We all have goals right? Well you should have goals both naturally and spiritually. Goals for your education, career, family, social life, ministry, etc. Goals are exciting. Short term and long term. The process of writing down possibilities – brainstorming on what could be, using your imagination to see beyond what is happening at the present time.
How do you get from here to there? How will you make it?
I was so inspired in Physical Therapy this past Friday. There was a quickening in my spirit. I was laying on my heating pad after my session and asked my therapist to grab my phone because I needed to write. The processes that I was going through to achieve my goals in physical therapy made me think of what we go through to achieve goals in general, but especially spiritually. It can be painful. We set the goal, yet faced with the plans, procedures, trials and tribulations to achieve that goal, we may shrink back.
Pain initiates a fight or flight response. You’re either going to go for it or you’re going to stop and give up. I didn’t know the process. I only knew the goal. And as I have continued, more exercises are being added to test me. This scripture comes to mind: Man makes the plan yet God determines His steps.
Our walk with God is like that. There are levels
that we want to get to. Levels He wants us to come to. Yet we have a part to play in achieving our goals, both naturally and spiritually. For example, naturally. I am in physical therapy and I have a goal of increased mobility, range of motion and no pain in my right arm, side and back. How can I achieve that? Well, it takes a lot of stretching of those muscles. Some that are so intricately connected that it takes going in a direction that seems to be the wrong way or not to make sense.
In actuality, my therapist is the professional. She knows what she is doing and the reason I am going that way to do that particular stretch, and in the end it works out for my good. (Romans 8:28-29)
It takes consistency and commitment, following the instructions given and pacing myself to achieve my goals in physical therapy.
I thought my issue was only my shoulder blade, but my therapist, in her expertise, wanted me to try a certain stretch that initially in my mind had nothing to do with my shoulder blade. Yet when she went there, to my surprise, pain shot through me. It was on the side that I thought was ok. It wasn’t visible, nor did it hurt. I didn’t realize I had adjusted my walk, and movements to overcompensate what I was missing. I adjusted myself instead of addressing the issue. She went to the source, and although it didn’t seem connected to the visible part of my pain, it was.
Glory to God! This made me instantly think on how God allows our trials to show us the hidden things, deeply rooted in us. Things He is trying to refine and also remove to get us to that next level in Him.
We have deep rooted issues and traits that may not be beneficial to our progress. They may hinder our goal, yet God knows and He will work those deep rooted things out of us. It is painful and we may kick and scream and say we don’t need that. Our problem isn’t that, it’s this. But He is our Creator. He knows all things and we can trust Him.
Our muscles have memory, and if I don’t stretch because it’s uncomfortable, I will not have good success in that area, and won’t achieve my goals. My muscle will “remember” not to stretch. I do what I can, and my therapist helps me also. I stretch to the point where I feel a little pain, but mostly a great stretch. She doesn’t want me hurt. Likewise, God isn’t trying to hurt us. He is trying to heal us, and walk us into our purpose. It takes some stretching and we may get to the point of pain, but if it’s too much, He makes a way out for us. He knows what we can handle in this life. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Now with the muscle memory, as I keep doing my exercises at home and at the center, I am getting healthier, feeling less pain and seeing results. However, I can’t just rely on what she is doing while I am at physical therapy. I have to do the exercises at home as well to see full results. If not, everytime I return I am back where I started or with very little progress.
It’s like going to church. It isn’t enough to sustain you. Church is only a few hours a week. Compare that to how many hours we actually have in a week and you will see the deficit. Study, meditate, pray and put into action all that you learn at church in your daily life. You hear the Word but you must apply it, and stretch yourself. God gives us all that we need. We ask for more of Jesus, but we have Him. He gave us His Holy Spirit. What more do we need? I think many Christians have the wrong view of God, but that’s a blog post for another day.
Apply the Word to your life. The Word teaches us how to live, pray, fast, show love, what not to do, etc. He has given us instructions and also gifts in men. Eachother. We have Preachers, Teachers, Evangelists, Apostles, and Prophets for the edifying of the body. Jesus is also with us- always. Be encouraged.
We need to learn to go through the trials to come out refined. Don’t give up when things are hard. They will be hard. Some days will be very difficult, but stay the course. For example, to lose weight, you must eat a healthy diet and exercise. That is hard for many of us. Especially when you are starting out, but if you don’t stay the course, you won’t get that body you’re desiring. Also, to achieve my goals in physical therapy, it’s hard and sometimes painful, but as I keep going and following instructions, I will achieve them. If I give up because its hard, I won’t get anywhere, and can even get worse. Not moving my muscles because of pain will keep them locked in a position that will continue to decrease my mobility and then I would be going backwards. We may encounter a painful situation or trial with the Lord and it can shake our faith or make us lose trust in Him.
Stay on the Potter’s wheel
Don’t go backwards in your walk. Life throws curveballs at us. That won’t stop. But we have a helper in God who is there helping us to stretch. He wants us to reach our full potential. He also sends us Angels, and people that He works through to assist us with achieving our goals. We don’t have to go at it alone. We do; however, have to understand that we play a part in our success. Whatever goal that may be. It isn’t happening without us. It won’t miraculously happen either. Do the work! Give God something to bless. He says that He will bless the work of your hands. (Deuteronomy 28:12
) You can have goals written down all day, or even on your mind, but if there is no execution, there will be no fulfillment.
Love you guys and thanks for reading. I pray it blesses you.