A few years ago my wife started swimming again after a long hiatus. We had moved, and she didn’t pull the trigger on joining a gym with a pool; finally, she did. Her goal was to swim nonstop for twenty minutes three days per week. She quickly reached her goal, so she added some “in the water” exercises. That went well, so she decided to push herself a bit harder. She began swimming four or five days per week. She achieved forty minutes of nonstop swimming, on consecutive days, and was ready for more.
With physical exercises it’s easy to test ourselves and, often, we find we have a much higher capability and capacity than we expected. However, when it comes to us proving our trust in Jesus and our openness to the work of the Holy Spirit within us, we find ourselves stymied and fearful that we may “put God to the test.” (Deuteronomy 6:16)
Still, we need to know where we’re at in our spiritual life in Jesus; we do need to exercise and grow. We see this in Galatians 6:4-6 (NIV) which says, “Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.”
We need to test ourselves and to be tested, to set goals, and work to become more like Jesus. We need to learn to use the Word that Jesus has given us, not for personal gain but for us to learn obedience to the will of God.
A Godly mentor is a tremendous help with this kind of effort, but when it gets down to brass tacks, we need to know how much we truly trust Jesus and then we need to go beyond that. As my wife showed me with her swimming, my walk with Jesus should double and then double, again. Let’s not let fear limit us or laziness cause us to miss what God intends for us.
Our walk with Jesus is an adventure. Embrace it, enjoy it and always be enthralled by it. God is so good to us. Don’t miss a minute of the excitement, challenges, tests and just hard work and pain. It will all pay off and, in the process. Someday we will all learn our test scores!