Fighting Flab

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, April 28, 2017 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Flab is one of those things anyone who cares about their physical body hates. It is the excess fat that gives extra weight and is useful for nothing to the body. Many people deal with flab and to be honest, I am no exception. Now to be clear, there is a difference between having flab and being overweight. According to the health regulations, virtually every professional athlete, namely in basketball and football, would be classified as “obese,” despite not having a single bit of flab in their systems. I am addressing the squishy stuff that does nothing but slow us down.

Flab prevents us from being able to exercise the way we would like to exercise. It is not the only factor, but it is one that affects us regardless of age. I do not have the physical endurance I used to have, and it is because I have allowed flab into my body. I have slowed down a little bit due to age, but the real factor is simply because of both diet and lack of exercise. Six years ago I was in the best shape of my life, but I simply stopped working out when I get into the classroom. The last few months, however, have been better.

Flab works in a downward spiral. Because of the extra weight, you can’t exercise as much as you used to, so as a result, you don’t burn off as much as you used to, leaving more flab than before. It makes you more and more lazy. It also works in reverse. The more you start working off the flab, the more energy you have and the more you want to move. This burns off more flab making you even more energetic and it spirals upward. We understand this concept in the physical, but it applies to the spiritual as well.

Flab gives a perfect analogy to our prayer life. Last year, I wrote extensively on prayer (starting here) and I have realized how difficult praying the way I want to pray is. It is really easy to say the quick thank you for meals and please help this situation, but the real kind of prayer that I studied and wrote about is another animal. It takes work, and I could say many of us are dealing with spiritual flab in this area. That being said, there are some that truly do know how to pray even if they don’t know it. I am not merely talking about the length of prayer, but the work of prayer.

God is looking for people who can do the work of prayer. Most cannot do the work he wants to see done, and as a result we won’t see God working. Now to be clear, God is still going to get what he wants done, but he chooses to act in and through us. If we won’t do it, he will look for someone who will and not only will we miss out, so will many others under us. I’ll never forget hearing about a man who came to a church and for four weeks he simply sat there weeping. When the pastor of the church decided to come ask him about it, the man showed him blueprints of a building that matched the one he was sitting in. God had told him to build a church, and he refused to do it and missed it, so God moved on and found someone who would.

The last two weeks, I wrote about Legendary Heroes and Cowardly Heroes. This man was a cowardly hero because he received the call to adventure and he refused the call. Another pastor tells a story of how God told him to start a Christian school at his church and he did not want to. A dear friend warned him that if he did not do that, God would pass him by, not for the moment or for that ministry, but for good. The warning was that God would never use him again. He started the school and God has used him in numerous ways, raising a generation of Legendary Heroes through the education circles he’s been a part of, including today. But if he had refused the call, he would not be where he is, the school his church currently supports would not exist, the church he planted would not exist, and there would be many left by the wayside.

This pastor had flab that made him not want to take up the call. I have had flab that has made me want to just sleep in and do nothing. Slothfulness is one of the seven deadly sins along with pride, envy, lust, greed, gluttony, and wrath. Laziness leads to more laziness and nothing gets done. A sentry who is lazy will allow anything and everything in through the gates and does not care, good or bad. In most countries, a guard who does that kind of job is held on charges along the lines of treason. Yet we are called to be on guard duty over our souls and over God’s Kingdom. How are we doing?

During my prayer series, God told me to put away my video games and I had no problem with that. After several months, he said I could play again. I waited a few weeks because I wanted to make sure I was doing so for right reasons. I selected several games I wanted to play and went through them and just finished a few weeks ago. In that process, I realized how much my prayer time was dropping and diminishing, and as I am writing this I can say I am feeling what I could describe as “video game withdrawal.” I thought I could drop the games at any time because I had before, but when I get home from work, I can barely function because my brain is tired. I would often spend 1- 1 ½ hours playing in the evening and then I’d be fine for the rest of the night. But now, I’m fighting to try to do anything productive. It’s because I had allowed flab to build up. I wasn’t praying as much. I would still make sure I did my Bible reading, but I wasn’t praying, certainly not as I should have been. I have put my game systems away and I may or may not get them out again. I have no intentions of buying any of the new systems in the near future, but my interest in gaming did not die like I thought it would and like it has with TV and movies. If I am to be spiritually fit, I can’t settle for relaxing activities when I need to be working out and getting rid of that flab.

God wants you to get rid of the flab. This does not mean you cannot rest or relax, but it means you cannot allow laziness to build up in you. It will take a while to get rid of it. There is no “instant flab removal” process in God’s Kingdom. Any fitness person will tell you that you can undo 3 months of working out in just a couple weeks, and just a couple weeks of inactivity can take months to back to that same point. The same is true in our spiritual lives. It is not too late to start “working out” again. Start today. Even if you cannot do much or do it for long, start today and do what you can. Let God train you and build you. He only knows how to build one kind of person: a lean-mean-praying machine. And he will build you the right way. You just need to follow his training. God is a good trainer and he does not know how to build wimpy warriors. The only kind of warrior he builds are the strong, mighty, dedicated ones that do what he says upon command and win the impossible battles.

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