What Does it Mean to Be “Fit” (F.I.T.)?

Nicole Headshot in blue shirt

Nicole D. Hayes, Founder, Voices Against the Grain

“Fit.” It’s a word that the Holy Spirit has given me in this season. So, what does it mean for me, for you, for the Body of Christ?

First, let’s see how the dictionary defines “fit”: 

1. (of a thing) of a suitable quality, standard, or type to meet the required purpose.”the meat is fit for human consumption”
synonyms: suitable, good enough; relevant, pertinent, apt, appropriate, suited, apposite, fitting; archaic meet “fit for human habitation”
2. in good health, especially because of regular physical exercise.
“I swim regularly to keep fit” synonyms: healthy, well, in good health, in (good) shape, in (good) trim, in good condition, fighting fit, as fit as a fiddle;
verb 1. be of the right shape and size for. “those jeans still fit me” 2. fix or put (something) into place. “They fitted smoke alarms to their home”
synonyms: lay, position, place, put in place/position, fix

Now we have a good idea of what meanings encompass “fit.”

In persevering and running our race, in countering the attacks delivered by our adversary Satan, in dispersing light in darkness and encroaching on the enemy’s territory, in taking territory away from the enemy and reclaiming it for God’s Kingdom, we must be “fit.”

  • “Fit” emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. As Paul said in Philippians 4:12, “I am content in all circumstances.” We are not elated or deflated by our circumstances. We are maintained and steadied by the peace of Christ and the confidence in Him in whom we anchor our hope.
  • That we would allow perseverance to “finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:4
  • Our faith should be continuously maintained and developed/kept “fit” to help us persevere in courage, in the confidence of God’s promises and faithfulness. Someone told me of warriors past who would regularly maintain their shields which were made in part from leather. If the leather was not regularly maintained, the shield would crack and leave the user defenseless against oncoming arrows. Consider how important this is in our being able to thwart the enemy’s fiery darts by arming ourselves with and deploying the spiritual shield of faith as depicted in Ephesians 6:16. Our faith must be fit for the fight. 
  • We must shed/lay aside anything (ex: sins, burdens, strange teachings, carrying unnecessary weight) that would hinder our ability to successfully run our race so we are able to move freely and unobstructed as instructed in Hebrews 12:1-2 :

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Training Like an Athlete

When I think about being “fit,” I consider the great example of athletes training to meet and exceed certain performance goals. From diet, to rigorous workouts, to having great coaches (in our case mentors, teachers, pastors), to proper rest and recovery, to implementing discipline and consistency in adhering to the various criteria required to meet their goals, there is significant preparation involved. Being undisciplined or unprepared in any area could lead to missed goals.

Athletes training

During elementary and junior high school I ran track. I was one of the fastest sprinters in school, competing against other schools and taking home first and second place ribbons. My prized races were the 50 and 100-yard dash and bringing up the rear as the anchor in relay races, taking us into first place. Again, these were short distance races for which I was well prepared.

Now enter the 800-meter race. It was a hot day and for whatever reason I was running the 800 meter. The track was black asphalt made several degrees hotter by the beating early afternoon sun. In one moment I remember coming into the curve of the track. In the next moment, I was waking up on the black asphalt and being escorted to the school nurse’s office. My mom was called and met me at school. According to my PE teacher, I blacked out, likely from a combination of the heat, hot asphalt and not consuming enough fluids beforehand, causing dehydration. Thank GOD that I didn’t bust my pretty teeth in the fall!  🙂

In short, I had not properly prepared for that longer race. I was not fit to endure it to successful completion. What I had in physical abilities and talent was short-circuited by a lack of practical hydration. This can happen in running and enduring our spiritual race too if we’re strong in a number of areas but not shored up in one or more. Imagine if you do everything else but aren’t engaged in a continuous spirit of prayer? Or not studying God’s Word, meditating on it day and night so you can immediately and confidently refute the enemy’s lies? Imagine if your shield of faith has been neglected and subject to cracking on the first hit?

In wrapping up, I’ve created an acronym to summarize being fit for our purposes:

F.I.T. = Fortifying an Intentional Trajectory

fortify: strengthen, protect, secure mentally or physically

intentional: deliberate, intended, purposeful, studied

trajectory: moving under the action of given forces; course, path, track

May we fortify our spiritual development with the intentionality of completing our race in excellence.

I believe that we are in a time of seeing greater moves of God accompanied by greater enemy opposition as we advance God’s Kingdom in the earth. We are indeed overcoming that enemy opposition and are more than conquerors because He that is in us is greater than he that is in the world. Hallelujah! We were chosen, predestined (fit) for this race. We have been positioned, placed in this particular race by God to endure to a specific end designed on a track for His purposes. So, let’s be intentional, purposeful in our development that we may be fit for what’s coming.

Fortify us, Lord, in your Word and may we meditate on it and keep our mind on you to keep us on the path. We want to hear you say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

female track runnerFit female track runner

Love and God bless you! Run your race!

