Live on this earth long enough, and you’ll encounter resistance. As humanity has grown in their understanding of this basic concept, scientists, physicists, coaches, and even psychologists have sought to harness the power of resistance. Take traffic lights on your normal daily commute. Have you ever noticed the faster you need to get somewhere, like say the gym, the more red lights you deal with? And at every light you begin to imagine the resistance you’ll encounter in the gym as everyone else is already warming up without you? On top of that, some new athlete is in your spot and as if all that weren’t enough, it’s Turkish get-up day! Resistance is a daily part of human existence. Here’s how to use it to live your best life.
In the gym, resistance is everything. We need a force working directly against us in order to develop strength. In fact, in the old days, we didn’t even call it weight training, we called it resistance training. Great coaches know how to combine resistance movements in various rep schemes to allow the body to adapt. Adaptation is when new muscle fibers develop, the respiratory system enhances itself, and new levels of physical fitness are achieved. The greater the load, the greater the adaptation – to a point. In physical fitness, there is a diminishing return at extreme loads. Just think about people who overload the bar on any given day. It’s not just the risk of injury, it’s also that going all out every day doesn’t produce maximum results. That’s why strength programs use techniques such as wave loading. We all have physical limits, and we must understand and respect those.
In our spiritual lives, we have limits as well. While it would be nice to wave our hand like Luke Skywalker and watch the traffic part and all the lights turn green, life just doesn’t work that way. But just like we can use resistance to our advantage in the gym, we can do the same thing in our spiritual lives. We can use resistance to achieve new outcomes. This is precisely what Jesus did. Ask yourself this – what led up to the moment Jesus died on the cross? Resistance. Jesus faced incredible resistance. He faced it from the religious leaders who scoffed at the idea He was the Son of God. Jesus faced it from the crowd who called for a criminal to be set free instead of Him. And he faced it from the Roman government and soldiers who ultimately tortured Him and carried out His crucifixion. Jesus used resistance to achieve a new outcome – restoration. Restoration to God for you and me.
Here’s what’s crazy – so many people in this world resist God’s restoration. They’re fighting the wrong battle, and I know, because for 39 years I resisted it too. Then one day I realized I wasn’t really resisting restoration; I was resisting God’s love. When I fully received God’s love, it changed my life. I still face plenty of red lights and rush hour traffic, but I don’t try to control the situation anymore. In fact, the more I acknowledge how not in control I am, the more I experience the life God always had planned for me. Jesus bears the load, yet we get the result.
If restoration is no longer your resistance, then don’t resist God any longer. Load. Recovery. Adaptation. Resistance is a critical part of the process of physical and spiritual fitness. Your best life won’t be found resisting Jesus, it will be lived restored to God.
Questions for Reflection:
What does Jesus’ death and resurrection personally mean to you?
How would you explain the concept of being restored to God?