Summary: We are not meant to go it alone - find a partner and find power!c
FAITH FITNESS 3: WORK OUT WITH A PARTNER
There is something that trainers know about working out that is also evident in almost every profession. "Pairing up with a workout buddy can dramatically improve your overall results," says Mel Joyner, a New York City-based personal trainer.
We need other people in our lives to accomplish God’s work. This is the way God has wired the universe. Life goes better when it is done with other people.
Great partners in God's Kingdom work: Moses and Aaron, Joshua and Caleb, Daniel Shadrack Meshack and Abednego, Ruth and Naomi, David and Jonathan, Paul and Barnabas, Barnabas and John Mark, Jesus Peter James and John, Aquilla and Priscilla, Andronicus and Junias, Tryphena and Tryphosa those women who work hard in the Lord, all partners together in God's work.
Jesus sent the disciples out 2 X 2 ... never alone.
All of those "one another" passages require the other!
Ecclesiastes 4:9-4:12 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).
5 Reasons We Need A Spiritual Workout Partner!
1. ACCOUNTABILITY. If you know someone is meeting you at the gym in the morning, are you really going sleep in? "When you schedule workouts with a friend, you're held accountable, so you're less likely to skip out on a workout," says Joyner. “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work” (Ecclesiastes 4:9) One of the great keys to escaping disabling sin is to become accountable to someone you trust. “…Make me truly happy by agreeing whole heartedly with each other, loving one another,and working together with one mind and purpose.” (Philippians 2:2)
2. ROUTINE- Forming of good habits. "I believe strongly that you should make a point of going to the gym with a friend during the first few months of your gym membership," says Dr. Belisa Vranich, a clinical psychologist and member of Gold's Gym's Fitness Institute. Why? "Working out should be a habit, and it takes 21 days to form a habit. If you're going it solo, you're likely to slack off during those three important introductory weeks, but if you're regularly meeting a friend, the habit is more likely to set in." “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves” (Ecclesiastes 4:12). What kind of good habits do we need to develop? How about those New Years Resolutions we talked about? Discipline does not grow well by itself. In developing the Spiritual Disciplines in our lives we need to establish routines that demonstrate our commitment. Doing that together defends us against excuses and slacking off. Philippians 1:27-28 “I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you.” In order to be our best in the Kingdom work, we must stand as one, contend as one.
3. CHALLENGE. "When I work out on my own, I'm not likely to force myself to do extra reps or increase my speed on the treadmill," says Joyner. "But if I'm working out with a friend - ideally a friend who is stronger and faster than me — you can bet I'll try to one-up the other person by doing more chin-ups or running faster in a race or lifting more weight on the machine." When we are taking this journey with a partner, we desire them to challenge us. “If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” (Eccl 4:10) That is why we place such a high value on you belonging to a small group. Small groups are a place where you can practice being a Christ follower. If you are not connecting with someone of faith who will challenge you - then what happens when you feel weak? what happens when you want to quit? what happens when you are tempted? what happens when you feel like just cruising along the surface? Is there someone in your life to challenge you on specifics?
4. PARTNERSHIP. "There are a variety of workout moves that you can only do with a partner," says Joyner. His favorite? The wheelbarrow push-up, where one person does a push-up while the other (standing) person holds on to the ankles. "The holder has to squat as the person goes down toward the floor, so the exercise works the muscles of both involved." (do not try this at home people!) “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12). Matthew 18:19-20 “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name,there am I with them.” Some things in the Christian life demand that others are involved!