen.
Questions to Pray on:
What truths do my brokenness make it hard for me to believe?
What actions could I be taking right now to build that faith muscle?