What is it about taking risks that scares us so much?  What is it about being so concerned with what people think of us?   I have been ensnared in the safety and comfort zone trap my whole life.  I have been bogged down by wanting people to like me as long as I can remember.  It’s an exhausting and soul killing way to live.  It has made me shrink back and play small out of fear of what people think about me. 

Here is my recent battle as small as it may seem, it’s a really big deal to me.   Over the course of the last year I have been developing and growing my fitness ministry.  As I dig into my work and listen to the desires God is putting on my heart, I am realizing more and more my ministry is centering on men’s discipleship.  This is where my heart feels fully alive.  This is where I feel I can make the biggest impact for the Kingdom of God. 

When people ask me what I do for a living, I have been giving them a safe answer of, “I am a personal trainer.”  Of course there is nothing wrong with being a personal trainer.  I believe helping people with their health and fitness is a very noble thing to do. 

But what I realize and what I am truly stepping into is I AM A SPIRITUAL WARRIOR COACH.  I help men to reclaim their inner warrior through physical fitness and fitness adventures for the betterment of humanity.   Fitness is merely the platform to help men become stronger spiritual leaders.  To re-learn how to be a lover and a warrior as Jesus calls us to be. 

Men in today’s culture are perceived as weak, passive or overly aggressive.   In many cases we have lost the ability to be strong spiritual leaders.  I believe God is asking me to step up and take on the role of modeling what it looks like to be a strong spiritual leader. 

If there is one regret in my life is that I was not the spiritual leader in my family as my kids were growing up.  God was not central in my life at that time and therefore it wasn’t something I modeled on a regular basis.  I was an engaged father to my kids, but it centered on athletics and school and not what it meant to be a Christ follower.

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I do know this though.  It’s never too late.  As my faith grows and I believe in myself more, I am stepping up to be the leader God is calling me to be.   A leader in my family, my church and my community.  It has not been an easy path, nor will it ever be an easy path.   As Christians we are asked to pick up our cross and follow Jesus, no matter the cost.   That has been a work in progress for me.  Sometimes my soul is on fire and there are other times I want to go back to my old easy life.

So what exactly is a spiritual warrior?  Here are the traits that I believe exudes what a true spiritual warrior made in the image of God looks like:

·         LIVES A LIFE OF ADVENTURE

·         EMBRACES UNCERTAINTY AS THE THEME OF OUR LIFE

·         GOES INTO THE UNKNOWN WITH GOD

·         LIVES A LIFE FULL OF PASSION AND COURAGE

·         IS DISCIPLINED INTERNALLY AND EXTERNALLY

·         HAS MENTAL FOCUS

·         HAS AN ATTITUDE OF PERSEVERANCE

·         TRAINS PHYSICALLY, MENTALLY AND SPIRITUALLY EVERY DAY

·         LIVES TO GLORIFY GOD IN ALL WE DO

·         WE LIVE FOR A TRANSCENDENT CAUSE GREATER THAN OURSELVES

One thing I have realized on this journey is we are all warriors in training.  We never arrive.  We are never perfect.  We will always be learning and growing.  Most importantly, we need to surround ourselves with other godly men to go on this journey with. 

That is why I AM A SPIRITUAL WARRIOR COACH.   As men, we need support, encouragement and a safe place to be vulnerable and courageous.  Too many of us are living in quiet desperation.  We are afraid to take off the body armor and show up truly as we are.  We are afraid of failing, being seen and therefore we shrink back and become passive or overly aggressive.

Men, it’s time to change that.  Your first courageous step is to reach out for help.  If you are still struggling with the same things you have been struggling with for the past months, years or maybe even decades, maybe it’s time to do something different.  Maybe it’s time to reach out to a spiritual warrior coach. 

I am seeing lives being transformed through the work God is doing in me and through me.  Be strong and courageous and most importantly take a chance on yourself.  Imagine the possibilities when you reclaim your inner warrior and live the life you are created to live.   Imagine what will happen when you get out of your quiet desperation and start to live fully alive. 

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior Coach

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