“If you believe in yourself, anything is possible”.
Today I saw this quote on Facebook. This isn't the first time I’ve seen memes posted with this same type of “I can do it” mentality. At first read it’s inspiring and encouraging, right? Don't you read that and think, “ok, I can do this!”, whatever “this” is for you? It’s a harmless share from a faithful friend who has good intentions of helping and offers an impetus for people to get after “it”.
Or so Satan wants you to believe.
“Jesus turned to them and said, ‘with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible’”, Matthew 19:26.
Jesus said this after He was asked by a young rich man what good thing He must do to gain eternal life. Jesus knew this man’s heart and knew his history. He knew he was a rich man who followed the rules, who had a lot of things and stuff that he valued and was unwilling to part with. Jesus lovingly scolded this man, asking him why he wants to know what’s good. Jesus isn’t asking because He needs to know the answer, but rather because He is teaching His disciples. He is teaching you and me. He says there is only One who is good. But, because of His omniscience, He takes it further and says, “If you want to enter life, keep my commandments” (Matthew 19:17b). The young man quips, “which ones?” (I personally think this is a snarky remark). Jesus, still using this as a teachable moment, states some of the commandments. The young man responds by saying he HAS kept them (Christians know this to be false because of what Jesus says in Matthew 5 in regards to the fulfillment of the law) and asks what more he must do. Again, Jesus knew this is how the man would respond, yet demonstrated here what He did as the “One who is good”. Because the young man wanted an answer - because he wanted to be given credit for his own righteousness and get his eternal reward by his own merit - and because Jesus knew where the man’s allegiance was, He tells the man to sell everything he has to the poor and follow Him. This, the man couldn’t do. This, the man wouldn’t do. He had earned for himself great wealth and was not able to part with it. He valued all that he had acquired more than all that Jesus is and did and will do for his eternity. This is why Jesus said “with man it is impossible, but with God, all things are possible”.
Do you value all that you have done for yourself? Do you value the good you have done in terms of your health and wellness? Do you appreciate the gains you’ve gotten because of the hard work you’ve put in? Are you unwilling to part with your training plan if it means relinquishing the control of it to someone else? Do you agree with what the meme says, “if you believe in yourself anything is possible”? Satan wants you to equate your health to your efforts. He wants you to believe that you are in control of your personal health and fitness story. He wants you so disillusioned about the work and effort and pace you have to maintain that you eventually, under the weight of it, despair. Just like the man in this section of Scripture who left Jesus full of sorrow. He had equated all of his earnings and gains to his own efforts and saw himself as his own master. Do you see yourself as your own master?
“You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body”. 1 Corinthians 6:19b-20
Let Jesus own your health and fitness outcomes. You be honest with your effort and work to serve Him and the body He has equipped you with. Glorify Him with your efforts. Putting in the time and effort solely for personal satisfaction or for personal gain and recognition will leave you feeling less than, unable, and ultimately defeated.
But when you believe that in His power you are mighty and can do mighty things, He gets the glory and you get the gains.
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