I was flipping through a fitness magazine when a full-page ad caught my eye. Imagine this: A body builder with an incredibly muscular physique is seated at a weight machine doing leg extensions. Teeth clenched, eyes squinting, he strains to squeeze out one last rep.
“Be ready,” the headline reads. The rest of the ad copy runs across and down his super-hero body in white type, drawing the reader’s attention to every glistening muscle and vein from his shoulders to his knees.
“Nothing ignites the spirit of athletes like a serious challenge,” the ad declares. “And nothing helps them rise to it like a low-fat, highly nutritious PowerBar. Its unique formulation gives your body the energy it needs to reach and sustain its optimal level of performance. So next time you have a challenge to meet, rely on a PowerBar. It’s fuel for your fire.”
We Need a Spiritual PowerBar
As Christians, you and I are like the athlete in this ad. Every day we’re training for competition. Every day we’re engaging in battle with the enemy. To meet this “serious challenge”, we need divine strength and power.
If only there was a PowerBar for the Christian-in-training! Like the body-builder, we need energy to reach and sustain our optimal level of performance. And we need fuel for our spiritual fires.
And then it hit me—there is such a thing. The Bible calls it honey.
This honey doesn’t come packaged like a candy bar. Nor is it found in any store. But God’s PowerBar is readily available to every believer who truly desires “spiritual muscle”.
Sampson Found God’s PowerBar
Samson found this honey in a very unlikely place. From the carcass of a lion he scraped it and ate (Judges 14:8-9). Do you remember the story?
In search of a suitable wife, Samson had traveled to the town of Timnah, where he’d met an attractive Philistine girl. No doubt his parents had trouble understanding why this righteous young man would want to marry the daughter of an uncircumcised Philistine. The Philistines were the enemy. They had been ruling over Israel for many years. But God had a plan. He would use this tumultuous marriage to smite the Philistines.
Like any solider in God’s army, Samson needed training. A military leader cannot train veterans or create victors, except by putting them in battle. So it is in the spiritual realm as well. God trains us for victory over evil by forcing us to combat evil. He uses adversity to teach us how to draw upon the supernatural power and strength available through Jesus Christ. Under God’s regime, there is no crown without a cross—and no conquest without some conflict.
You’re a Soldier Now
Keep this in mind the next time you’re tempted to complain about the trials in your life. You’re a soldier now and soldiers are made for war. What’s more, the battles you’re waging today are training you for even bigger challenges ahead.
When life is too easy, when we don’t engage in battle from time to time, we stop growing and maturing in the Lord. Solomon sat on a throne of gold and sunned himself in the brilliance of unmatched prosperity. His life ran smoothly without trials or conflict. And yet, Solomon’s life ended in failure.
Smooth sailing can even be dangerous. When David chose to stay home over being with his men at the line of battle, he fell into sexual temptation and committed adultery (2 Samuel 11:1-4). When life gets too easy, you also risk being caught off-guard and falling into sin.
Come back next week to read more from this timeless message