Kick it Up, Princess!

Psalm 62:6  He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.

Back in the spring, Dan and I joined a gym and we love it!  We are empty nesters now so the gym has been our connect, the place we go together in the afternoon.

While I have worked out for many years now, I have never taken strength training very seriously.  I enjoy cardio but have always stayed away from the weight section of the gym.  Weight are scary for me.  They are just too heavy! But this year, in this new place, I have taken on the weights and I love it!  I wake up in the mornings with good pain in muscles I didn’t know I had in my arms, quads and abs.

The other day we were doing bicep curls at the gym and I was feeling pretty good.  I had been using the same size weights for a while now and I was smiling because, wow, I felt like I was pretty strong!  What used to feel really heavy to me wasn’t feeling quite so painful anymore.  While I was looking in the mirror smiling (on the inside) as I raised and lowered those weights, I was feeling pretty good!  It was at that very moment that the instructor walked through the group giving encouragement to those of us at the weights.  As she came to me, I was confident that she was going to say, ‘You have really come a long way!’   But what she said made an impact on my life, not only on my arms.  As she walked by, she said to me, ‘I think it’s time for you to kick it up, princess.  Next time you need some heavier weights.’

Princess!!!  No one has ever called me princess before and definitely not under these circumstances.    I have to stop there for a minute because that just makes me laugh, and wonder a bit.  I’ll take it, I am all about the story of Esther and the fact that I have a royal position.  I will wear that invisible tiara at the gym and smile.  But more than being called princess….

I needed to kick up the weight.  I thought I had achieved this new level of strength and I was smiling, lifting effortlessly, looking semi royal, I suppose, but apparently I had plateaued at a level of strength that I was not going to surpass…unless I kicked it up.

There are so many things in this life that want to leave us shaken, so we have got to press in, we have got to stay close, we have got to stay true to the Word of God and put all of our trust in our Unshakeable God.  It’s time to build more spiritual muscle.  It’s time to pick up those heavier weights!

This year we are studying the book of Joshua.  In Joshua 1 we find the Israelites, God’s treasured possession ready to enter the Promised Land.  After 40 years of wilderness wandering, living so close to the promises of God, so close to the land that had been promised to their ancestors hundreds of years before, God said go.  It was time to advance into what was next.

It was time to go to the Promised Land, but living in the Promised Land does not mean that the struggle is over, in fact, the giants in the Promised Land were bigger than the enemies they had in the wilderness.  In the wilderness they had a few enemies, but in the Promised Land, there would be many.

It’s actually at the time when we are entering the Promised Land, when God is taking us to the next level with Him, that we need to start looking for those new weights.   On the other side of the Jordan, the giants are bigger, the cities are stronger, the places where we are called to walk, to circle, to stand are unlike any other places we have walked, circled or stood before.

There are many things on this journey before us that we had not anticipated, unexpected circumstances, things we feel powerless against, there are things that can leave us shaken.

Ironic, I think, that the times where God is positioning us for the next in our lives are also the times when we are prone to being the most shaken.  Our relationships, kids, finances, issues in our country, issues in our world, we have plenty of things in life every day that can leave us shaken.  We can be shaken…But God cannot.  God is…

UN  (NOT)

SHAKE  (trembling, wobbling, falling down, swaying)

ABLE  (fit for, given to, capable of)

God is absolutely not capable of, not given to, not fit for trembling, wobbling, swaying or falling down.  He is completely unshakeable.

When we decided on the visual of an old typewriter for Bible Study this year, we were not sure of the why, we just thought it looked cool.  I was leaning toward an old typewriter from day one.  It wasn’t long until the ‘story’ began to unfold.

If you, like me, are someone who can remember writing with a typewriter similar to the one pictured, you will appreciate the metaphor. The keys on old typewriters often got stuck if you were typing too fast, which would require you to stop, separate the keys and then try again.  You really had to press down on those keys to get the letter to show up on the paper!

A mistake on one of those typewriters meant the whole job was ruined.  I remember getting to the end of the page, and the 220th word on the page came out wrong.  Another piece of paper was needed.  You don’t want to make a mistake with a typewriter like that. Honestly, typing on one of these machines can leave you a little shaken at the end!

There was always one letter a little higher, one letter a little lower, one letter a little darker, and one a little lighter.  The letters you meant to put on the paper often didn’t line up perfectly.  You just could not get the story to show up on the page straight, the letters, they just looked kind of shaky.

But as we talked, what came out of the visual God gave us is that no matter where our story takes us, He is the One Who writes our story.  The letters may look shaky, the story may seem shaky, but The One Who writes our story is UNSHAKEABLE.

Just like Joshua, wherever the journey takes us, we can trust it is His Hand at the keys, His Hand determining our steps, His Hand in control of it all.  There will always be something, even in our Promised Land to shake us up, but as we trust in our Unshakeable God, we will not be shaken!

We are moving into our royal position, there are giants on every side and the ‘spiritual muscle’ we had before is not going to get us through.  I am including you in on the encouragement from my gym instructor.  It’s time to kick it up, princess!  Our royal position is waiting!  Pick up those heavier weights, and watch Him strike the keys.  This is His story and I cannot wait to see what He has planned to do!

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