Devotional

Can’t Quarantine the Gospel: True Strength

Day 21 of our series by Deanna Reda discussing how God defines true strength. This Devotional is part of our “Can’t Quarantine the Gospel” series where members of the church are contributing morning Quiet times during this time of Social Distancing. Any of the Devotionals can be read as a stand alone quiet time. You can see more devotionals here


True Strength

Deanna Reda

What is true strength anyway?

When you think of strength or someone who is strong, what is your first thought or visual? Mine is usually men who are physically strong with bulging muscles who have never lost a battle. For example, Patrick Swayze in Roadhouse, Mel Gibson in Braveheart, Dwayne Johnson in Skyscraper or Bruce Willis in Die Hard. (Just a few of my favorite movies). Don’t get me wrong, there is an obvious need for physical strength in this world and we are all grateful for those who use their strengths to help us. Such as policeman, firefighters, mason workers, carpenters, etc. Yet in some ways, physical strength only goes so far. Spiritual strength & character strength on the other hand is useful in every situation life brings us. True spiritual strength is especially important in times like now, with the world facing the Covid-19 Virus. Let’s look at what God and God’s faithful followers say about true strength.

Q: What are some unhealthy beliefs you have about what it means to be strong?
Q: How do you cope when you feel weak?

Reflect as you read on what you think God’s message is about True Strength

Joshua 1:5-6

“No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.”

Joshua 1:7-9

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this book of the law forever on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

2 Chronicles 20:17

“You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem, Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the Lord is with you.”

Psalm 24:8

Who is the king of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.

2 Chronicles 32:7-8

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the King of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him IS ONLY the arm of flesh, but with us IS THE LORD OUR GOD TO HELP US AND TO FIGHT OUR BATTLES.” (Emphasis added)

 Exodus 14:13-14

Moses answered the people, “DO not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for; you need only to be still.”

How God defines True Strength:

6 things God says about True Strength (based on passages above):

  1. God is our true strength.
  2. God wants us to learn how to trust and rely on his strength over our own.
  3. God must be in the driver seat of out lives to be fully lived and complete.
  4. God’s people knew that their physical strength wasn’t going to cut it in real battles.
  5. When God’s people admitted their genuine need for God, God always came through!

Q: during this battle right now, where are you going to feel strong?
Q: What is a battle you are facing where you can admit to God you feel weak and that you need His strength to manifest in you?

Our true strength comes from solely learning how to rely on God’s strength for every difficulty we face in this life. When we lean into God during pain and suffering rather than retreat from God, we find HIS strength within us.

2 Corinthians 12:8-10

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for MY POWER is made perfect in weakness.” 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.

Q: Do you feel like being vulnerable makes you look weak?
Q: Is being vulnerable with God and others a strength of yours?
Q: How is that we are actually stronger when we are weak according to the scriptures?

How many of you like the word weakness? I personally don’t like it. Why not, you ask? Well, remember 4 of my favorite movies above? I prefer “visible strength” over visible weakness. I personally want people to know that I am a woman to be reckoned with. “Don’t mess with me or else”. That was always my protection mechanism in life. I would act like nothing and no one could ever hurt me. I had the attitude of, “I’ll hurt you first”. The perfect protection facade.

But what if I told you that your true strength lies in your vulnerability. If greater acceptance of your weakness means more of God’s strength would you be willing to step out on faith and take a chance on looking weak? I hope and pray we are willing to pass through the door of “looking weak” so that we may find God’s true strength on the other side.

Now that I understand God and Jesus, I know that to be strong is to be honest about my feelings, hurts, sadness, difficulties and sins. It is then and only then that I can begin to understand and rely on the TRUE STRENGTH that only comes from GOD.

Lets access God’s strength together:

  1. Write on paper: “I feel weak because of [blank] but this does not define me!
  2. Talk to God about where you feel weak. Embrace it, don’t resist it. Lean into it and God’s power.
  3. Talk to someone you trust about it even if it makes you “look weak”

 

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