Holly T. Ashley

Oh did I type that outloud?

Move the stone!

I love it when people want to change their lives for the better, when people want to “get in the game….” They come in with a willingness to learn and during the assessment, they are humbled by what the numbers say, but accept the fact that facts are indeed facts and it will take time to turn things around….

The problem is that most do not understand that it takes time – dedication and hard work and that key word here is dedication.

I received an email the other day and it said, “Don’t ask God to let you dance, if you’re not gonna move your feet.”

I can stand at the head of a class of potential workout enthusiasts, having evaluated their circumstances, measured them, weighed them and given them a new diet and work-out plan that has specifically been designed just for them- based on the fact that they have come to me to get the help… but if they do not do the work themselves they are not going to see results.

We treat God the same way and I wonder sometimes if he gets frustrated and tired like I do… I come to Him and ask for answers, read his word, pray, seek Godly counsel from others… then wait – and wait some more… Standing back, expecting God to make the changes all on His own – but those of us who are never taking action, never moving our proverbial “feet”… will never see anything change.

As a trainer one of the best and worst forms of marketing our business is our clients – they are our walking billboards – and they can either make or break us – if they come in, get evaluated, follow our direction and change their eating habits, and go through the pain and discomfort of the exercise part – they eventually see change not just in their outward appearance, but their inward appearance as well as their overall health, and their countenance – and they will then share the “good news” with everyone in their path –

What is awesome is when they share their own “personal testimony,” of the journey and the pride (good pride) rises up in them and the joy of accomplishment, of moving out of their comfort zone and overcoming the obstacles that had held them back for so long –  becoming “more than conquerers,” for the pursuit of the overall prize – Yes! This is when life-long changes occur – not just in the person who conquered, but for the lives they will now touch as a result of their own personal experiences and outcomes –  “our witness.”

On the other hand there are those who will come in with a determination that something must change – they can not “Live this way any longer,” attitude – but once the instructions are handed out and they begin the exercise programs- they become defeated: it becomes painful, it is out of their “comfort zone,” and because of their complacency – they do not see the changes in their lives and they either concede defeat and live in self-pity, continue on the path of destruction by way of going back into their comfort zone and isolation – and complain: “It didn’t work,” “He/She is not a good trainer,” “They wanted me to do things that were just too hard and it caused pain…” And the decline continues and their view of the “good news,” is bad- ineffective and not exactly the billboard that will launch a trainer’s career.

Their testimony becomes one of defeat, anger, bitterness and self-pity and will eventually lead others to believe their twisted truth and lead others astray –

We treat God the very same way- He is our trainer, we call, he answers – But faith without works is as good as dead.

He takes us out of our comfort zone, tells us to change our lives, our friends, our attitudes and yes, it is painful, but… He has big plans for you within the scope of His kingdom and He wants us to succeed! We are His billboard! But it requires the respect of obedience to His instruction – “Don’t ask to participate in the dance, if you are not going to move your feet!”

He does not want for us to become exasperated, defeated, or quitters! He wants our best to shine forth – He wants us to spread the Good News based on the fact that we are the walking testimony of His love, grace, mercy, power, courage, and strength!

I am reminded of the story of Lazarus… Mary and Martha were so distraught – they immediately called and eventually, Jesus came– but in their eyes it was too late…. They understood the power of Christ to save and to heal – but they did not appreciate or respect His decision to do so at His timing or by His will or by His way…

Therefore the inward rebellion began… and the outward expression of the “challenge” to God the almighty and powerful… she blamed him – saying that if he would have only come when she called, it wouldn’t have happened at all!

“Move the stone,” Jesus stated.

Again she made an excuse not to comply – She argued – she complained that he had been dead 4 days and therefore the odor would be horrible!

Jesus simply asked again, “Move the stone.”

We all know what happened after that- But the point to remember – When we call Jesus will answer and you might feel defeated, broken, hurt or even proud because His timing might not be that of your own –

You might feel that the weight of the stone is too heavy to move, that the stench of the “work” is too much to bear… and you might argue that if God would have just intervened earlier- this circumstance would have never gotten to this point….

But his timing is perfect. When we call, he answers – but we must Act, we must “move our feet.”

Move the stone and let your life come forth.

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