“Having one’s mind controlled by the old nature is death, but having one’s mind controlled by the Spirit is life and shalom. For the mind controlled by the old nature is hostile to God, because it does not submit itself to God’s Torah — indeed, it cannot. Thus, those who identify with their old nature cannot please God.” Romans 8: 6-8 CJB
I recently began a journey to get physically fit and I have learned so much about myself just in the month since I began this adventure. I had tried many times before to get back into my fighting shape but failed many times. I lost motivation, got tired of the schedule, did not curb my eating habits and generally based my entire workout routine on trying to get away from the shame of being an obese man. This time, however, I was much more educated about what to do and was much more focused. When all the elements fell in line, progress was seen and it was seen quickly. What I learned was this; mental focus and determination are what make ANYTHING happen in your life. Period. A poor mentality will cost you in the long run because you are motivated by vanity, shame, guilt, or anger.
I was doing some research recently into what makes a person hungry. What I found out about hunger was that the same area of your brain that controls hunger, controls lust and desire. The same part of your brain that says that something looks delicious to eat is the same part of your brain that reacts when you see an attractive woman and lust after her. Lust can be for anything. In the Book of Numbers, we see the people of Israel lusting after flesh in the wilderness and rejecting the manna. All of the desires that cause our flesh to react and begin the process of sin can be found in our MIND.
Every afternoon or morning before I work out, I have to focus and motivate myself to get to the place where I will put my shorts, shoes, and workout shirt on and go. One tactic that my friend and I use is what we call Crossfit Kool Aid. This is mental Kool Aid, however. We watch or listen to music that inspires us, we watch videos of our favorite movie heroes, or we watch YouTube videos people have made specifically for work out motivation. We temper our minds before we even think about lifting a single barbell. In a sense, we enter a place of determination and focus for what is about to happen in the next 30 minutes. When we enter the gym, we are ravenous animals set do to one thing and that is conquer our fears, our flesh, and our minds.
So how does this relate to spiritual matters?
What do you think morning devotional time is? What do you think listening to your favorite worship songs is? What do you think encouraging one another in YHVH’s name is? In a way, it is Spiritual Kool Aid. I realized that the same routine I go through to get ready for the gym is the same routine I do before I lead Bible study, before I begin my day, before I start any project. When we quiet ourselves and focus our minds, our spirit will follow us. The mind is the most powerful thing in your body because what it dictates is how your body will react whether it is a will of faith or a will of sin.
On this journey, I have realized that my workouts have become a means for me to tame my fleshly desires. Knowing that saying no to food that will harm me is the same as saying no to carnal desires that will harm me has become the battle. And I am finally winning.
Let’s analyze a verse shall we?
“What reward do you get if you love only those who love you? Why, even tax-collectors do that! And if you are friendly only to your friends, are you doing anything out of the ordinary? Even the Goyim do that! Therefore, be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5: 46-48 CJB
The part of this passage that I want to focus on is the last part. “Be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” If we break this down you will see a few things missing that modern religion has snuck in. You will notice an obvious absence of the words “try” and “you’ll never” before the word “be.” I have heard countless sermons speaking of our sinful nature and how we will never be perfect. Then why does the Messiah COMMAND us to be perfect? Has He given us an impossible feat that He knows we will never achieve, or does He believe that we can do it?
What we have inherited from the church is a mind that focuses on the flesh. Now they will teah you that you need to overcome its desires……………and then immediately turn around and tell you that there is no escaping its desires. So which is it? What we have inherited is a defeatist attitude toward overcoming our own weaknesses. What we continue to hear are excuse after excuse for poor conduct and fleshly indulgences in people’s lives. What I notice about these excuses is that they are the products of acceptance. People have accepted that they are sinful and therefore have stopped trying to overcome themselves. I KNOW. I HAVE BEEN THERE. My excuses for being lazy and gaining weight sounded remarkably like the excuses I would hand YHVH for every time I would look at something inappropriate on the internet, or said a malicious thing about someone, or anything that was sin.
My question to you is; is attitude acceptable to have in your spiritual life? Is sin ALWAYS inappropriate? Is a defeatist attitude in our daily lives not only affecting our physical health, but also our spiritual health? The answer is yes. When the Messiah COMMANDS you to be perfect and you tell yourself that you will never be perfect, what have you just demonstrated?
“Yeshua immediately stretched out his hand, took hold of him, and said to him, ‘Such little faith! Why did you doubt?”
Look at the context of this verse; Yeshua says this to Kefa after he allowed Kefa to WALK ON WATER! Yeshua is the King of Impossibility! He rose from the dead, lest we forget! Do you think that He cannot give you the power to overcome your own personal weaknesses? You have to BELIEVE that He can. You can be perfect if you believe that He can make you perfect. The way to do that it is to get your flesh under control, get your brain to quit lying to you, and read the Bible for what it SAYS rather than what people have told you it says. Quit listening to people who have given up and give you empty words or defeat and doubt and watch how much you will grow! Walk in righteous
Listen to the One who can make you do the impossible.
Here is a sample of my Crossfit Kool Aid. Enjoy.
Cole Davis and Other Contributors