Lately, I've been going to the gym. I've been consistent to go 2-3 times a week for about a month and a half, now. I often get discouraged when I look in the mirror or step on the scale. The results are not what I want them to be! Yet I'm fitting in to pants the way I haven't before, I'm feeling more energetic, and, in many little ways, the results are making themselves known. Other people are starting to notice, and it's making a difference! Why do I bring all this up? I know that, at times, I seem heavy on sin and our rebellious nature. I'm a full counsel of God preacher, and I won't shy away from the harsh realities: we're promised trials and tribulations, and coming to Christ won't make your problems disappear (and we have an enemy that, if we let our guard down, seeks to multiply them!). Yet, it would be foolish of me to ignore the fact that, in Christ, who we were is not who we are, and what we are becoming is more like Christ! Just as when we work out and try to regain, or at least maintain, our health, we don't always see the results we desire, others notice, and, in little ways and by little things the Holy Spirit shapes and guides us, who we were is not who we are now, and what we are becoming is like Christ! We need to hear that, often. We need to stand firm, so that, by God, we will overcome (by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony!). We need to stand firm, understanding that God's timing does not usually fit in with our results driven mentality, and that, while He can part the seas and call down fire from heaven, He's trying to build within us love, joy, peace and patience, among many other fruits that are difficult to notice in the midst of the battles we fight. He is working on giving you a New Name and a New Nature. You're not who you were. Christ is reforming your heart to reflect His own. Stand firm, and trust the hands that formed the universe in all its wonder to form and shape your life! Revelation 2:8-17 “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life.
“‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.’ “And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: ‘The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword.
“‘I know where you dwell, where Satan's throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’