– Building Belief Muscles –

by Steve Backlund

This daily habit will change your life – responding to the negative circumstances you face with godly beliefs, actively building your spiritual belief muscles. If we actively choose to disarm the enemy’s lies and respond to the negative, “oh no!” situations we encounter each day with God’s truth and His perspective, not only will negative circumstances begin to affect us less emotionally, spiritually, and even physically, but we will also learn to extract the spiritual benefits hidden within each daily challenge, and build up our belief muscles in the process. I’ve found that building your spiritual belief muscles daily is the key to strengthening yourself to impenetrable faith long-term.

We all face various negative circumstances on a daily basis and when these these occurrences happen, we’re presented with a powerful choice (and opportunity). We can either:

Grow weaker by agreeing with the negative and increasing its weightiness through…

Rehearsing lies we’re believing about ourselves, God, other people, or the hopelessness of the circumstances.

Exacerbating the potential negative results, OR,

Grow stronger by agreeing with God and counteracting the weight of negative circumstances with…

Biblical, healthy beliefs about ourselves, God, the circumstances we’re facing, and other people in our lives.

Asking God what He is doing and declaring His Truth instead of declaring and rehearsing the negative.

The power available to us is in the daily choice.

We can see this concept at work in Nehemiah 6, when Nehemiah is rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. Three harassing spirits are bothering Nehemiah and ask him to come down to the valley of Ono. Nehemiah responds, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” (Nehemiah 6:30).

Many of us go through daily life just trying to avoid challenges or “oh no’s”, but I am trying to develop a different habit in my life. What if my current life situation is just training for my bigger purpose? If so, then each day is a simply a training workout in which each “oh no” I encounter is intended to strengthen me to fulfill my calling.

So, rather than attempting to avoid “oh no’s”, what if we intentionally focused in on these challenges in our daily lives the same way an athlete focuses in on building specific muscle groups in weight-lifting? If I allow myself to become aware of each “oh no,” I’ll begin to understand which belief muscle God trying to build in me based on the “oh no.” Instead of passively allowing these negative circumstances to happen, I recognize when they happen each day and extract the benefits God was making available to me through that challenge.

Then, I can reflect upon what caused me to descend from my place of faith, hope, and love throughout the day and ask myself and the Lord questions to build that muscle further, like: What were circumstances that caused me to become hopeless? How did my emotions, energy levels, and thought patterns respond to those circumstances? Are there any lies that I am repeating to myself when those circumstances happen? What benefits is God making available to me in these “oh no’s” that I can extract to build my belief muscles?

Often, when we’re heading down into the valley of “oh no,” the enemy likes to play negative self-talk tapes in our heads on repeat with phrases like:

“You’re never going to get it.”
“You should be afraid.”
“There is something uniquely wrong with you.”
These lying tapes of failure, condemnation, and hopelessness have to go. As we put our trust in God and His word, new tapes of what He is saying over us, in us, and through us will replace the repetitive lies of the enemy.

For example, when I watch the news and see something happening politically that I don’t like, I notice my joy begins to decline and a spirit of heaviness descends upon me. In that place, and over many years, I’ve learned to ask, “God, what are you building in me that is more important than this actual situation?” He’s told me things like:

Belief that my prayers for my nation are actually working.
Belief that no matter what happens, I will thrive and can do all things through Christ.
Belief that it is my mission to love my “enemies” and pray for those I would wish to criticize (thus building the muscle of love).
Each day, I’m learning that my response to something is almost always more important than the something that occurs. I’m learning how to prosper in my soul beyond what is happening to me. I’m learning to take biblical truths and make them daily thought patterns and to build belief muscles by pressing in toward what is resisting my joy each day.

As you begin to intentionally build your beliefs muscles and see from God’s perspective more and more each day, you’ll find you begin facing each “oh no” not with hopelessness and resistance, but with joy and as a purposeful opportunity to strengthen your faith. You become the great spiritual maximizer who finds strength in all things, particularly your obstacles