Thursday, October 15, 2009

Day 25: Muscle Memory

Look at God’s ingenuity—He allowed Paul to share his faith with a few premier dignitaries including King Agrippa. Acts chapter 25 captures how natural circumstances of one ruler visiting another can be used by God for divine intentions.

When Agrippa stood before the Judge of all the earth (Jesus) regarding his eternal destiny, he had no excuses about not having an opportunity to hear the message of salvation. Likewise, there are some people in our lives today simply because we’re in a tense trial. The challenge I find is that when we’re experiencing tough trials, we tend to shut down and not want to share information about our savior with others. Paul was just the opposite. While imprisoned he was still vocal about the One who died for him.

Let’s not hope that one day we’ll really grow strong in the Lord. Let’s seize today and start acting like that spiritually-strong person we hope to become.

Are you immersed in a nice trial? Why not refocus your attention outward toward the lost and see what God will do through you. It is not our job to save people; it’s just our job to share Christ with them. God is the one who does the saving!

Have you ever heard of the term “muscle memory”? In the world of physical fitness, the phrase signifies that our muscles—that group or set of muscles used in a particular exercise/sport—have the capacity to remember the movement and motions associated with the motion even if we’ve not performed it in awhile. In the same way, I believe that we have “trial memory”. The behavior that we practice during trials becomes normative during future trials despite the fact that we know the right thing to do.

So, if we don’t break out of the present pattern of discontinuing our witnessing practices during trials, we will not be able to change our “trial memory.” Consequently, your next trial may have you doing the same things as this present trial if you do nothing drastic to change your “trial memory”. If you want an evangelistic heart, you cannot simply hope for one. You must intentionally act that way while in your present circumstances.

Let’s break the pattern today! What can you do to break the pattern of “trial memory”? Post at least one strategic action you intend to take within the next few days.


  1. Hello everyone,

    Whenever people respond to altar calls, Pastor David always reminds that “after one turns their life to the Lord, they’re still the same person, the character doesn’t change – though the behavior will – but they’re still the same”. This statement is so visible in Paul’s determination to stand firm on his beliefs and not allow anyone to refute his claim of Jesus being the Savior and the only way to eternal life. I appreciate his attitude in a sense that Paul was very consistent throughout the time he had to go see the representatives of the law, he never denied that he is a follower of Jesus and I concur with Dr. Ireland that God’s plan never fails, His goal is to have people hear the good news about his Son and Paul has done just that. I also agree w/the prospect of breaking free from the pattern of self-withdrawal – in my case I often come across someone that needs to hear some words of comfort and the worst part of it is that I too need to be comforted - I will sadly admit that I reluctantly allow the Holy Spirit to speak through me which by the time I finish w/the person, they have a smile on their face and I still have my frown but God’s work is fulfilled and that’s a good thing. I know it’s very painful to help someone in need while you’re hurting and my understanding is this - to break that pattern will require commitment and I will safely say that it’s a mind-set that we have to position self to do God’s will. As far as the trial being nice, I see it as painful torture especially when I know I want to make a full surge and invade the land. In order to break that pattern, I plan on decreasing the amount of complaints I offer God each time after I speak on his behalf while I’m waiting for his deliverance on my behalf and every time we bring either a backslider or an unsaved person to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, it’s fiesta in heaven and I would imagine Jesus dancing holding a “cha-cha” in each hand- so better be practical in that sense and do the father’s will because I WANT my breakthrough and the Imagine More slogan says it best - “IT’S TIME”

    Everyone have a great weekend, be blessed


  2. Greetings:

    The one strategic thing that I can do is to ask God to allow me to see things from His perspective, and guide me on the path to take. He has all the answers…………

    Over this 40 day journey, I have a renewed or deeper trust in the sovereignty of God. He is not surprised by the events in my life and if He’s allowed them to occur, He has a reason. My focus needs to be on God’s perspective and not my own. My perspective is almost always based on my feelings/comfort level – which is the wrong way to go!

    Paul’s act is a tough one to follow – but one that displays the heart of God. Seizing every opportunity (good and bad) and using it for His glory …… that’s how we will build trial memory!

  3. Thanks for this question, Pastor Ireland.

    My strategic actions are to invest time at the end of each day to reflect on what I can learn from both good and challenging events to inform my future actions. And then, thank God for continuously guiding and instructing me as I move forward. All praises to God!


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