Tag Archives: weakness

You Don’t Have To Be Strong (Judges 6-7)

So many times you hear people say some situation is too hard for them to handle. The burden is too heavy to carry, the enemy too strong to defeat.

That’s what Gideon told God about the Midianites. But God, in 6:14 said:

“Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand.”

I know! It sounds like God is saying He’s not giving Gideon anything more than he can handle in the strength he already has. People, even many Christians, hang on to this idea like it comes straight from the Bible. And this verse certainly seems to indicate that is true. But please don’t stop reading at verse 14.

Gideon cries, “NO! I am too weak. My whole family is weak. The enemy is too strong!”

Gideon recognized that the task at hand was beyond his capabilities. And, friend, sometimes… always… that is the first step to victory.

God says something in verse 16 I don’t want you to miss. The Lord answered:

I!

“I will be with you. I will defeat your enemy.” In other words, “Go, Gideon, in the strength you have… WHICH IS ME!

Gideon was right to say he didn’t have what it took to defeat his enemy, and so are you when faced with that daunting mountain you’re facing, that sin you know you need to turn away from, that illness you’re fighting, that loved one who is going in a wrong direction, that toxic relationship you’re in.

But the good news, the really good news contrary from modern day thinking is: YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE STRONG! So much harm is done when we tell each other we should be able to handle something, to conquer something. “Tell yourself you are strong.” “Tell yourself you are more than capable.” “Keep telling yourself.” “And when you find you really aren’t all that strong, feel guilty about it because you SHOULD be strong.”

“After all, God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.”

That is such a lie! That is Satan’s attempt to replace God with yourself. Here’s what the Bible says about that:

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. (2 Corinthians 12:10)

My grace us sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. (Isaiah 40:29)

The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory… (Exodus 15:2)

You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. (Psalm 32:7-8)

Just Google “Bible verses about strength” and read what God wants you to know. Take the pressure of being some strong, capable, powerful person off your shoulders and run to the God of Strength. If you know God you don’t have to be strong, because…

HE IS!

And I promise, if you ask Him to be your strength, He will be your strength beyond what you can even imagine.

I’m going to leave you with something Paul said. Please notice what is missing in this verse. It doesn’t say be strong in your own power. It says:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. (Ephesians 6:10, emphasis mine)

 

 

 

Judges 13-16; Samson and Strength

Samson’s story is very familiar with those of us privileged to be raised going to Sunday School. Well, at least the major points of his story. There is a very dark side to this Israeli hero we don’t talk about as children.

As I read these chapters today, I asked God to reveal the main thing we can learn from Samson’s life, because there are many lessons woven throughout these chapters. The word, “strength” kept coming to mind as I read. But that’s so obvious, I thought. Then as though God Himself spoke the words, I thought “isn’t that what you asked?”

Samson’s story is about strength. Shocking.

As I consider Samson’s strength I am convinced that his hair had nothing to do with it. His hair was an outward indication of his obedience to God. When he allowed Delilah to cut it, he blatantly turned his back on God. Then his strength left him, because then God left him.

My strength to face this day comes from the assurance God is with me.

The Lord IS my strength. (Ps 28:7)

(God) IS their strength in time of trouble. (Ps 37:39)

The Lord IS the strength of my life. (Ps 27:1)

What I take away from Samson’s story today is that I can trust God when I am weak, because He IS strong. No positive thoughts, or manta, or lucky beads can compare with the One who IS strength.

I want to walk with Him in obedience today, and know the safety and strength that is mine through Him.

 

December 6

Romans 8:18-11:10

My nephew, Geoff, would have been 24 today had he not lost control of his truck that June Sunday and lost his life. Our family would have gathered at his mom’s house, had cake and sung Happy Birthday. Instead we will gather at his grave and remember.

When I read Paul’s words, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us”, and “…we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”, I believe it. But believing it doesn’t mean I don’t hurt.

I hold on to Romans 8:26&27. The Spirit has helped me in my weakness. There are days when I don’t know how to pray. But the Holy Spirit intercedes for me with groans words cannot express. I love him for that. Talk about someone who has my back.

If God is for me, who can be against me?

In him we are more than conquerors.

These aren’t just words. They are truth and I am living proof. What good can come out of Geoff’s death? Were people drawn to the Savior by watching his family? Are there those whose lives have been changed as they see his grieving mom live out her faith? Did Geoff’s sweet spirit, quick laugh, champion of the underdog, reveal his Savior to everyone who knew him?

I’m not sure. But because I believe God’s Word is true, I believe good has and will continue to come out of even this. My prayer its that you will have the same confidence in every circumstance of your own life.

Heavenly Father, I thank you for Geoff’s life. I thank you for that quick smile, that hearty laugh, the kindness, compassion, the loyalty that was my nephew. I am so blessed to have been his aunt for those 22 precious years. God, I pray for his mom and dad, his dear sister as they feel his loss most deeply. I pray for cousins, aunts and uncles, his friends, we who are learning to live with broken hearts. I pray that your Holy Spirit will minister to each of us at the point of our need. And may hearts be drawn to you. Thank you for the assurance that Geoff, who knew Jesus as his Savior, is with you today and one day we will see that ornery smile again. May we who know you point others to the Savior as we continue to miss our boy.

December 3

2 Corinthians 11:16-13:14; Romans 1:1-32

I was watching a competition show the other day and a young contestant was thanking her mentor for helping her learn to believe in herself. That’s a popular attitude these days. Believe in yourself. Be confident in yourself, Be strong, powerful, fearless. 

That all sounds well and good. Until life happens and you face a situation that breaks you. Who do you depend on then?

Paul talked to the Corinthians about his weaknesses. He, who had worldly reason to boast and to stand on his own accomplishments, had a “thorn in (his) flesh”. I don’t know what that was, exactly, but it was a constant reminder of his dependance on God. He shared that God said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”.

Paul goes on to say he delights in his own weakness, in hardship and difficulty because when he is weak, God is strong. As Christians who recognize how weak we are in ourselves, we know we have the strength of the Creator God within us.

If you are depending on your own strength, good luck. You are headed for a mighty fall. If you remember, that was what happened to the angel we know as Satan. And if you are believing Satan’s lie that we need to be building ourselves up, standing on our own, finding our own self-worth, then you are headed down the same path he walked. And he wins.

Instead, I would encourage you to give up trying to manufacture those feelings. You are weak. You are flawed. You are powerless. So let God be your strength. Trust me when I say, he’ll take care of you so much better than you can take care of yourself.

There’s a great old hymn I love to sing:

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness… On Christ the solid Rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand. ALL other ground is sinking sand.

Father, I pray that we will stand on that solid Rock instead of the sinking sand of self. May we, like Paul recognize that you are strong when we are weak. And we are weak! Forgive us when we try to do anything on our own power. Help us to confess pride as sin and to allow you to be exactly what we need in every situation. Defeat Satan in our lives today, Lord, and may we depend upon you.