This devotional is from the evening devotionals that were used by Nathan Brown and Eric Anderson with the Work & Witness Team in San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico in March.
By today, some of us might be feeling sore. This soreness is a good thing, it means that we are getting a workout and our muscles are going to benefit. Who needs a gym, right!
Underlying all progression of natural muscle growth is the ability to continually put more stress on the muscles. This stress is a major component involved in the growth of a muscle and disrupts homeostasis within your body. The stress and subsequent disruption in homeostasis causes three main mechanisms that spur on muscle growth.
1. Muscle Tension
In order to produce muscle growth, you have to apply a load of stress greater than what your body or muscles had previously adapted too. How do you do this? The main way is to lift progressively heavier weights.
2. Muscle Damage
If you’ve ever felt sore after a workout, you have experienced the localized muscle damage from working out. The damage from the workout has to be present in your muscle cells.
3. Metabolic Stress
If you’ve ever felt the burn of an exercise, then you’ve felt the effects of metabolic stress. Metabolic stress causes cell swelling around the muscle, which helps to contribute to muscle growth.
After you work out, your body repairs or replaces damaged muscle fibers through a cellular process where it fuses muscle fibers together to form new muscle protein strands. These repaired strands increase in thickness and number to create muscle hypertrophy (growth).
We now know that for muscles to grow, they must be torn, causing them to develop more and stronger fibers as they heal. And it’s the same for our spiritual muscles.
So to grow our “muscles in Jesus,” we must enter into the pressures, stresses and trials of our daily lives with the attitude and mindset of someone in training.
Christians embrace every hardship as discipline. Hebrews 12:10, “But God's discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in His holiness.”
Christians understand God’s grace in that His pain is their gain. 1 Peter 2:24, “…for by His wounds you were healed.”
Christians seek God more passionately. Jeremiah 29:13, “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”
Christians pour their hearts into Him. Psalm 62:8, “Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.”
Going back to hypertrophy, or growth, this does not happen while you actually lift the weights. Instead, it occurs while you rest.
Hebrews 4:9-10, “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their labor, just as God did from His. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.”