Then they sweep past like the wind and go on—guilty men, whose own strength is their god.” Habakkuk 1:11
From Superman to Thor, strength is and perhaps always will be a characteristic of valor and self-sufficiency in our society. After all, we perceive the strong as powerful and without the need of others. But sadly, we see the less than strong as less fortunate and in greater need for others – weak.
Let me tell you what I know of strength, as I chuckle. Allow me to reflect out loud – and feel free to laugh with me. Let’s see, hardly weighing in at 145 pounds, a junior in high school, attempting to bench press the bar drew an undesirable amount of attention. And now, many years later, many pounds heavier, I’m doing an intense cardio workout series. Strength is not my strength.
God sees strength a bit differently however. My understanding of my own personal strength, physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially and mentally is critical in the intimate relationship between my Lord and me that He longs to engage. It is every bit of what it means to live through Him. The belief in my strength to carry me through life shelves His strength and keeps me from the fellowship He desires. My self-sufficient strength stands in the way of His strength in me. My strength is not His friend!
The irony is that even in my weakness, I am guilty of believing in my own strength – my ability to exercise my own self-sufficiency to live. This, my friend, is not how it is supposed to be. God wants me to deny myself, walk and talk with Him, build our relationship moment by moment, create memories together in true intimacy. He wants me to turn from whatever strength I think i might have, call it what it is and welcome the strength and full power of the God of the universe to live through me!
Lord Jesus, so it is with this understanding that I realize how much you love me. It is through this understanding that I long to fellowship with you in all things. As I shop, sip coffee, contemplate, discover, explore and rest in your arms each day, I draw on your strength that lives in and through me. In life I can barely bench press that bar, but you, my friend, can move mountains!
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. ” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 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 12:9-10