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A few weeks ago in the gym, I got to witness something pretty cool. Moments like this come around every so often, and when they do, they remind me why I do what I do. Because I love it when people get it! I love it when the neurons finally fire in just the right sequence, and everything comes together. For this athlete, it happened on the pull-up bar. He’s been with us for about six months now, and when he came to the gym, he was new to CrossFit. Suffice it to say, it’s been a journey of mechanics. But he embraced our methodology and consistently delivered on his end of the bargain to show up and work hard. The WOD had pull-ups in it, and normally this athlete does them strict. But on that day, he decided to try and put some kipping pull-ups together. I don’t normally coach technique in a WOD unless it could lead to injury, but he was only missing one thing and I just knew it was his day. I gave him one coaching cue between rounds, and on the next round he started repping out his first set of connected kipping pull-ups. The smile on his face was priceless. As the grin grew closer to each ear while he swung on the bar, I realized I wasn’t just looking at an athlete. I was looking at a conqueror.

Webster’s definition of conquer is to gain mastery over or win by overcoming obstacles or opposition. If you’re an athlete, you’re also a conqueror. There are things in the gym you have mastered or overcome. And to be honest, the gym is the only place where many of those things could have happened. Some of you have conquered movements. Just like the athlete and his kipping pull-up, your hard work and practice have helped you to master movements like push jerks, front squats, or maybe even Turkish get-ups. For others of you, you’ve conquered moments. Moments like Hero WODs or testing days or maybe just showing up when you didn’t feel like it. And all of us have conquered mindsets. We’ve overcome the doubt in our physical ability, our willingness to persevere, or our road to recovery after injury. You are all conquerors!

In spiritual fitness, we need to take a different approach. Our physical ability to push or pull or run could lead us to believe we are our own master. But that would be missing the mark big time. The truth is until Jesus is your Master, you’ll never be a spiritual conqueror. And here’s why – because there are things in your life that still master you. Some of you are mastered by movements, a.k.a. your habits. You’ve got these hard-wired pieces of code in your brain you pursue for temporary relief from life. Others of you are mastered by moments. You’ve got memories of the past you can’t let go of, or you’re so worried about the future you can’t be present in the moment. And I think most of us can be mastered by our mindsets, specifically doubt in God. When life gets difficult, it’s easy to wonder where the Savior of the world is – because it doesn’t feel like He’s there with you.

But He is! Jesus is the ultimate Conqueror, and through Him by the power of His Spirit you can conquer the things that still master you. As you read the Scripture, see if you can observe the movements, moments, and mindsets Jesus conquered. Let Him become the master of your life and you’ll realize your greatest wins in the gym pale in comparison to the spiritual conquests He can deliver you from. Jesus conquered what humanity could not. What do you need Him to conquer for you?

Questions for Reflection:

How do you develop enough self-awareness to realize you’re being mastered by something? What does that process look like?

Describe something in your life Jesus conquered for you.

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