Spiritual Flexibility


“You may bend me, but you will never break me.”

                                                -Roman Soldier Motto


We must bend (flexible) to survive, to grow and to minister as Christians:

  • In regard to situations, we must survive
  • In regard to pressures, we must adjust
  • In regard to differences, we must adapt


But also, We must bend but never break:

  • Survive without selling out
  • Adjust without shattering our spiritual call
  • Adapt to differences without compromise


For steel to endure stress it must be tempered.

Heating and cooling will temper the steal of a knife blade so that it will snap when used.

Believers must be tempered by God in life so that they are strong enough to get the job             

done but yet flexible enough not to snap every time a situation changes, pressure           

is applied or differences are faced.


Flexibility is a very important quality of a believer since it is one of the foundation stones of success in phase two of the Christian life.




Occurs at point of salvation

Occurs during believer’s life

Occurs at Rapture or the


Salvation of Spirit

Salvation of Soul (mind)

Salvation of Body

Achieved by Faith in Christ

Achieved by renewing mind

Achieved by the Lord







The Christian life requires flexibility because:

1)      God’s purpose for us is to be conformed into his image

a.       Romans 8:29

                                                               i.      “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son.”

                                                             ii.      “Conformed” denotes inward not merely outward and superficial

                                                            iii.      “Conformed” refers to a spiritual change that manifests as an outward change.

                                                           iv.      “Conformed” is adjective - accusative plural masculine summorfouV - summorphos  /soom-mor-fos'/ jointly formed, i.e. (figuratively) similar -- conformed to, fashioned like unto.

b.      Romans 12:2

                                                               i.      “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

                                                             ii.      “Transformed” is metamorfousqai verb - present passive middle or passive deponent metamorphoo  /met-am-or-fo'-o/ to transform (literally or figuratively, metamorphose) -- change, transfigure, transform.

c.       2  Corinthians 3:18

d.      Philippians 3:21

2)      In order to serve in the capacity he calls us to and with the power he provides we must change from our own ways and from using our own strength.

3)      Inflexible people will not change into Christ’s image and they will not serve where God wants them to or in the way (power) God wants.  These inflexible people are often defined in scripture as:

a.       Proud

b.      Arrogant

c.       Selfish

d.      Hard

e.       As Iron


Inflexible People:


1)      Paul as a Pharisee  

a.       Galatians 1:13-14

b.      Philippians 3:4-6

2)      Moses as an Egyptian

a.       Hebrews. 11:24-26

b.      Exodus 2:11-15

3)      Saul as King of Israel

a.       1 Samuel 18:1-12

b.      1 Samuel 31:1-6


Flexible People:

            1)  John the Baptist

a.       John 3:22-30

b.      Luke 7:18-30

2)  Moses after 40 years in the wilderness

            a.  Exodus 7-10            Plagues with rod

            b.  Exodus 13:17          Led to Red Sea

            c.  Exodus 15:22          Bitter water

            d.  Exodus 16:4            Bread from heaven

            e.  Exodus 16:11          Quail

            f.  Exodus 17:1 Water from Rock

            g.  Exodus 18:13          Accepts advice from Father-in-law

3.  Paul after being trined by the Lord

a.       Trouble

a.       2 Corinthians 11:21-29

b.      Acts 9-28

                                                                                                   i.      Damascus Road

                                                                                                 ii.      Blinded

                                                                                                iii.      Fled Damascus

                                                                                               iv.      Threatened in Jerusalem

                                                                                                 v.      Sickness in Galatia

                                                                                               vi.      Prison in Philippi

                                                                                              vii.      Tent Maker in Corinth

                                                                                            viii.      Working in Thessalonica, Ephesus

b.      Ease

a.       Titus 3:12-14

b.      Acts 19:9-12

c.       Acts 28:16, 30

c.       Philippians 4:11-13

a.       The point of these verses is:

                                                                                                   i.      I have learned to be flexible, so. . .

                                                                                                 ii.      I can now do everything Christ asks me to do



Philippians 4:11-13

“I have learned”

  • Aorist active = completion of the process


“to be content”

  • “content” means being self-sufficient, having enough
  • This word indicates independence of external circumstances and often means the state of one who supports himself without aid from others
  • It indicates an inward sufficiency as opposed to:
    • Someone who lacks something on the outside
    • Someone who lusts or desires something on the outside


“whatever the circumstances”

“I know”


“what it is to be in need”

  • Present passive
  • Means
    • To be brought low
    • Dealing with physical and not moral or spiritual
    • Refers to needs of daily life


“I know”


“what it is to have plenty”

  • Overflow or abound
  • Present active middle


“I have learned”

  • “learned” is the word for “initiated”
    • to be initiated
    • to be instructed into the mystery religions


  • Perfect passive indicative
  • Completed action with a continuing state or with continuing results


“in any and every situation whether”


1-“well fed”

  • Passive middle
  • Means “to fodder”
  • Used to refer to fattening an animal in a stall by feeding it until full


2- “hungry”

  • Passive active


3- “living in plenty”

  • Present active
  • To be superabounding


4- “or in want”

  • Present passive
  • To come up short, to fall behind, to lack, to suffer need