I’m a wrestling mom. And—I cannot lie—I LOVE THE SPORT!
But what I love most is what it teaches my boys.
The confidence it’s helped them gain.
The mental toughness it’s helped them create.
The warrior mentality it’s brought out.
Their practices are grueling! They always come out of the gym dripping with sweat, worn, bruised, and exhausted. Sometimes there’s even blood—from a cut, scrape, or nose. But they don’t complain. They’ve discovered when they get on the mat the next day, they’re stronger. Their endurance has increased. Their technique has refined. Their determination has fortified. Their hours of hard work during practice and in the weight room translate into victory in competition.
Wrestling has also refined their sense of responsibility in life and in their goals.
It’s reinforced the need to be men of integrity and high character.
It’s taught them not only how to set goals but to own them—and crush them. And then, how to make new ones.
Because of wrestling my guys now know how to stay motivated through the hard stuff—the pain, the discomfort, the losses—and keep pushing forward, never losing sight of the prize. The win.
They know how to feel the disappointment of defeat while not letting it define them. Instead, they choose to learn from it, change what needs to be changed, and try again. They’ve (finally) realized the importance of mind over matter—how to not let circumstances dictate how they think and behave; how to maximize their strengths and enhance their weaknesses.
And though every bout is between them, the other guy, and the mat—they now fully understand the importance of community and the value of being part of a team. When they’re gassed during a match, the fan’s and team’s cheers infuse them with energy. When they win, they have people to celebrate with them—multiplying their joy. And when they lose, those same people encourage them and lift them up—absorbing much of the sorrow.
And through it all, they’ve figured out their greatest obstacle to victory is themselves. Their only limitations are the ones they accept. And before anyone else believes in them, they have to believe in themselves—and the God they serve.
…BUT their inner warrior ONLY emerges when they GET OUT of their comfort zone.
The same is true for us in our walk with Jesus.
Especially in regards to our calling.
I’m not talking about our general calling as children of the Living God—studying His Word, loving and serving those He places in our lives and path, worshiping and praising Him, growing in faith. I’m talking about His specific call for you during this season of your life. A burning He’s placed in your heart to get out of your comfort zone, step out in faith, and follow Him.
Our calling is grueling at times. Hard. Challenging. Painful. Sometimes there’s even blood. But the more time we spend anchoring deep into Scripture, memorizing Scripture (writing it on our hearts), prayer—submitting to our general calling—we discover that translates to victory on the mat as we engage in battle with our Enemy for our specific and personal calling.
When God calls us to action—more often than not, it involves doing something we don’t feel qualified to do or doing something that’s beyond us, our strengths and limitations. Or both.
Why do you think that is?
I used to think it was because He wanted to point out where my weaknesses were and put them on display for everyone to see. But I was wrong. That was a lie I chose to believe, an excuse to keep me from walking in obedience.
The truth is: growth doesn’t happen inside our comfort zone!
And how could it? Our comfort zones are comfortable. Cozy. Habitual. Easy. Known. Safe.
Our comfort zones have limits and boundaries—which, more often than not, are self-imposed. Meaning,
- We’ll never learn the full extent of our potential if stay within them.
- We’ll never know our true capacity or capabilities if we don’t allow God to stretch our limits and take us completely outside of them.
- We’ll never know how much God can and will use us to further His kingdom here on Earth if we don’t surrender to His leading.
- We’ll never know how much our faith can grow if we don’t let Him take us to a place where He’s in complete control—and we’re not.
Friend, we’ll miss seeing God’s incredible power in action!
See, when He calls us us to do something, He equips us to do it. It could be by leading us to education, training, or Him filling in the gaps of our ability. Regardless:
- If He can feed 15,000 with a few biscuits and a couple of sardines; He’s able to take our insufficiencies, inadequacies, weaknesses, etc. and use them to bless those around us—and beyond
- If he can take water and turn it into wine; He’s able to take our mundane and ordinary and turn them into something extraordinary.
- If He can calm the storm with just a word—He can calm our anxieties and fears in the same way.
- If He can make the disabled able—he can enable us to do what He’s called us to do
He doesn’t do this because of what we’ve done or because of who we are but because of WHO HE IS! And in the process He changes us. Refines us. Rebuilds us.
When we surrender to His calling—He cherishes that.
When we pour out our blood, sweat, toil, and tears as we pursue our calling—He treasures that.
When we give our all, regardless of the personal costs—He blesses it!
And in the process, He turns us into His warriors. Soldiers for the Cross! Soldiers on the front lines. Some battles we will win. Others we will lose. But like my guys, we need to stay motivated through the hard stuff—the pain, the discomfort, the losses—and keep pushing forward. We can feel the disappointment of our defeats while not letting them define us. We can choose to learn from them, change what needs to be changed, and try again. We can employ mind over matter, not let circumstances dictate how we think and behave; and maximize our strengths and enhance our weaknesses.
And it all starts on our knees and being anchored in His word—and choosing to live a life of obedience.
Beloved, our greatest obstacle to victory is ourselves. Our only limitations are the ones we accept. And before anyone else believes in us, we have to believe in ourselves—and the God we serve.
After all our God is the God of the impossible, the worker of miracles. The Victor!
But we are not an island. We need each other. We need to encourage and pray for each other. We need to celebrate with each other and help pick each other up.
Today I challenge you to ask God
- What needs to change in your heart and life as you pursue His personal calling on your life.
- How you can refine your training to do it better.
- How you can better pray for your fellow believers.
And get after it.
Jesus, I am yours. I confess I hold back parts of my calling–things I want to keep control of. I’m not as faithful as I should be and need to be. But today I lay ________________________ down before you. Show me everything that needs to change in my life to be able to fulfill what you’ve called me to do with excellence. Lord, I give you my pride, jealousy: my…(you finish the prayer)
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