Strength and Weakness seem to be the complete opposite, yet throughout the Bible we find weakness being the stage upon which strength is placed on display.
At Greater Philadelphia Baptist, we have set our course on this theme- LEAN STRONG-finding strength in weakness.
In Proverbs 3:5-6 we find, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” The imperative we are given is to lean not on our own understanding. Our next step then is to consider God’s encouragement to us in Philippians 4:13 that classic passage of imminent strength from Christ in all we do. The process however is where we often get caught. If we are not careful, we treat this thing of accessing Christ’s strength as merely an intellectual ascent–if I just learn more, read more, and increase my spiritual intellect, then I will be strong. Or we go to the other extreme and place the key to accessing Christ strength in the sole proprietorship of just “believe and receive” kind of faith.
If Scripture is to be its own best commentary, where then does this strength from Christ and leaning upon Him intersect with our lives as followers of Him?
… in our weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
When it comes to needing strength for every day, how can we find Christ strength for every need? It begins with acknowledging three truths-
Jesus Grace is Enough. Because His grace is enough, before I ever make a decision, I can have hope for the future to be bright and His promises true.
Many times, I jump to fast to the conclusion that the world is over, I’m never going to make it and I may as well throw in the towel now. But before I start throwing anything, I ask myself to HALT.
I have a series of questions to determine if I indeed need to “faint in the day of adversity” or “do all things through Christ”. I ask myself to HALT-
Am I …?1. Hungry- food can dramatically change the landscape for people. Sometimes we’ve been so busy running from here to there and everywhere that we need food to sustain us. When Elijah ran from Mt. Carmel from Ahab and wanted to die, one of the prescriptions was for him to eat.
2. Angry- losing your cool can cause even the most mild mannered Dr. Bruce Banner to morph into an incredible beast out of control. The last thing I need to do when I’m am upset is to make a life changing decision.
3. Lonely- Milton said it best when he wrote, “No man is an island.” While we would all love to have Johnny Depp saddle up next to us in his Tonto get-up and ride off into the west as the Lone Ranger-the truth is the Lone Ranger did have Tonto- and Silver for those who are animal lovers. We need people. God said for Adam in Genesis that it is not good for man to be alone. That was not only for female companionship but I believe the relationships that he would one day have with his sons, daughters, grandsons, and granddaughters. Proverbs 18:1 states that a man who isolates himself rages (pushes against) all wise judgment (aka- loneliness can lead to irrationality). Getting perspective from someone else can make a world of difference.
4. Tired- Sleep deprivation as well as pain can make otherwise normal, socially well adjusted people do dumb stuff. We may be depressed, feeling the world is totally out to get us, and even our pets steer clear. We can address the situation with Scripture and look at it from a spiritual, biblical perspective and set up counseling sessions to get out of our rut. But when you we you have a caffeine headache, you can read Scripture, beg God to take it away, fast it off, or bang your head against a brick wall. OR go get a cup of coffee. With that in mind, get some sleep. There will always be more emails to catch up on, twitter accounts to read, friends’ pics to like and so on. Getting rest is God natural wiring for you and I to recharge our cells, so the batter can power up for another day of wear and tear.
Sometimes the best way to LEAN Strong is to HALT.
How about you? When you find yourself getting to the point of exhaustion, what do you find is your Strength from Christ? How do you LEAN Strong?