In physical exercise, stretching before and after helps prevent injuries, increase flexibility, and bring greater results. It is similar in the spirit. Stretching increases our effectiveness and fruitfulness. To stretch is to expand or extend something to a greater size or length. God uses it as part of our spiritual growth and to assist us in reaching His best. 

When the Lord asks us to do something, we resist in our flesh; He stretches us spiritually; or to not do something our flesh desires. When He leads us to express a love that is not reciprocated; forgive an offender; close the door in a pursuit that is not of Him; or press through physical weaknesses; we take that step in obedience and experience His enabling power. 

The Lord leads us to press through our limitations so we can depend on Him alone and learn to trust Him at new levels. He pushes us out of our comfort zones and allows circumstances to draw us closer to Him. God’s purpose is our transformation into the image of Jesus, and He works all things together for that to be done, from glory to glory!  

Philippians 3:13-14 “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”