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Personal Training

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But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.

John 14:26

We can never become the person God wants us to become on our own. Every Monday I meet with a personal trainer for an hour at the local gym for strength training. My personal trainer also gives me an exercise plan to follow – on my own – the remainder of the week. I track this exercise using an app on my phone so that my trainer can review my progress. Recently, my trainer mentioned that he has observed that I exercise differently when I exercise alone than when I exercise with him. This was not a surprise to him, of course. When I exercise alone, he continued, I exercise using less weight. Without a trainer present to push me, he said, I did what most people do. I underestimate my own capabilities and choose a path of less resistance.

This same principle applies spiritually. Left to ourselves, we underestimate what God can accomplish in our lives. Despite our best intentions, we will choose the safer, more convenient path. Choosing the safer, convenient path does not help us grow spiritually … for the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:14).

Jesus knows that we need help for our faith to reach full maturity. We need Jesus to walk with us daily. The Holy Spirit serves this purpose, making Jesus’ presence real in our daily life. Like a personal, spiritual trainer, the Holy Spirit teaches, disciplines, encourages, and challenges us. Through this Spirit we learn to recognize God’s will for our life, for … no one comprehends what is truly God’s except the Spirit of God. (First Corinthians 2: verse 11). Even more, the Spirit helps us … understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. (1 Corinthians 2:12).

Are you yielding to the work of the Holy Spirit in your life? Do you yield, but only when the Spirit’s leading does not require too much of you? Choose to trust the Spirit’s guidance today, especially when that guidance goes against every instinct. Do not settle for the safe path of least resistance. Allow the Spirit to make you the person God designed you to be.

Prayer: Father, I thank you for being intimately present in my life through your Spirit. I choose to demonstrate my trust and gratitude by following the Spirits’ leading, letting go of those natural instincts that undermine my faith. In Jesus name, Amen