Episode 47

Flexing Your Spiritual Muscles

What happens when your “spiritual muscles” begin to atrophy because you’ve stopped using them? Have you become lukewarm in your faith? Hear more about how you can put your faith into practice and get the full benefit of the blessings God gives.

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Show Notes

God wants us to share our faith at every opportunity. But some of us aren’t having any fun. We’re going through each day letting ourselves be overcome by worry and not enjoying the gifts that God has given us. When we live this way, we are in danger of having spiritual atrophy.

In James 1:22, we’re instructed to be “doers of the Word and not merely hearers…” If we’re not putting our faith into practice, we’re missing opportunities to strengthen our own faith–and to demonstrate to everybody, every day how God’s love works in our lives. What God has put in us is still in us. But we aren’t getting the full benefit of the blessings He gives.

Host Barry Meguiar is a car guy and businessman who hosted the popular TV show, Car Crazy, on Discovery Networks for 18 years. He loves cars, but he loves Jesus even more! Learn more about Barry at IgniteAmerica.com.

Get your copy of Barry’s book Ignite Your Life: Defeat Fear with Effortless Faith at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and other online booksellers.

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Check out Why Share? on IgniteAmerica.com to learn why it is important for every believer to share their faith. Then visit First Steps which provides practical ways to get started in your faith-sharing journey. Sign up to receive emails that will bring you solid faith-sharing tips and powerful inspiration.

Episode Transcript

Hi, everybody, welcome back to Ignite. I want to talk to you for the next few moments on the, on the subject of spiritual atrophy, okay? Now I gotta tell you, I’m very thankful for atrophy. For my business. Have you ever seen an old car that sat out in a barn or the field for years and years, get a picture what that car looks like. That’s because of atrophy. And that’s why people need car wax. I’m thankful that the paint finishes atrofies. Okay? I’m thankful that, that bright word goes dull, that the tires go dull, interiors go down down to nothing, I mean, they just rot and fall apart. So if it wasn’t for atrophy, I would not have a business today. So I’m very thankful for atrophy. That’s that’s the that’s the physical side of it. So it’s also from a medical side of it. You know, I was in a hospital for two and a half weeks and wasn’t a terribly long time. Although most people they tried to get out within two or three days. After two and a half weeks, they finally told me I go, I couldn’t stand up. I had to use a walker. I said give me another night. Let me walk around the house. I walked out whole hospital from one end to the other with a walker trying to get my strength back. The fact the matter was, it was probably a year before I got my strength back from being in the hospital for two and a half weeks. Before I could run upstairs and do all the things I was normally used to doing.


So atrophy is where this all over the place. But I think spiritual atrophy is not a term that’s been used but I’m thinking that it’s appropriate. I think it’s more than appropriate. James 1:22 says, be doers of the word, not just hearers only deceiving yourself. You can’t just be listening most Christians just listening today through listening at all. When’s the last time you took notes on your sermons from your pastor? Unless you to listen they can’t even tell you the next Sunday of what the message was talked about the last Sunday. Most Christians don’t read the word anymore. Most, most Christians, evangelicals don’t pray any more. It’s spiritual atrophy. And if you don’t use what the Lord has told you, it’s still in you but but you’re not profiting from it. You’re on your way to heaven, but you’re basically treading water. Okay? You don’t want to tread water and you walk with the Lord. You might have been able to get by with that these last depending how old you are. But for those who are older, for the last several decades, as we’ve been trending down without really realizing it. You can get by and then America was solid, the church was solid, we’re on our way to heaven. But all sudden you find yourself where you have atrophied and not ready for the attacks that are coming right now. There is this verse that all of us know quite well in Revelations 3, I think it’s 3:16 where he says, better that you are hot or cold than lukewarm. If you’re hot, obviously, it’s better that you’re hot. If you’re on fire for God, you’re gonna move people closer to Jesus. And quite frankly, if you’re cold, you do that in an odd way. Because when you see bad people doing bad things, say I don’t want to do that. It’s when you’re lukewarm is the problem. And that’s where most of the church is today because they’re, they’re living lukewarm lives.


Most Christians are, are quiet. They’re living in fear. 80% of all Christians are living in fear today. If you’re living in fear, you’re not living in faith. Without faith you can’t please God. Without faith you can’t share your faith. It’s it, we’re just going through the motions. The church is just going through the motions. And God warned us that this is going to happen. That verse I’ve been to the seven, Karen and I went to the seven churches to the Book of Revelations and each one has such a poignant message but the one to the to, the the the church of Ephesus speaks this message so clearly about how we’ve left our first love. And we’re no longer doing the first work. You, I’m talking about those of you who are going to heaven, you know who God is, you love Him, but you’re worrying and you’re not having fun. And you’ve left your first love you no longer having the zeal for God, the excitement for God and I when you do that you’re no longer talking about Him. You want to have a self test and where you stand with God today? How often do you tell people about Jesus? You realize that whatever you’re excited about you talk about. I don’t care what it is. Maybe  a meal you had, an event you went to, your team one last night, the championship, whatever it is, but you’re excited about that you tell people about that. If you’re not talking to you about the Lord, you’re not excited about God. I’m not saying you’re not going to heaven. I’m just saying you’ve lost, you’re in that lukewarm zone, right?


