As we continue in finding “resolve” for our resolutions, I’m reminded of a time when I sensed that God wanted me to become healthy through a regular exercise regimen. Since I already had a gym membership (that I hadn’t used in awhile – a long while), I decided that I would go to the gym 4-5 times a week and do 30-45 minutes of aerobic exercise (usually treadmill, but occasionally the stair stepper and the elliptical).
The first week went great. And then the second week, I hit a wall. I literally “willed” myself out of bed and forced myself to workout on the treadmill. It was really, really hard. I thought to myself,”If I have many more days like today, I don’t think I’ll be able to keep it up.”
That’s when the Holy Spirit nudged me on the shoulder and said, “‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD of Hosts.”
Although I was following God’s ways, I wasn’t relying on His strength. I was trying to do God’s will in “Doug Lee power.” And I’ve learned over the years that relying on my own strength is always a bad idea.
So the next morning I woke up, again, not feeling it. So I prayed, “God, I’m not feeling it today. But I ask for Your strength to get me up and work out this morning.” And, you probably guessed it, within a half-hour I felt awake, alert and ready to have a great workout.
Another time, I got on the treadmill and I really didn’t want to move. And I prayed, “God, please give me the power to have a decent workout.” And I started the treadmill. In a few minutes, I was running at full speed.
There were other times, when after praying for strength, I sensed God telling me, “Take it easy – you’re going to burn yourself out.” And there were also other times when I neglected to ask God for strength or just got lazy and missed a workout or two.
But because God really wanted me to do this, I kept up this regimen pretty consistently for three years! It was the longest follow through on a New Year’s resolution in my life. It’s become a regular habit for me.
Now when it comes to my diet – that’s another story! Hopefully, in a couple of years it will become an area of victory for me.
It all boils down to whether we believe God’s strength can be at work within us. And then asking God for that strength when we need it (and even when we don’t think we need it – because we always do!)
If we have sought the Lord and have a good idea of what He wants us to do (see yesterday’s post), we owe it to God to ask Him for strength to carry out His will. He knows that if we don’t ask Him for strength to do His will, we’ll start thinking that we can do it in our own power. The only way He can receive the glory for what we do is if we humbly ask Him to be our strength.
My heart and my flesh may fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalm 73:26)