Thursday, April 26, 2012

Be Strong & Courageous

FACT: I have experienced some world-shaking, mind-blowing revelations about my faith in the Lord lately, and to be quite honest - I am so FULL of joy and new-found confidence in his POWER, LOVE, VICTORY, and complete SERIOUSNESS about desiring me to follow Him that I simply cannot keep silent! I must share with you His awesomeness :) 

I will set the stage by saying I believe the following two images completely define the truth of having SUCCESS in your future and your journey to accomplish great things. Notably, neither of these quotes come from the Bible - but the principles DO (as proven below). I want you to see though that the TRUTH IS THE TRUTH - If you don't have faith & confidence in yourself and what you wish to accomplish, you might as well STOP TRYING. Strong words I know, but I am saying this not to discourage you but to inspire you to...

Be Strong & Courageous. 

Sounds simple - "Be strong and courageous, get the life of your dreams." Easy right? Well, this strength and courage I speak of DO NOT come from YOU... They come from the LORD, and to get them, you must realize your complete inadequacy and weakness, and rely wholly on Him. My journey to the "joy and new-found confidence in his POWER, LOVE, VICTORY, and complete SERIOUSNESS about desiring me to follow Him" that I mentioned earlier started in a very dark, broken, and completely weak place. I was so done. I lost. I couldn't do it. I didn't even wanna do it. I would never win. I was stuck losing.  The truth is, I want self-destructing; and the harder I tried to stop, the better I got at doing it.... 

Competitive, driven people are often the ones to be hardest on themselves and do things that hurt themselves. I realized that it is because self-destructing never fails; you always can do it. But the thing is, even when you win at it, you always lose. 

Okay, so now for the good stuff: what does the Bible say about this? 

"When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away,
and I groaned all day long. Day and night Your hand of discipline was heavy on me.
My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.
Finally, I confessed all my sins to You and stopped trying to hide my guilt.
I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.”
And You forgave me! All my guilt is gone.
Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time, that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment. For you are my hiding place;
You protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory.
The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule
that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”
 (Psalm 32:3-9 NLT)

I had been fighting and fighting and fighting, using my strength (thing is, I don't have any of my own, remember). I was exhausted. I fell on my face in front of the Lord, prayed with a Christian sister, and cried till my eyes were sore. I told my God, "Help me. I can't do it." And just like the Psalm says, HE DID! But what's with that horse and mule part?

It means you must actively pursue God's influence in your life, and choose to follow His laws and commandments (not requiring a bit and bridle - aka: constant guiding, coaching, and leading by someone else) to stick to His plan. You must believe and have faith in the Lord, that HIS WAY IS THE BEST WAY

I, you, we ALL need God's strength. It is the "joy and new-found confidence in his POWER, LOVE, VICTORY, and complete SERIOUSNESS about desiring me to follow Him" that I keep talking about. Joyce Meyer said it like this: 

"The joy of the Lord really is your strength and the devil knows that if he can rob you of your strength, that he will turn you into a weak, whining and ineffective Christian.

Did you know that the devil is not after your health? Did you realize that Satan could care less about your marriage or your finances? And your children don't mean a thing to the devil! What the devil is after is your joy and the way that he tries to steal your joy is by going after your health, your marriage, your finances and your children.

The devil knows that he cannot deny you of your salvation or of the forgiveness that Jesus has given to you. So, what he tries to steal is the most valuable commodity that he is able to get his greedy little hands on. Satan is relentless and he will do everything that he can to lie to you and eventually deceive you out of your joy.

Today, let me challenge you to stand toe to toe ... nose to nose with the accuser of the brethren and declare in his ugly little face, "Satan ... you can not!! You will not!! You will never be able to take my joy from me!"

When you choose to defy the enemy with the joy that Jesus died to give you, you will become a powerful force in the world today. God can use joyful Christians who are bold enough to hang onto their joy no matter what is going on in their circumstances." 
Jesus told us before He returned to Heaven to be with the Father:
 "The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them (you!!) a rich and satisfying life." (John 10:10 NLT)

As a Christian in the world, I take on many roles: a student, an athlete, a daughter, a sister, an employee, and a friend. I am OBLIGATED to be the best I can be so I can show that God really CAN and DOES change lives, save people, and fill them with His joy and strength! If I sit around in my sin, wallowing in my old ways, only to every once in a while have a revival moment and be happy, and then fall back into doubt, destruction, and darkness, how will I ever help anyone!? I couldn't. Thing is... helping people is the single most important thing to me in this world. I won't live in defeat!! 
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us." (Hebrews 12:1 NLT)

We all know I am a big health and fitness girl, so here's what one of the greats of the fitness world - Arnold Schwarzenegger said about success: 

Oh, and here's a photo of Arnold:

Hmmm, think his faith had anything to do with his success? 

... Starting to see the connection ;) ?


That's all for now folks! Until next time, 

~ Ruthie

1 comment:

  1. So glad I found your blog! I'm a fellow Christian, blogger, and just entering the fitness world!

    Seriously, SO HAPPY I've found your site! :)