This message is from the sermon that I preached in our church on January 17th, 2016. It will be published in sections. Continued from How to Survive the Spin Cycle: Use Resistance Right (Part 1) NOTE: If you missed Part 1, you might want to watch the short Spin Demo Video #1 that I refer to throughout the message! Spin Demo Video #1
So let’s rehearse the three points I covered in the beginning of the message.
Use resistance right by:
- Understanding that resistance makes us stronger
- Committing to the process
- Obeying our thirst
Spin class is a good metaphor for how to use resistance right. But here’s where the metaphor breaks down:
- I pay to go spin class. I have control over how many times a week I put myself through this torture. If I’m sick or have another commitment that day, I don’t go.
- I know when the discomfort is going to be over. I can look at the clock and see how many minutes I have left to endure this so I can pace myself.
But in our lives, we don’t have that control over how and when we go through sorrow or discomfort. Who would sign up for that? And we certainly don’t have that view into the future to know when our excruciating challenges are going to end. No one can tell you, Keep going because in two more weeks your boss is going to give you a raise. Don’t give up on your marriage because in three months, your wife is going to have loving feelings for you again.
Nobody can tell you the exact day or time when this trial is going to be over – but we do have an instructor who has promised that He knows our beginning from our end. He is ready to give a word to encourage, strengthen and envision us. And unlike my spin instructor who can only shout encouraging phrases at me, we have an instructor who is prepared to carry us, strengthen us, deliver us, and bring out the other side WHOLE – all by HIS OWN POWER, not ours. And that’s why God gets the glory while we’re going through the process.
When I have a strong ride in spin class, I’m the hero of my own story. But in the story of my life, there is only one hero and I ain’t Him! I know the one who is getting me to my finish line.
Jude 1:24-25: Now to him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glory without fault and with unspeakable joy, to the only God, our saviour, be glory and majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before time was, now, and in all ages to come, amen.
Our story is for His glory. And when we have that perspective, we can realize that resistance is not the enemy. Our proper perspective on resistance can help us use it as leverage to strengthen our faith and endurance, to strengthen the faith of those around us, and to show off God’s amazing power.
Listen, I know that I am going to have to exercise for the rest of my life. I’m not going to exercise for a couple months, achieve of level of fitness and tone and then be able to quit and maintain that. I am fully aware that the moment I stop exercising is the moment that everything starts reverting back to mush.
It’s the same way with resistance in our lives.
There will always be something that is trying to overcome our purpose and our testimony. As long as we live on planet earth, there will always be a fight. Some will be the kind that makes us breathless, some will be an endurance ride and others will be light toning. But there will always be resistance that we will push against.
However, we are called to triumph in it. If we remember that we have been created to subdue and rule over resistance, then the helplessness and the fear that God doesn’t know what He’s doing, that everything is spinning out of control and that our future is hopeless will dissipate. It all makes sense now.
In closing I want to say it again – the presence of resistance is NOT the problem. In fact, it is the key that opens the door to becoming who we are created to be. The enemy knows what God wants to use in you so he sends resistance to combat the thing that is supposed to be your strength in hopes that you will get tired of fighting and quit.
The perfect example of this is Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.
In that garden, just hours before his crucifixion, Jesus felt the weight of what was coming. Such pressure was bearing down on him that he fell under the weight. He was sweating drops of blood. In his torment, He cried out to the Father. “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” (Mark 14:36)
The pressure of the resistance was coming against Him in order to make him back away and give up on his purpose and destiny. But instead of running away from the resistance, he ran at it. He subdued and overcame it. How? By falling at the feet of the One who would carry Him to the other side. He kept his eyes on the end game. For the love of you and me, he stayed clipped in. And in that moment of decision, Jesus went from being Emmanuel, God with us, to being our Savior, the Lamb that was slain before the foundations of the earth.
“What you see depends mainly on what you look for.”
- Are you looking at resistance as an opportunity to learn how to bring God more glory, to shine His light in a new way, to see God move on your behalf as You’ve never seen Him before?
- Are you seeing the resistance as an opportunity to get stronger and acquire more endurance?
- Or are you looking at the resistance as the enemy – as the pain, the disappointment, the trauma that might break you into a million pieces?
- Are you looking at resistance as a forever deal or as a temporary challenge that will become a powerful testimony by God’s grace?
Your perspective on your resistance is either your prison or your passport.
We’re going to experience resistance. Not just because we live on a fallen planet but because we were created to. But never forget that you were created to triumph in it.
Pressed but not crushed… Resistance is going to come, but it will never destroy us. In all things we triumph in Christ.
You can survive the spin cycle by using resistance right.
Today if you want the Lord to align your perspective on resistance, why don’t you pray the prayer below. God knows what you’re going through and He knows how to carry you through, over or around your resistance.
Lord, I repent for having an incorrect perspective on resistance. I’m sorry for the times that I blamed you for allowing trials to come into my life, for accusing you of having dropped the ball in my life or for not paying attention to how hard things were for me. I’m sorry for the times that I accused You of not loving me enough to make things smooth and easy. I repent for believing that lie.
Today I decide to change my perspective on resistance from one of self-pity and fear to one of endurance and faith.
Thank you for loving me and for enduring the cross for me. I ask you to show me how to use the resistance that I am facing for Your glory and for my maturity. Show me sides of You that I wouldn’t be able to see if I didn’t have this challenge. Reveal yourself to me as My provider, My strong tower and my strength when I am weak.
Lord, you commend those in Revelation 2:3 saying You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Lord, help us to be that kind of people. We love you Lord, and we give you all the praise for Your goodness and for Your authority and sovereignty over all things both in heaven and on earth. To You belongs the glory and majesty and dominion now and forever. Amen.