Nicole

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A Fixer Who Trusts ‘The Fixer’

 

Nicole Headshot in blue shirt

Nicole D. Hayes, Founder, Voices Against the Grain

Pencil erasers. White Out. Accepted tracked changes. Scotch tape. Duct tape. Super Glue. A little bit of this and a little bit of that. As imperfect human beings navigating this thing called “life,” along the way we’ve made mistakes, have had some “uh-ohs” and “oops,” typos and numerous reminders indicating that we don’t have it all together. To close these gaps in hopes to present ourselves and our situations as being “together,” we’ve created products proven most helpful for fixing things. Super Glue to help make like new that precious vase we accidentally knocked over and chipped (whoops). Duct tape for that piece or attachment that needs to hang on for a while longer so it and we can continue to function without interruption.

As a writer, proofreader and someone whose DIY home decor activities has sometimes been sheer comedy, I know a thing or two about being a “fixer.” Depending on the situation, we may feel panic when the error or incident occurs and then flooded with relief when we’re able to fix it, either through our own expertise or someone else’s expertise or created product. Whew!

repairing-glass-vase-duct-tape-bernard-katz-glass

Yet, life will place us in unprecedented situations and we scramble for solutions. “Let’s try this. Let’s try that. Maybe this here will work.” If we’re honest, our “solutions” may worsen the situation or offer no change at all, leaving us feeling flummoxed, anxious or hopeless. We’ve exhausted everything known within our finite abilities. What are we to do?

“Fix it, Jesus.”

In January, I shared with you in two blog posts a raw account of health challenges I had been facing since this past November. Having long diligence in living a healthy lifestyle, I came down with the flu and then subsequent health issues followed afterward. Several of the experiences were new to me and unnerving. The battle was physical and spiritual. In seeking deliverance from the physical symptoms the Lord assured me in that still, small voice that He would heal me. In my need to see an immediate reversal of symptoms, I would try this thing or that — but to no avail. Why didn’t I take Him at His word? The Holy Spirit told me repeatedly that He would restore me, symptom by symptom.

God desires that we come to the end of our own efforts and surrender all to Him. Eventually, I yielded. Crying out, praying. I no longer relied upon my finite expertise of trying to “fix it.” I wholly leaned on Him daily, hourly, and cast every burden upon Him (Psalm 55:22) to handle and fix in His timing. In talking with Him, I specifically told Him what I desired to see fixed.

In the passing days and weeks, the specific symptoms I prayed against were no longer. The Lord did as He said He would do. I needed to take my hands off of it and trust Him. In this process, I also spent a great deal of time in prayer, studying His Word, viewing Christian programming–just immersed. I pressed in. My mind was being renewed to trust Him even more. Anxieties about my health were being replaced with His peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). Thank you Jesus!

My faith was being greatly tested and fortified. I was also becoming a greater warrior against our enemy who consistently attacked my thoughts. I got my head back through truly putting on the helmet of salvation as instructed in Ephesians 6:17 (read this article, “What Is the Helmet of Salvation?”). I learned to immediately reject Satan’s attacks and lies by countering them with God’s Word and what I knew to be true; demolishing arguments and taking captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). This is critical. We must do this immediately as it ceases the enemy’s ability to continue in this. Trusted prayer partners joined me and stood with me in believing for my health and recovery. For their prayers, fasting and encouragement, I am so grateful.

My recovery and healing also involved obedience in practical steps I was led to take. This included identifying food allergies that were causing inflammation, juicing and eating more of a Mediterranean diet and winding down earlier for bed.

In follow up doctors’ appointments, I am pleased to report that all is “normal.” I am healthy. I have sat in quiet awe and gratitude of how good and faithful is our God. This process transformed me to love and know Him deeper. I abide in His Word and am even more emboldened to equip and encourage others in Christ Jesus.

Introspection 

“We will all encounter challenges causing us to think that God’s promises for us will “die on the vine,” says my dear brother in Christ, Hakim Hazim, co-founder of Christian think tank FreedomSquared.org. But Jesus said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26) As my dear brother further shared:

“God is the great Resolver— but not before He brings us to and through those moments that will further define our walk with Him and shape us. In every challenge, God expects us to overcome it or be transformed by it. God gives strength to saints to overcome the situation and continue on — OR, He gives us the strength to be transformed by the situation and continue on. Transformation allows us to change our approach. There are things that we’re required to lay down or cast off in order to move forward (see Hebrews 12:1-2). What we have been transformed by before becomes yesterday’s manna. We now become transformed by a new mindset.”

God is a Healer. He is our Deliverer. He is a Restorer. And if we trust Him, He is indeed THE Fixer. He will fix it while He is transforming us. He is fixing our feet to be “surefooted like that of a deer, enabling us to tread upon the heights” (Habakkuk 3:19), to surmount the rugged places of life with great confidence and faith in our Almighty God.

My love to you and God bless you as you trust and believe God in your situation. Jesus will work it out  (listen to this)!

Nicole