Bible Reading: Luke 4:9-14a
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7, NIV
WHEN WAS THE last time you tried to open a jar and couldn’t get it open? When was the last time you tried to lift a heavy item—like the box of trash you have after cleaning your room? Feel weak? Well, there’s hope for you.
Charles Atlas was a famous weakling who became a champion bodybuilder. He developed a system for building strength that relied on something called isometric exercises. These exercises are very good for building strength. Even though you can buy exercise machines that work on the principal of isometrics, the greatest thing about isometric exercises is that you can do them with things around the house.
The basic idea is to find something that won’t move when you push, pull, or try to lift it. Then you try to push, pull, or lift it. Sounds a little silly, doesn’t it? But that’s the way it works. For example, say you want to work on your arm strength. The following are two isometric exercises to help you reach that goal.
1. Put your palms together in front of you at about the level of your chest. Push your hands together as hard as you can. (You can do it repeatedly in short spurts or in one long press.)
2. Stand in a doorway. Place your hands at shoulder level on the doorway and press outward. (Again, do it in spurts or one long press.)
If you do these exercises a few times (not very long), you will feel some muscles start to hurt. They are being exercised, even though your hands and arms are not moving.
If you try these exercises for a few days and then try to open that jar again (or get the box of trash out of your room), you’ll be surprised at the difference isometric exercises can make. That’s because your newfound strength comes from doing exercises that build muscles by using resistance against those muscles.
Well, temptations are kind of like isometric exercises for your spiritual muscles. With every temptation you resist, you become stronger. The resistance is what builds strength, whether the muscles are physical or spiritual. As you build your physical muscles, you’ll find that jars are easier to open and boxes are easier to lift. As you build your spiritual muscles, you’ll find that temptations also become easier to resist.
So why not get started now? Flex your spiritual muscles; resist temptation whenever it comes your way today, and watch yourself (with God’s help) growing stronger and stronger!
REFLECT: What temptations are hardest for you to resist right now? Do you think you could resist each temptation once today? Concentrate on resisting temptation (with God’s help) the first time it strikes today, then use that success to resist it the second time and so on.
PRAY: “God, please help me to resist temptation today. And please use every little success, every victory, to make me stronger against the next temptation I may face.”