If you don’t exercise you will atrophy. That is, your body will deteriorate and eventually die.
Exercise is stress. As babies we had to learn to stand and walk. If you don’t put yourself under that stress then you will never train the neural pathways from your brain to your muscles which are designed to make your muscles work, and your bones will never be strong enough to support your vertical weight. It’s not automatic, it has to be stressed. It’s a stress to get up and walk. Running is a stress on your body. Like a tree needs the wind to stress it so it can strengthen itself, so moderate exercise is necessary for your body to stay healthy. And exercise needs to be done 3 times per week for 20-30 minutes in order to at least maintain and hopefully improve your level of strength. Yet, if you exercise incorrectly you will hurt your body and even potentially break it, and also teach your nerve pathways the wrong information for your muscles.
The same thing is true for our spirits.
Most Christians want an easy ride to heaven. They follow Christ in the hope and expectation of living the “no hassles” life. These Christians won’t make it. You need the hassles of life to strengthen yourself in God’s faith, and without the hassle you cannot strengthen your faith. Faith is only exercised through hassles; there’s no such thing as faith unless there are hassles to prove it, and whatever is not of faith is sin.
If you don’t exercise your spirit it will atrophy and die. But most Christians don’t know how to exercise correctly. The average Christian thinks that good exercise is reading the bible, praying, going to church, saying the right thing, and doing the right thing, giving money and being a helping hand, but anyone can do that; it doesn’t necessarily make you a genuine Christian. These exercises just reinforce the wrong pattern of your soul’s headship over your spirit.
The question is why are you really doing these things?
A genuine Christian doesn’t read the Bible; he meditates on it as he converses with his Lord. He stops and contemplates what God is saying and teaching him. He doesn’t necessarily read the bible to know things, but rather to be strengthened by the Spirit of the Word to grow in patience through faith through trials. A genuine Christian doesn’t see saying and doing right things as a sign of his genuineness. A genuine Christian doesn’t pray to God for the best deal so he can make his life more comfortable; he respectfully talks with God about his hassles and prays to God so His will may be done in the situation.
MORE PROPER EXERCISES
Proper exercise for a Christian is when he brings his soul under the control of his spirit. He exercises his spirit by putting himself last, by not talking about himself and what he has done (the opposite to twitter and facebook), by not bending to the intimidating opinion of the majority, by standing up for the spirit of the laws of God when everyone else is compromising them, by not letting evil dictate its will and try to undermine his authority especially in his own house, by refusing to allow himself to have a mood, by refusing to allow himself to entertain envy against anyone, by refusing to defend himself in the face of genuine correction, by refusing to blame others for his hassles, and by refusing to allow his soul to make judgments against his fellowman.
Strong meat belongs to them that are of full age, who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil, Hebrews 5:14
Q. Why do we have to discern right from wrong when we have already gained the knowledge of good and evil from the fall in the Garden of Eden?
In the Garden, the knowledge of right and wrong led to sin (lying, blaming, and fear) and sin led to separating from the Garden and ultimately to death. It was because they gained the knowledge via sin that they increased their sin by lying and blaming. The more knowledge you gain the more you promote your status over others, the more you lie and blame to protect this status and the less you see spiritually and the less you know spiritually, and the less you know you are lying and blaming.
Whereas knowledge coupled with discernment leads to life and restoration into the garden. You can gain as much knowledge as you like about God, but without the discernment your knowledge will just puff you up and give you a coronary. Knowledge without discernment is fatal and discernment is gained by exercising your spirit against the stresses fired by the enemy.
Most Christians, especially the Pentecostals, resist Satan’s attacks by pleading the blood of Christ, or praying a prayer of binding and loosing, or fasting, or will-power rightness. They do these things so they can overcome the hassle, and put Satan in his place, but there’s no respect of Satan (Jude 1:9) [they blindly believe that they can tell Satan what to do because they are sons of God], and there’s no faith. In fact they believe that the evidence of their faith is the reward of “no hassles”. This exercise leads to death.
The truth is, it was through stress that Joseph was brought to power. It was through stress that Daniel was brought to power. It was through stress that David was brought to power. It was through stress that Moses, Noah, Abraham, and even Jesus were brought to power. It was through stress and failure that Samson fell from his height and saw the truth about himself. It was through stress that Jesus’ disciples finally saw the light about the Saviour, and it was through stress that Jesus resisted the Tempter, respectfully. Jesus didn’t just tell Satan to go jump in the creek; He resisted him for the Father’s sake with full respect of his God-given power.
The lie that Satan is defeated so we can treat him with disdain
Satan is effectively defeated but he still has to be defeated. That’s the two truths of the Word of God in balance. If you face your enemy with mocking and disdain because you think you have the Spirit of God on your side, all you’re really doing is displaying your spiritual self-rightness pompous ignorance.
Fake Christians want the power without the stress. They’re always looking for the good in something so their bad can be justified. Thus they can circumvent the pain of being told they’re wrong, but really it’s just a technique to discredit any correction of their character.
A genuine Christian will resist Satan’s attacks by taking the issue to the Father and being willing to suffer the insult, or embarrassment, or contempt, or misjudgement for the Father’s sake and walk through the pain by faith in God’s plan. This is not the package that’s sold to the modern Laodicean church.
Most people exercise to look good, to feel good, to be healthier, or out of the fear of getting sick. The motive of the genuine Christian is always for the kingdom of heaven. The motive for the fake Christian is always for the kingdom of me, even though he may pretend or deceive himself otherwise. If you’re not properly exercising your spirit then everything you do is really a lie and really just for you, and repeating the wrong exercise just reinforces the wrong spiritual patterns.
Fake Christians are always looking for a reason, a knowing, a purpose, a calling. Genuine Christians are motivated for Christ simply because they love Him and they know He loves them, and for no other reason necessary, and they wait on Him and for Him.
Because the modern church will not stand up against sin (the chasing of the god of me), the whole world is so full of inferior (in fear of what people think of them) spirits that most people, under the subtle influence of these lying spirits, spend their whole life chasing superiority by whatever means possible, to gain value and respect in the eyes of other people, and Christianity is a very popular pathway, as is education, knowledge, and skills.
Knowledge is a God-given tool used by Satan for people to gain leverage over others. The more one knows the more they feel of value above others, the more they can tell others to respect them, the more they can put others in their place and tell them to mind their own business, and the more they can justify their own thinking over the thinking of others and argue that you don’t understand. Like King Saul, everything done by a fake Christian is for leverage over others.
A genuine Christian can’t help inferior people unless they’re willing to be inferior, and neither can a superior person be spiritually helped unless they’re willing to lower their status and to be thought of as inferior as well.
Genuine faith is measured by your heart’s willing submission to look inferior in the eyes of man because you trust the Lord Jesus. If you’re not put down by man for the sake of Christ then your faith is invalid. All that will live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution, 2 Timothy 3:12.
Jesus came to save sinners (those who know they aren’t worthy of His salvation); not those who tell God that they are worthy on the grounds of their knowledge and goodness.
Knowledge complicates, love just dies because it trusts with child-like faith. Discernment grows through faith, not more knowledge, and without discernment your knowledge is vanity.
Pastor Scot Steinman