In last week's blog I talked about the spiritual disciplines, which we in the Methodist tradition(s) know as the "Means of Grace." What we Methodists believe is that through these opportunities to receive and give grace, is that we will be more and more transformed into the likeness of the living God, Jesus Christ.
Heavy right? That's some powerlifting theology right there. The thought is actually a simple one in Christian theology, and very basic. But in that simple statement is a major thought exercise toward understanding much in the Christian faith. This would be the "squat" of Christian theology. I think of it as the squat because it can be a heavy load to be under, straining to rise to the level of being like Christ. However, the burden is actually light because all we need to do is believe. That is the one and only requirement for life change. For transformation.
What is also important that the Methodist tradition believes, is that having faith in Christ is the start of your Christian journey, not the end. There are still pit falls that can ensnare you in your faith walk as you strive to bring the Kingdom of God that is within you to others in need.
Don't let that last sentence cause you to mentally struggle. It is a concept I will deal with later (and hopefully remember to link it here when I do). For now, just understand that when you come to the knowledge and understanding of Jesus Christ as your personal savior a weight is lifted off your shoulders and your transformation begins. Now your journey of "spiritual bodybuilding" has begun.
With this journey you have a spotter, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives you understanding that living out your faith is done with its power and guidance, not solely your own. This means that you are not chasing after personal virtues and keeping tabs on how nice you are each day and trying to be better. No. This is quite different. This is also where the Means of Grace can serve as your spiritual bodybuilding guide to a balanced, proportioned Christian life.
I'm going to stop here because I feel like this is enough to chew on for a little while. I feel like I just had you chug down a weight-gainer with almond milk.
To here is the takeaway: much like a life of fitness, your spiritual transformation begins the day you decide to start "for real." This might come at a low point in your life where "something needs to change," or at a high point where you feel energized to make a difference. Either way, you have the opportunity to be transformed into a person set apart for a glorious undertaking ...
Some "weekly" musings from Pastor Dave as he sits on his porch and drinks coffee, thinking about theology and lifting heavy weights. For gymsharks, there is something called "Flex Fridays," where we vainly put up photos of ourselves flexing. So this blog is my attempt to flex my theological muscles through reflection ... get it?