March 9, 2023
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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 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 that amount that they can lift where it is. No, 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 want to work to get it to 210, 220. You know, you're always pressing more.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Why You Have a Heavy Load."
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 ever trusted Him. 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 had to lift before. Since God continually uses Abraham as an 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. Maybe even the apparent impossibility of an answer. But it says, "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 God had the power to do what He had promised." So, 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's 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 will not 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.