What, when they asked Jesus what’s the greatest commandment, you remember what He said? Love me and love your neighbor as yourself. I mean, you just need to sit with that for a moment. If you love your neighbor as yourself, you’re as concerned for their salvation as you are your own salvation. And if that’s the case, then you’re going to do everything you can to get them to heaven. And so now you’re not just going through the motions now there’s purpose to everything you do and affects probably how you dress. And and where you go and what you look at and what you laugh at and what you indulge in. Is that really helping you get people to Jesus? I know you can go to heaven and do that. It’s fine. You’re living into grace. But but think of the things in your life or is everything your life moving everybody everyday closer to Jesus? Romans 8:28, I probably said every podcast but of course, again, He says for now until you get to heaven I’ll make everything in your life work together for good if you, to those who love me to those that live for my purpose. That’s the opposite of atrophy. When you’re living for His purpose, your as concerned for everybody’s salvation around you as you are your own, and you’re in your full time game. You know, when He says that He says, when you do those two, you fulfill all 10, right? Are you telling me that I don’t have to worry fulfilling all 10 of the commandments. I just have to focus on two? Actually yeah, Jesus said that. Because if you’re focused on leading everybody everyday, closer to Jesus, you fulfill all 10. Not out of law. Not out of judgment, not out of worrying if I am in God’s favor or not. He gives you favor. He loves you. He loves you the same no matter what you do. You’re doing it out of joy. And when you do that things is open up. And I love this scripture a good price second only to Romans 8:28 do I give you this scripture again? Isaiah 43:10 which says, why you should be in the game and not lukewarm. If you’re lukewarm right now, most of you listening right now are probably lukewarm. More than half, over 80% of Christians are lukewarm. They’re not, they’re not living by faith. They’re living by fear. On your way to heaven. I’m talking about some of you are not there yet. I’m talking to those of you who know God who knows He died for your sins, know you’re on your way to heaven, but not having fun. And complaining about everything and worried about the elections and this. You know, when we get to heaven, it’s not gonna matter who won the elections. You realize that? It’s not gonna matter who won the next presidential election. It’s not gonna matter if you are Russian. Ukrainian. Chinese. Not gonna matter. The only thing it’s gonna matter is did you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? That’s the only thing that’s gonna matter. Okay?


So Isaiah 43:10 brings a full circle, look into the world, our lives through His eyes, He says to us, I appoint you as my witness, so that you will believe so that you will believe. That’s the opposite of atrophy. That’s being an action. That’s what you’re doing. So you’re just, you’re being a doer of the word and not a hearer only. How do you do that? It, things happen all the time if you just have your eyes open. God just puts it right in front of your lap. It’s so much fun when He does that He speaks through you. You can’t prepare for these conversations, folks. You just can’t. You have no idea what that person’s gonna say to you. But God does and then He gives you the word to say back. He gives you the words He, the Holy Spirit, Luke 12:12: He’ll give you the words that say when you need them and when you do that, you’ll feel God working through you realize God you’re just using me to reach this person. There’s nothing else in the human experience like that.


I was just going, I was having lunch with Dave Trebecky. Great baseball player for for the Giants who lost his arm and now has his great testimony. He just loves the Lord, he’s bigger than life, faith sharing kind of guy. And my friend Jay who is taking me there for lunch, he we pulled in it was 1:30 it was after the lunch hour so the parking lot was wide open. He could have parked anywhere. And we just would have walked right in. But as it happened as it happened, he pulls up right in front of a car in front of us in the hoods open. Okay? And, and all sudden, a black guy walks out with a great big, like a Sparkletts water bottle know what I’m talking about? He’s got great big bottles and there’s about half full of water and he started pouring the water in to his radiator. Add so I mean, I just you know just do that when you live, just all in you’re always looking for the slightest provocation to talk to people about Jesus. Now I believe ours is offered right if they just right there. Hey, what’s going on here? Anything I can do to help you? He said no, no, I just have a leaky radiator and I had to keep it filled with water I just got here. I just drove into town from Alabama. Alabama? You drove here from Alabama? Now mind you, this is a black guy. He’s got tattoos. He’s in a tank top. He’s got dreadlocks. We would not normally be seen hanging out together. Okay? You might say. But God loves us all the same. I don’t, it doesn’t matter. I don’t care what they look like. In fact, the more they don’t look like me, the more I like to love on them. They always say boy, so this old white guys loving on me, wonder what’s that all about? So he said well, I have my wife and daughter are in Alabama and I can’t find a job. And so to support them. I have a friend out here who has a trucking job. He’s a truck driver. He said if I came out, he gave me a job. Wow. That’s amazing. That’s amazing. Have you ever driven a truck? No. And you just got here? Yeah. Are you a little nervous about that? You think? I said, you know, I was kind of, I improvised, I said, I was kind of where you were about 50 years ago. And I had this a wonderful experience. He said why? I said well, I was trying to get into retail with a car wax of all things. And I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. And I discovered the Scripture it said to trust in the Lord with your whole heart and don’t depend on your own mind what you’re thinking, all your fears and inhibitions. Don’t think about that. And always acknowledge Him and He gives you this promise God gives you this promise He’ll direct your steps. Well, man, his eyes opened up was like he could not have heard that message at a better time. Right? He was just so excited. So I just talked a little bit more and finally gave him a card we have these seeking God cards that are just wonderful to give to him and I said everything you want to know about God is right there. How much he loves you. He’ll guide, directe your life. He said oh, that’s fantastic. I said can I pray for you? He says sure, please pray for me. So here we are in the middle of this parking lot. And I’m praying a Holy Ghost prayer I just pray and God just poured out of me blessing this man and directing his steps and give me purpose and all. So we got done. He looked at me and he just hugged me. He hugged me. He said, thank you, thank you. I said thank you. God bless you. And I walked away. Wow. That’s the opposite of spiritual atrophy. See you next time.


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