Unlike the sweat and fatigue of physical fitness, self-propelled by will and might, when a heart is broken and torn and weary, weakest perhaps than ever has been- this is the beginning of fitness in Jesus – “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3.
The world will ‘chew and spit out’ the feeble and the foolish, but Jesus, He calls out to them to ‘turn!’ (Proverbs 1:20-33). “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace…” He tells the stories, His words in red, “I am the Good Shepherd”. I am near, I make your bed!
He provides the Helper to strengthen the hands that hang down, bruised and hurt from toil. He breathes wisdom on the simple – pouring His Spirit – filling the lamps with His oil. “Not by might, nor by power,…but by My Spirit says the Lord.” Yes, the Helper reminds us in the ‘breeze’ of His word in Zechariah verse 6, of Chapter 4!
But even more than that, our dear Jesus, He provides a breeze with His song. Be it: “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” or “Be Still my soul”, or even “This is my story, this is my song!” Come, and feel it, like the breeze by the water’s edge or the breeze at the ocean. Yes there must be a constant breeze in heaven! BUT even here on this thorny earth, He provides a breeze through the fitness as we be: “praising my Savior all the day long!”
Just read the words, or go about singing, “All the fitness He requireth is to feel your need for Him…” (from the hymn, I Will Arise and Go to Jesus, 1759, by Joseph Hart).
Do you have need, are you ‘poor in spirit?’ The ‘fitness He ‘requireth’ is to feel your need for Him’:
“I will arise and go to Jesus, He will embrace me in His arms. In the arms of my dear Savior, O there are ten thousand charms.”
1. “Come, ye sinners, poor and needy, Weak and wounded, sick and sore; Jesus ready stands to save you, Full of pity, love and pow’r.”
2.”Come, ye thirsty, come and welcome, God’s free bounty glorify; True belief and true repentance, Every grace that brings you nigh.”
3.”come, ye weary, heavy laden, Lost and ruined by the Fall; If you tarry ’til your better, You will never come at all.”
4.”Let not conscience make you linger, Nor of fitness fondly dream; All the fitness he requireth, Is to feel you need of Him.”
The breeze of the Holy Spirit and the song refreshes miraculously and brings us to a place of victory: “I will arise and go to Jesus, He will embrace me in His arms. In the arms of my dear Savior, O there are then thousand charms.” (!)
Take a breath. confess sin to God and be cleansed. Arise and go to Jesus, He will embrace you in His arms. Let Him be Savior again as when a child. Let Him heal what’s been made broken.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30).
Speak the hymn. Ask of God. The gentle, gracious breeze of My Spirit will revive you again… and again, and again and again. Cross-Fitness is this: To take hold of your lamp, and let Me fill it with oil. Then to secure in your heart this prayer, this desire: “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection…” (Phil 1:10)
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4). This is right. This is safe. Think on these things, don’t be foolish and stubborn.
Trust in the Lord all you peoples, and rest in Him.
This is the fitness that He ‘requireth’ that you know Him more, and learn of His grace. “The Lord is my strength and my song, and He is become my salvation.” (Ex. 15:2)!
“Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, And He shall hear my voice.” (Psalm 55:17). “He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle which was against me…” (Ps. 55:18). The oil in our lamps keeps us persevering, and the battle is won with the praises.
God inhabits our praise! The God of the Universe dwells in our songs! (Psalm 22:3).
So sing a new song, today. Forsake all the pains of yesterday. Fix your eyes once again on Jesus, and speak even, a very old song:
“I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord; No tender voice like Thine, can peace afford. I need Thee, O I need Thee; Every hour I need Thee, O Bless me now my Savior, I come to Thee!” (I need Thee every hour, 1872, Annie S. Hawks; Robert Lowry, refrain).