You’ve probably seen the ad on TV where small electrodes are attached to a man’s abdomen. When the device is activated the muscles contract. It’s not the sort of thing you’d wear to work because it triggers uncontrollable spasms. But the manufacturer promises it will build strength and relax your muscles … without any effort on your part.

Just what we’ve all been looking for–a way to get ripped without effort. And to think I’ve been working out at a gym all of these years. Of course, such promises are as silly as telling a wingless bird it can fly. Nobody can lose weight and build strength without managing their diet and working out.

So as you start the New Year remember: whatever you become over the next 365 days will be determined by what you do. There are no magic pills that melt away unwanted fat, no electronic gadgets that build muscle, no subliminal messages that will heal your emotions and relationships. And there’s no shortcut to spiritual growth.

Every New Year I remind myself of an ever present reality: staying in physical and spiritual shape is like rowing upstream–I’m either going up-stream or down-stream, but I’m never sitting still. Growth demands daily diligence. With that in mind, I want to invite you to join me in recommitting yourself to the four disciplines of a Mighty Man.

  • Daily time in the Bible.
  • Daily time in prayer.
  • Daily affirm your family and those close to you.
  • Daily maintain sexual purity.

Take a few minutes today or this evening and review these commitments. Determine how much time you can successfully spend in the Bible and prayer each day. If you’ve been struggling to maintain sexual purity implement a plan to guard you from temptation. Make up your mind that you’ll bless those you love.

Once you’ve thought through these commitments go to God and tell him you want to make them a part of your daily routine. Remember, spiritual disciplines don’t facilitate spiritual growth, God does. They’re simply the environment where God’s grace is released to make you grow.

It’s important to remember that a 1% change in the trajectory of a plane leaving La Guardia airport in London will place it in Portland, Oregon instead of Seattle, Washington. A small change in the direction of your life will make you a different and better man, in one year. If enough of us allow God to work in our lives we’ll see revivals come to our homes, churches, cities, and country. But it will only happen one man, one day at a time.

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