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Real Strength

The 21st century loves power, strength, and raw confidence.  One does not have to be right to be heard.  As long as a person is forceful, loud, and bold, they will gain an audience.  The listeners may well be hostile, but a crowd will gather!

Scripture teaches that we are to be “strong in the Lord and in the power of His might”.  We are to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).   Simon Peter would learn painfully that what he thought to be his strength (his physical power as a man) would be useless because of fear when he was accused of being a disciple of Jesus.  Paul cried out during three separate seasons of prayer to God to remove the “thorn” in his flesh.  God refused.  Scripture records “why” He did…. “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I (Paul) will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  (2 Cor.12:9-10).

When our confidence rests in our personal strengths more than in the Holy Spirit directing and controlling our lives, the personal gifts and talents that we think will “see us through” difficulties become an albatross. Those strengths can become idolatrous strongholds that keep us from trusting and resting in Christ Jesus.  When that happens, we are living carnal lives (even though the world may see us as successful) because we are living in the flesh. We are called to be “spirit filled” followers of Christ…empowered, energized, and engaged in the work of and for our Lord through the infinite power of God at work in us!  Strengths can quickly become snares……

A person who calls himself frank and candid can very easily find himself becoming tactless and cruel.  A person who prides himself on being tactful can find eventually that he has become evasive and deceitful.  A person with firm convictions can become pigheaded.  A person who is inclined to be temperate and judicious can sometimes turn into someone with weak convictions and banked fires of resolution . . . 

Loyalty can lead to fanaticism. Caution can become timidity.
Freedom can become license. Confidence can become arrogance.
Humility can become servility.
All these are ways in which strength can become weakness. 

The simple song we learned as children taught us this great truth….

Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so.

Little ones to Him belong.  They (we) are weak but He is strong!  How very true!