Devotions to help you live out your faith


Spiritually Tanked

I try to be a fairly humble guy, but sometimes it can be hard. Like when you are getting constant comments about your physical appearance. This isn’t something that has often been a big issue for me, but over the summer out of no-where I started getting all these compliments. Suddenly I was being told I looked in a lot better shape than the summer before, people were pointing at me on the beach and saying how I had abs, lifeguards were asking me to help them because of my muscle, girls were telling me I looked better with my shirt off, and one girl posted on my Facebook wall just before I was due to fly home from New York: “The awkward moment when you walk through the metal detectors at the airport, and your abs of steel set them off.” Stuff like that make humility kind of tough…
I wasn’t getting those sort of comments for no reason. Over the past year I had been working on my physical fitness – running, cross-training, rowing machining, push-uping, powerballing, putting in some significant effort. And based on what others were saying, it seemed to have paid off. For years I had been waiting for the six-pack to magically appear, but finally I got around to putting in some work, and that was when I started to get into better shape. And I think so often we expect our faith to just grow without any effort on our behalf, which is just as crazy as expecting to get tanked without putting in the hours at the gym.

In Philippians 2:12 Paul tells us “Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.” In the English Standard Version it phrases it as “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” which I quite like. Work out your salvation. Now this isn’t about being saved by deeds. We are saved by faith alone through grace alone, but we show we have been saved by what we do. As James says “I will show you my faith by my good deeds.James 2:18. Yes we have been saved by faith, but we haven’t been saved to put our feet up and wait for heaven. We have work to do to advance the kingdom here, on earth as it is in heaven.
If we want to stand tall as a light shining into the dark of our generation, a beacon of hope to a generation desperately in need of Christ’s comfort in the midst of credit crunches, unemployment, war, hurricanes, abuses of power, hunger, trafficking and earthquakes then we need to grow in faith. We need to have roots that go deep down in Christ to stand firm and offer hope to the world. If our roots aren’t deep problems or persecution will cause us to wilt (see Mark 4:17). The world needs us to be deep rooted, mature Christians who have our anchors firm and sure in Christ, the solid rock. The world needs us to stand firm against the powers of darkness, knowing that nothing, not death, not demons, not fear, not worry, not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love (see Romans 8:38). We need to work at growing in faith so that we can stand firm as a beacon of hope in the midst of the darkness, shining Christ’s love out to all who need it. We need to get “spiritually tanked” so that we can do all that God has called us to. He has called us to be salt and light to the world. It isn’t going to be easy. It’s going to take hard work. It’s not going to be stuff we can just turn up for and ace it without preparing. Put in the work now to grow in faith so that when the day comes to step into the ring you won’t be a lightweight.

{NB many thanks to people like Allyssa, Dash, Kaylee and Noa who helped inspire this post}