Updated: Jun 1, 2022
On your journey of growth and transformation, whether it be natural or spiritual, you will encounter challenges. You will collide with roadblocks, you must overcome struggles, and you will experience the fear of letting go of what was to embrace the new. More importantly, resistance will meet you! I want to share something I've learned on my journey so far.
There are two forms of resistance you will encounter, and you must discern which is for your good versus what comes to harm you. The positive is that both forms of resistance can build a particular result in you; strength. The difference is that one form of power glorifies God, whereas the other glorifies self. Let's dive a little deeper, shall we?
The first type of resistance involves weights being pulled towards you to build your mental, emotional, and spiritual muscles. This resistance is usually associated with an uncomfortable pressure when God is nudging and challenging you into greater faith. The second form of resistance involves weights being placed on you. This pressure is usually from the enemy when he tempts you to prove your identity, gifts, and abilities by pushing you into fear and ungodly striving, causing you to produce or make something happen in your strength and timing instead of relying on God.
It's often easy to embrace resistance when you're the one pulling it towards you, even though, at times, you may question your strength and ability to lift the weight staring at you. A clear picture of this are the machines you'll find in the gym which require you to pull the weight up and down to build muscles in your chest, arms, or back. When God wants to create specific muscles in you, whether it's your faith, trust, intimacy, or dependence on Him, He will position you in places and situations meant to stretch you. It's not always comfortable, but it's a process you grow through.
Oppositely, if you were doing a bench press and someone was standing over you pushing down a 30-pound bar with two 25lb weights on both ends of it (if you have weak upper-body strength as I do), you'd probably give up trying! So, what am I saying exactly? In life, we will experience the pressure of trying to please people, to be like those we subconsciously compare our portion in life to, and the pressure to perform and prove our gifts, abilities, and strengths. We must learn to resist pressure that is not from God even when it may seem like an opportunity for growth. Too much of the wrong resistance can cause injury or even create a permanent disability.
On the other hand, there is resistance we should joyfully welcome because it makes us stronger. Like, pulling on the weight of trials and tribulations meant to mature you, enduring people gossiping about you, criticizing you, trying to assassinate your character, or slandering your name and reputation when you have a good and clear conscience. Yes, hurt is often attached to these types of situations. But you must understand that they are meant to make you unmovable, your faith unshakeable, and they thicken your spiritual skin and muscles.
The enemy plans always to force unsafe weights and pressures on you that come crashing down. For example, the weight of hurt, pain, devastating losses, rejection, fear of man, and the pressure to perform leads to you striving for perfection to produce a promise God made that only He can fulfill. These weights can be difficult to push up off of you, and when you fall into the temptation of testing or proving just how strong you are--instead of relying on God's strength and power--you are likely to fail or sustain an unwanted injury. These weights can strengthen us but often become too much because they were never designed to lift.
Like me, you have probably found yourself at some point praying, "Lord, take the weight off!" when you should be praying, "Lord, be my Spotter!" This is when God shows up with His unconditional love, grace, and mercy to rescue us. Thank Yahweh for the Holy Spirit! He is our Comforter and Spotter! Do you know what the purpose of a spotter is? A spotter is there to look more than lift. They stand by to help maneuver you and the equipment used to prevent injuries and be your support during particular exercises.
Okay, this is where I get to do what I do best! Give you HOPE!! When God sees the weight of life circumstances crashing down on us-even those we've brought upon ourselves-He doesn't just stand over watching and waiting for our demise. He ain't that type of Father! Instead, He uses those moments to grow us, teach us, and correct our form and posture; He encourages us to push while holding His hands underneath the same weight we are struggling to lift. He may not always remove the weight, but He certainly helps lift it right when we need it the most. Even when you feel like circumstances are crushing you, that's not the case. The enemy can't crush or condemn what God has built and favored!
There is always a lesson in EVERYTHING! Including what we view as failures and moments where we've dropped the ball. Be encouraged! The Father says, "you didn't drop the ball, Beloved. I've given you possession of it. When you think you've dropped the ball, I'm simply teaching you how to dribble while you're running with it!"
You see, the goal is to grow from it all! Unlike the enemy, it is not God's desire to crush us under the weight of trials and adversity. Instead, the Lord builds our resiliency in the face of it. In this season, I challenge you to examine the pressures in your life. Pressure always points to what needs to be changed (i.e., shift your weights, posture/and or form) or what needs lifting (throw it down, put it down, let it go!)
I hope this word encouraged you! Keep growing!
Examine Your Faith:
What are some pressures pointing to in your life right now? Are you growing? Or are you striving?