Jan
16

Could You Use Some Extra Strength?

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imagesCould you use some extra strength today? Next week? This year? There is a way to find it.

We all understand that our physical body can be strengthened through exercise and nutrition, through getting focused on making good choices one day at a time, over and over and over until we can tangibly experience the results of those changes. But how often we fail to strengthen our spiritual life!

Now I know that some of you felt weary and tired when you even considered the idea of strengthening your spiritual life. You have tried that before and ended up crashing somewhere like a rocket that ran out of fuel.

I have found myself in the land of burnout more than once in my Christian life and have learned a few lessons about living from a place of grace and strength. A place of life.

The most important lesson I have learned is that the Christian life must be one focused on relationship with God, not on a list of do’s and don’ts.

So you may ask, “Well, then, aren’t there things we should do and things we should not do?” Of course, but if you are asking that question may want to do a check-up of your heart because underlying that question is often a belief that strength comes from within ourselves and that belief, my friend, will leave you broken and disillusioned.

Psalm 68:35 tells us that it is God who gives strength and power to His people.

God gives strength but we position our hearts to receive His strength.

In pursuing our relationship with God, we have a beautiful invitation to come to His Word and eat freely from the riches of His truth. We are invited to pursue the riches of God’s Word through life in the Spirit.

Each day when I sit down and read God’s Word, I ask His Holy Spirit to speak to me, to breathe on the Word, to illuminate His truth to my heart. I lean in to His voice and tune my spiritual ears to listen. I talk to him just like I talk to my husband and my children. It is a relationship.

During those times of reading and listening, I often hear Him speak to my heart. I feel a nudge that I have learned to listen to and He speaks to me. I receive strength from Him (and there are other ways to receive His strength.)

This is not primarily an intellectual journey and if you try to make it that, you will not feel strengthened by God. You will feel confident in your own knowledge, not in your relationship with God.

Psalm 68:28 speaks to us, “Your God has commanded your strength…” Some manuscripts say, “Your God has summoned power for you.”

That makes me want to dance a jig! Wow! God infuses me with power!

I can receive His power but I must stay focused on Him; I must stay focused on relationship not rules. And as I focus on relationship, my heart will keep His precepts. I will do that because I love Him and He loves me and gives me the strength to do that.

So if you want to receive God’s strength, discipline yourself to spend time with Him, read His Word, memorize scripture, pray, spend time with other believers, but do it because you want to know Him more.

Marriage is a picture of Christ and His followers. If in my marriage with my husband, I just focus on what I do and don’t focus on the relationship, it will lead to frustration and open my relationship up to potential failure.

For example, I could be a dutiful wife perhaps cooking for my husband, washing his clothes, cleaning the house, taking care of the kids, earning money from my job, being available for physical intimacy,  but if I do all these “THINGS” and don’t give him my heart then I not making myself available for the riches of marriage. I am living from duty and fear instead of love and life.

Marriage is about relationship. It’s about spending time together. It’s about becoming one in body, soul, and spirit. It’s about an adventure of pursuing another person.

And so it is with God. He wants to give us His strength but we must receive it from His heart. We must believe He really loves us and wants to give us all we need. He will move heaven and earth to strengthen us when we open our hearts to His in vulnerable intimacy and trust that we will follow Him well because we love Him. 

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Categories : Christian Living

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