When our sons were playing football, the varsity guys let them know an
important factor in impressing the coach. He'll be looking for you in the
weight room, not just at practice. Coaches know serious that athletes
serve their time in the weight room, concentrating on becoming stronger.
They're not there because it's fun, it's not. But because it's important
to winning the battle. One measure of your growing strength is what the
lifters call your bench press. That's not lifting a bench of course, but
it's how much you can lift over your head as you lie on a weight bench.
I've worked with a lot of football players and weight lifters, but I've
seldom met one who's content to keep the amount they can lift where it is.
They're always adding a little more weight to that bar. So, if your bench
press is 170 pounds, you want to go to 180... 190. If you've been lifting
200, you work to get it to 210... 220. Always pressing more.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "God's
Weight Room." Now, it's a principle of physical strength - and it's a principle in
God's gym as well. If you want to get stronger, you constantly have to be
lifting something heavier than you've lifted before. God, of course, isn't
just building biceps and triceps, he's building the one kind of strength
in us that opens up all He has for us. He is building faith muscles - the
ability to trust Him more than you've trusted Him before. Because "without
faith it is impossible to please Him" (Hebrews 11:6). Now, if you're just
proceeding on the basis of what you can see, what you can figure out, what
you can pull off, then God isn't very happy with you. God's will requires
moving by faith, which is by God's definition, "being certain of what we
do not see" (Hebrews 11:1).
So how does God help you build more faith muscles so you can win greater
victories than ever before? Well, by giving you something to lift that is
heavier than you've ever had to lift before. Since God continually uses
Abraham as His example of a life of faith, let's check out how Abraham
performed in God's gym. In Romans 4, beginning with verse 19, our word for
today from the Word of God, we see how he handled this very heavy
situation. The promise of God that He would defy all reproductive biology
and give them a son through their aging bodies and then the long wait that
ensued between the promise and the fulfillment.
The Bible says, "Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that
his body was as good as dead - since he was about 100 years old and that
Sarah's womb was also dead." Now notice, faith does not deny that there
are daunting realities in the situation or the apparent impossibility of
an answer. It says though, "Yet he did not waver through unbelief
regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave
glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had the power to do what He
had promised." Abraham lifts by faith what he had never lifted before and
he is "strengthened in his faith." That's how it works. Greater weight to
develop greater faith to experience greater things.
You may have been wondering why God has allowed such a heavy burden into
your life right now. It may very well be, not that He's unhappy with you,
but that He loves you enough to help you become stronger than you've ever
been before. He's building your faith muscles. If He only trusted you with
what you've lifted before, you'd only have as much faith as you've had
before. And He's growing you for greater things, for future battles, for
more miraculous victories. But you have to serve your time in the weight
room - not because it's fun, but because it's the only way to get strong
enough to play spiritual varsity.
God's your spotter. He won't allow you to have more weight than you can
handle right now. He's promised that. But He will give you something
heavier than you lifted before, so you can become more powerful in Him
than you've ever been before.