As a bodybuilder (National Figure Competitor to be precise), I train heavily in the weight room. It’s consistent. Lifting heavy things repeatedly 3 days a week. It’s a routine for me to train legs on one day, back and biceps another, chest with shoulders and triceps another day. If I don’t keep my commitment, I cannot grow as a competitor. I wouldn’t thrive and move forward if I didn’t stick to my commitment with the gym.
My friendships would not thrive if we didn’t commit to make time for them.
I’ve been married for only 16 months, and our marriage wouldn’t thrive if we didn’t commit to invest into our relationship and time together. We work with marriage coaches to make the most of it.
I sat in Vineyard Church of Columbus this morning, when Senior Pastor Rich Nathan continued speaking on how much life thrives when we keep our commitments to God.
Last night I felt God say, “When I inspire you, write about it.”
So while Rich continued on his sermon, I was inspired, so I wrote this in my journal:
I am not the same as I was ten years ago. Truthfully, I hope to not be the same as yesterday, either. Life is meant to be lived with intention and purpose.
You can’t move forward if you are still carrying unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, jealousy, anger, lack of love, envy, etc. Carrying them weighs you down. Those things not only hinder you, but simply keep you from getting to where you want to be.
Where do you want to be? Because carrying such things will keep you from reaching your full potential.
It’s not that God is some parole officer to adhere to, but he is also your guide; your savior from carrying such heaviness. He is for you, not against you.
As Rich Nathan stated “it’s Christianity 101”, referring to the importance of confessing, repenting, forgiving, and asking for forgiveness. Because it is FOR you, and He is for you. So be delivered of such things. Ask God to search your heart, he will show you what needs to be delivered.
He purifies hearts. I know he purifies mine and I need him to do it often. It’s not a one-time thing, for more instances come up where I am hurt, or struggle with addictions to working, feeling not good enough. The list goes on, but it’s Him that purifies my heart to keep on the path he has for me. And to do it with purpose and intention.
You simply can’t move forward without a pure heart. A pure heart from unforgiveness, jealousy, lust, or anything else that stains your heart. You simply cannot be your absolute best, when too stubborn not to deal with such things that stain your heart, weight you down, or discolor your motivations. I know I want to be my best, and if it takes a pure heart, I want that!
You simply cannot walk in the fullness of your purpose, or even begin to know what it is, when trapped and enslaved with the heavy things that discolor your heart.
That’s why Jesus wants your heart, and why I want him to have mine every single day. I am so thankful for breakups and heartaches in the past because it helped me to fully turn my heart completely toward Him again. My heart in his hands. My full attention. My engagement.
He wants to walk with you and guide you. To heal your heart from all the damage, for time doesn’t heal. Jesus heals, not time.
He wants to make a difference in your life, not to live by your own dreams and ambitions, for he has more than anyone could dream. I know that’s what I desire. But it begins with a pure heart.
I have found that it’s not enough to run your own show. It’s not enough to hit rock bottom. It’s not enough to rely on yourself, your own will power, your own wisdom, knowledge, success, gifts, talents, or income. Everything we have is not enough, but he is more than enough.
Plain and simple. It’s not enough being independent to go our own way. It’s surrendering all of that and all of you. In an authentic relationship with Christ, his Holy Spirit is what changes us from within a purified heart.
That’s where our purpose begins.
I am sharing this because when people thank me and tell me how inspiring I am, how inspiring my story is, how far I have come, or ask how I have overcome and persevered… It’s not me. Over and over again, I can’t take credit for it. It all began with an authentic faith in an authentic God, desiring a pure heart. In that, I have found purpose. In that I have found meaning for my life, and I can’t keep it to myself.
So when people ask me how or where I receive my inspiration and strength, its from a pure heart, in an authentic faith, from an authentic God. I am no saint, but perfectly imperfect. His Spirit is what propels me, drives me, inspires me, and purifies me.
It’s His Spirit that moves me. And when my heart is heavily burdened, for example, from all the hate mail or judgement I receive being a christian bodybuilder, it’s His Spirit that teaches me to continue to love and purify my heart once again, to continue on the path He has for me. To focus, and not to be distracted by the naysayers and broken down by hurtful comments and attacks.
My heart is pure and I have nothing to prove. To Him, I am thankful.