Strength isn’t something that we have to manufacture or strive for, instead it is part of our inheritance in the Lord. It comes from relationship with the Father, agreeing with what the Holy Spirit says about us, and allowing Jesus’ joy to be made complete in each of us.
As I get older, there are daily reminders that I am not as young as I once was. One of those seems to be in my physical strength. For a guy who has always been one of the strongest people in most rooms I enter this can be a challenging thing to deal with or even to understand. I often try to pick up something that my 21 year old self would have no problem with, only to realize that my back hurts, my knees hurt and I likely need to get some help. I’ve gone from relying heavily on my own strength to tapping into other resources, like equipment and other people.
Strength is something we naturally equate with work. To build strength you have to work at it, over time. Spend time in the gym, eat enough protein to help build muscle, do all the right things so we can work up to something.
This looks vastly different in the Kingdom. Our strength is part of our Heavenly DNA, and we are not the source of our own strength. The beauty of this strength is that is isn’t earned on the backs of our self effort or hard work, but in our rest in the Lord and who he declares us to be. He is where our strength comes from, he is our source of strength. He is the one that will call forth the strength we don’t think we have. He is the one that is strong when we are weak. He is the one whose power is made perfect in our weakness. In 2 Corinthians Paul says we should boast in our weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Only God can use our weaknesses and turn them to strength. Christ’s strength and power for us were purchased on the cross and we get to take up his strength as part of our inheritance in him.
Just like physical strength we do have the ability to build up spiritual strength. The training definitely looks a little different than all the hours put in at the gym, using supplements or trying to manufacture strength. The building up of this type of strength comes from relationship with the Lord, from his joy (Nehemiah 8:10) and strengthening ourselves in him! What an awesome and amazing truth.
Our strength is found in him, who has made us strong. It isn’t self effort, it isn’t something we have to work for to gain or maintain, but something we get to agree with. We can strengthen ourselves in him by resting in him, worshipping him, and finding our joy in him.
1 Samuel 30:6 tells us that while David was in distress due to the fact that some of his men wanted to kill him, he strengthened himself in the Lord. Can you just picture David worshipping the Lord, receiving his joy and being strengthened as he leans in to the Lords promises and strength?
This is the invitation for us: to take up the Lord’s strength as we rest in him and allow him to build strength in us through his word, his promises, his joy, and his presence.
+If you are interested in hearing more content like this join us for our Annual Men’s Armory Conference on August 18th: http://northlandschurch.com/events/the-armory-be-strong
Father, thank you for the amazing gift of your strength. Because of who you are I know that in all things I am more than a conqueror, not because of what I’ve done but because that is who you’ve declared me to be. I thank you Lord that my strength is found in you and that it doesn’t leave me because you never leave me.