A couple of years ago, I began to notice that I was starting to get a little out of shape. How did I figure that out? Strangely enough, it was during our times of corporate worship. I am one of those crazy, passionate lovers of God that enjoys expressing that love through exuberant worship. Much to my dismay, during those times of worship I found myself having shortness of breath and the inability to worship longer than just a few minutes. I was horrified with myself.
Change was needed, but it wasn’t going to happen without some type of action on my part. I decided to start a workout program with a friend of mine who had a little more determination and resilience than I. At first it was challenging, but the benefit was worth it. During this time, each week my friend would schedule at least one day to do leg workouts, which included jogging. Can I just be honest here? I hated that day. I have always hated working out my legs and running. In fact, I probably would have skipped that part of the workout cycle altogether if it wasn’t for my friend being there to help make it happen. He actually liked running, so he was strong in the area in which I was weak. The truth is, because I allowed his strength to influence and push me, His strength helped me become stronger in my area of weakness.
As we journey through our Christian life, many times we are confronted with our weaknesses and inability to do what we feel God is asking from us. During these times we often find ourselves looking into the face of self-doubt and insecurity. However, the Lord’s desire for us is to not give in to those crippling thoughts and emotions, but rather lean in to Him and allow others to help guide us through those weaknesses so that we can become stronger.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching. – Hebrews 10:24-25
This is not only true in a spiritual sense, but also in our natural living. I have found that if I am not good at something that I want to be better at, it is always best to find someone that is good at it and connect to them. Connecting with the strength of others and walking with them as they do what they do will help increase your knowledge and give you a sense of security. The more you “do” with someone their strength is the more you will “be” someone who has that same strength.
Paul understood this principle well enough to know that when the Philippian churched needed to grow in their faith, he knew to send them someone who had what they needed.
…and sent Timothy, our brother and God’s fellow worker for the Good News of the Messiah, to make you solid and encourage you in your trust – I Thessalonians 3:2 (CJB)
He knew that if he could get them to partner, or walk alongside of, someone who had strength of faith, then they too would become people of strong faith.
I can remember moving to Dallas when I was nineteen. Since I grew up in a smaller community in Iowa, the big city life was a little daunting to me. I knew God had placed a huge heart in me for evangelism, but having been raised in a Christian home and not being exposed too much to worldly environments, I was very insecure about sharing the Gospel with people. Knowing that this was a weakness, I joined myself to the evangelism team at Christ for the Nations. They were a bunch of radical, no fear, all out for Jesus type people. Hitting the streets where the nightclub life was vibrant or places where the LGBT community gathered to party became a weekly outreach activity for me. It was during those times of connecting with others in their strength that I grew out of my insecurity and weakness and into what I knew I was to become. A deliberate action of connecting created an environment within that was conducive for change.
If you want to accomplish something in your life that is not a natural strength, you must connect yourself with someone you can walk with as they do what you desire to do. There is something about letting go of pride and humbling ourselves to learn from another that opens a door within for awakening. Whether it has to do with developing spiritual disciplines, career goals, or general life application, do what is necessary to find someone you can learn from. Let the strength of others empower you in your own areas of weakness. It is the way of the Kingdom and it works!