atrophic or developed, determine, distress, evaluate, fake or true, flabby or firm, judge, measure of faith, mustard seed, pain, physical exercise, powerless or powerful, soreness, spiritual exercise, spiritually healthy, spiritually strong, unpleasantness, weak or strong, weather the storms, working out
And Jesus, replying, said to them, Have faith in God [constantly]. Truly I tell you, whoever says to this mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea! and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him. ~ Mark 11:22-23, AMP
For by the grace (unmerited favor of God) given to me I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance], but to rate his ability with sober judgment, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him. ~ Romans 12:3, AMP
Therefore, my dear ones, as you have always obeyed [my suggestions], so now, not only [with the enthusiasm you would show] in my presence but much more because I am absent, work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete) your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling (self-distrust, with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ). [Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight. ~ Philippians 2:12-13, AMP
In order to remain spiritually strong and spiritually healthy, we must EXERCISE our individual spiritual Faith muscle! It’s our responsibility to build our own Faith muscle! If our own Faith is weak, flabby, atrophic (wasting away, withering), or false, then it is our own fault – NOT God’s!
It is so sad but so true that most people strongly dislike exercising—they have an acute aversion to physical workouts. Even though they know that physical exercise is “good” for them, because it will strengthen their muscles, strengthen their bones, improve their mental health, improve their mood, control their weight, and etc., they often put off exercising primarily because they know that in order to obtain their goals they first must allot plenty of time and expect to experience much bodily pain.
Now it appears that the abovementioned reasons for why most people put off exercising (too time consuming and too painful) are not only the same reasons why many of God’s children have an intense distaste for physical exercise and, thus, will avoid doing it, but also the reasons why they often have no desire to engage in spiritual exercise. Too many people who say they are followers of Christ Jesus seem to have no desire to devote the time nor any desire to endure the pain it will cost them to do what it takes to increase the strength in or gain more power for their Faith muscle. This, however, is the undeniable truth as to why their spiritual Faith muscle repeatedly fails them in their times of need, and why they repetitively are asking/begging God to give them more Faith or to increase the strength and power levels of their Faith.
The above-stated physical and spiritual exercise analogy is why this blogger does not understand why so many Christians keep teaching and preaching that WE should ASK God to INCREASE and/or STRENGTHEN our Faith, or give our Faith MORE POWER. The Divine Truth is that God already has given each one of us OUR own measure of Faith (the degree of Faith apportioned by God), which is our individual portion of His Faith! For this reason, He doesn’t need to increase or strengthen or empower our individual Faith any more than He heretofore has done, because He has given us ENOUGH Faith to make us born again believers, to make us victorious saints, and to make us powerful followers of Christ Jesus—powerful enough to literally move mountains, which means that even if our measure of Faith is as small as a grain of mustard seed It still is strong enough and powerful enough to remove a mountain from where it is located on land and throw it into the sea (see Mark 11:22-23 also Matthew 17:20)!
Furthermore, God’s Word tells us that our mountain-moving measure of Faith automatically INCREASES and/or gets STRONGER and becomes more POWERFUL when we put our own measure of Faith to use—when we EXERCISE our own measure of Faith by WORKING OUT our own Salvation (see Philippians 2:12-13), and by evaluating our God-given ability with sober judgment in accordance with our own measure of Faith (see Romans 12:3). Once again, God gave all of us who are His sons and daughters everything we need to live holy, righteous, and victorious lives on this Earth (see 2 Peter 1:3), and that EVERYTHING includes more than enough Faith!
Let there be no doubt about it. It is our responsibility to live out our God-given Faith in Christ Jesus, even more so during the many storms of life that come our way! Unfortunately, it is sad but true that the painfulness we encounter that causes most of us to have an aversion to working out our own Salvation happens every time we EXERCISE our own spiritual muscle of Faith while we are facing the various kinds of storms that frequent our individual lives.
Oddly enough for many believers in Christ Jesus, it is because most of us frequently can’t understand why God didn’t keep us from the soreness, distress, and other unpleasantness we suffered in our past storms that we often stop exercising our Faith, while we are in a present storm. This very poignant and unquestionable truth is why we all need to understand this also very frustrating yet undisputable Truth: God allows us to weather the storms (to be all right in spite of experiencing great difficulties and/or serious problems) that come into our lives so that we realistically can evaluate (judge, appraise, determine) just how fake or true, weak or strong, flabby or firm, atrophic or developed, and/or powerless or powerful our own Faith is in the God we say we love, we obey, and we TRUST! Our evaluation definitely will show us just how spiritually strong and spiritually healthy we are, as well as point out how important it is for us to continue with our Faith’s spiritual workout regime.
A word to the wise should be sufficient. Shalom . . . .