Getting stripped naked

Ive had a variety of gym memberships over the years.

I don’t go to the gym anymore though.

It’s hard to get my body back out.

Or maybe it’s, I don’t fit in.

I’m prone to injuries.

I’m not going to laundry list

the areas in my decrepit body,

but I’ve got some lose ends.

I’m at a juncture where

I’m unsure how to tie things

together in my soft structure

right now.

My excuse is, I have injuries

and health challenges.

I hate to admit it, but;

exercise scares me,

and so do Doctors.

I know that sounds dumb,

and I’m loath not to explain it.

There’s one Gym

that I’ve been put into

that I can’t deactivate.

It’s God’s Gym.

I’ve seen documentaries

on Seal training,

and special forces training.

The end results, of that kind of grueling rigid gym, that those warriors go through;

is incredible.

I’ve read about the dropout rate, and it is extreme.

But, God’s gym is worse then that.

The Word “gymnasium” in the Greek, means striped naked,

to expose weak areas.

The Greek Olympic athletes

didn’t want an area of

deficiency in there muscle formations and physical tone.

They wanted to be at their best, perform at their highest level,

and break records to receive

the top recognition.

It’s the same with our special forces.

These are elite combat high breeds.

They’ve met all the requirements

of training in a horrific Gym

that none of us want to really join.

It’s just too extreme, too tough,

and too packed with injury vulnerabilities.

Yet these individuals,

these rugged warriors,

just keep training in grueling exercises.

What about this other Gym

that Jesus is calling us too?

This God Gym, where we get stripped of all the pretentiousness.

We can try to get out of it.

We can stay nominal.

We can be pretenders in a

facade of religious externals

and phony hocus pocus.

But a real relationship with Jesus means devotion to Him.

It means God’s gym.

It means rigorous stripping.

Don’t take this wrong.

Sometimes though, it is public nudity and total exposure.

This word Gym or gymnazo, stripped naked, is mention four times in the Bible

“All discipline, for the moment, seems not to be joyful,

but sorrowful;

yet to those who have been (trained) by it,

afterwards it yields the

peaceful fruit of righteousness.

Heb. 12:11

Trained, or exercised as it’s

rendered in some versions;

is the Greek Word Gymnasium

or (stripped naked)

Discipline is self discipline

that we impose on ourselves

to get in shape.

But more than that, it’s God’s discipline that He imposes on us,

to get us toned up.

It’s also called chastening.

When we have children,

some of us are too indulgent

with our children.

It’s called spoiling.

Then some of us are too rigid.

We all know areas where we’ve rebelled against our parents

for a variety of reasons.

Maybe because they were

too hard and maybe because

they were to soft.

I know; it’s strange and weird,

but our reactions can be quirky

and hard to translate.

We can also blow up or rebel,

in God’s gym.

We can get sour and bitter

and chide with His methods

and ways.

The wilderness wanderings

are a perfect example.

God leads the Jews into captivity. They were slaves in Egypt.

Then He led them into a desert wilderness.

Then they choose to wander

in it for 40 years.

They had a choice.

It could have been just a

10 day trip.

But no, they chose 40 years.

Yikes. That’s extreme.

I’d rather jump on into the

promised land.

Sure. I can say I’d of done better.

But would I have made better choices?

Do I excel in God’s gym?

The Jewish nation, even after

they got into the promised land

and out of the wilderness,

still had an entire bevy of weird, ruthless enemies.

Sometimes they even jumped

into bed with their enemies.

Yuck that’s an ugly nasty thought.

Who dives into bed with their enemies?

Who would sleep with a demon?

To actually cozy up, and then suddenly wake up,

and realize your in bed,

under the covers,

with a monstrous devil,

is the ultimate in deception.

We could explore the Jews history more.

Their multiple captivities.

Their many enemies.

It’s in God’s Word.

That’s our Gym

That’s our (stripped naked)

training manual.

Gods Gym is hard situations,

and waiting moments.

It is tests, trials, disciplines, chastening.

It is all to increase faith,

to develop our hope.

It’s to train us to trust.

It’s to teach us perseverance

in God.

It is to train us to listen to His direction in God’s Word.

It is to instruct us in prayer,

which often is talking to God

in impossible circumstances.

Maybe even crying and even screaming out to the Lord.

We are waiting.

We are pushed and stressed

and stretched beyond our limits.

Do we have the strength

to carry on?

How do we relieve the tension?

How do we get rest?

How do we persevere

in the challenge?

How do we develop

a working faith muscles?

How do we increase

the amount of weight

we can lift to be better at our challenges?

Do we want to be a faith warrior?

Do we want to be a leader

for others?

Do we want to be a source

of encouragement and comfort

to others?

Or, are we going to give up,

wash out,

rebel and get sour,

twisted and bitter at God?

If we are real followers of Jesus

we are, ugh,

in His Gym membership.

He demands we rejoice

and exult in our tests,

in our tribulations,

in our being stripped naked

in the Gym.

Thats where patience, perseverance; and,

proven character is developed.

That’s where we learn

unashamed hope;

hope that does not disappoint.

That’s where God’s love

is poured into our hearts

to swell our inner being

to gushing with His beautiful presence through his Spirit

Romans 5:1-5

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