There are posts that write easy. They fly off the tips of my fingers with passion and purpose. My heart pounds because I just can’t wait – to share the hope that I have, to share the revelation that has moved my heart to a place of joy overflow.
Then there are posts like this one.
Ones where maybe they are more for me than they are for you. Ones where I am not sure I want to make direct eye contact with my computer or with God’s Word before me. Ones where maybe it would be easier to just go about my day because once it is out there, it’s out there. And then I have to walk out what I’ve typed out.
But deep down I know it – I don’t want a less than life. I don’t really want to play it safe or easy. I don’t want to read God’s Word and walk away unchanged.
So we’ll start here – with the passage that stopped me in my tracks. Or, as you’ll see, maybe shoved me back on the track.
“Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through.That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!” Hebrews 12:1-3, The Message
And while those verses are packed with more hope and truth than we could even begin to look at today, it’s one small phrase that gave me pause. It’s four simple words that made me start to squirm in my seat one morning last month.
No extra spiritual fat.
No extra spiritual fat?
I had to stop and ask God what that even meant. And if I had any of it.
A conversation my daughters and I had just the day before came to mind. One of my girls had asked me what calories are, and we entered into a basic conversation about food and energy. We talked about how food is supposed to be fuel for our bodies, nourishing us and providing the energy we need to do things. I went on to explain that Olympic athletes have to take in way more calories than we do because of the crazy amount of energy they exert. Then we discussed how if we take in more calories than our bodies use up, that is when we gain weight. How turning to food for comfort instead of for fuel can be dangerous ground if we want to stay healthy.
And as I thought back on that conversation, sitting there with my own growing rolls of “extra me” folding over under my t-shirt (sigh), I started to feel very uncomfortable.
Oh, Lord, do we do this with Your Word? Do we put on race-impeding spiritual fat because we let it become nothing more than comfort food?
Conviction settled in because I know. I know I have eaten it before just so I can feel better. I have stuffed myself full before to cut the pain. I have been found eating it, hoarding it, and forgetting to use it – to bless, to step out in faith, to love, to reach others. Not realzing I am becoming spiritually fat because all I can think about is me and making myself feel better.
Yes, God’s Word makes us feel better. It comforts us. It heals us. It feeds us. It nourishes us. But His Word is meant to nourish us and fuel us. It is meant to give us the strength we need to walk, to run by faith.
How many times have I heard others say it? How many times have I said it? That a passage of Scripture moved me. Did it? Did it really move me? Not just my heart, but my hands and my feet and my life. Moving me to change. Moving me to love. Moving me toward others. Moving me to do His Will.
Because if God’s Word doesn’t move us to action, then maybe it never really moved us at all.
And I am not leveling this at anyone as an accusation. These are not meant to be hard and ugly words making you feel bad for turning to God’s Word for comfort. His Word comforts me and fills me and blesses me continually. I don’t ever want to stop turning to it for hope and help and healing and light. But I want to be sure that isn’t where I stop. Me, some spiritual couch potato, ever filling, never moving.
I write this today as a challenge. To myself. (For sure.) To you. (If you need it.)
Let’s ask Him to move us with His Word.
Not feeling a twinge of conviction and then going about our day.
Not shedding a few tears, writing in our journals, and then doing our own thing.
Let’s ask Him to move us.
I don’t know what that is going to mean. Maybe for some it will mean being moved to forgive a hurt you have long held on to. Maybe it will mean sharing your faith with someone you keep feeling the nudge to talk to. Maybe it will mean going to another country or reaching out in your own neighborhood or loving in some hard and sacrificial way right there in your own home. Maybe it will be big. Maybe it will be small. Doesn’t really matter. We aren’t here to rate how we move. We are here to get into His Word, let it fill us and then let it fuel us. Let it equip us for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17) Oh, and to do what the passage I shared tells us to do while me move – keep our eyes on Jesus.
I don’t want God’s Word to be reduced to spiritual comfort food. I don’t want to sit in my home and simply feast on it for myself. I want to be spiritually healthy. I want to run this race well.
I want God’s Word to move me.
My husband is going to be home on vacation all next week, so I won’t be around the computer as much. But I will be praying about all of this – asking God how He wants me to move in response to His Word, asking Him to reveal my areas of spiritual fat. Will you join me? And if you hear from Him and choose to move in any way big or small, will you let me know? You can comment here or shoot me an e-mail.
People get excited all the time when they see others losing physical fat. How much more exciting would it be to cheer one another on in losing some spiritual fat? How exciting if we, this small group of people who gather around His name, moved? Who knows what kind of spiritual ripples we could make for the Kingdom.
And I would much rather make faith ripples than keep accumulating these lack-of-faith “dimples”. (Ahem.)
I love you, friends. Will it be a little uncomfortable as we use faith muscles we rarely use or that maybe we have never used? I am sure it will. Uncomfortable and maybe even painful. And I won’t lie, part of me is like, “Kimberly, do you really want to put this one out there? You do know that means you are gonna have to really walk this out, don’t you?”
But we have a God too good to keep to ourselves. We have a God too good to feast on alone. We have a love that should compel us to move.
Each and every day – move.
“Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear!” James 1:22, The Message
Asking Him to help me get up off my couch and move,