When I was in sixth grade, I could beat all the boys (except one) Indian arm wrestling with our left arms. I was left handed. (Smile). Ernest Torres was the one boy who beat me every time, even though he was not left handed. He was just plain strong. I hated that. He ruined my record. My claim to fame.
Now, many years later, not one of my elementary school friends probably remember this arm wrestling talent and how strong I was. They probably remember that I always wore my hair in braids like Laura Ingalls, and I had a crush on Tyson Tisdale.
Strength has always been important to me, but my dad also made it important. I remember one night when I was in high school talking with my dad. and crying about something. I have no memory of what initiated the tears, but I will never forget my dad’s frustration and words. “Get a backbone!” He demanded. He wanted me to be strong.
There are days when I’m strong and days when I’m not.
Days when I just want to crawl up in my bed and pull the covers over me and hide. Do you have those days? Some days I’m gung- ho and can do all that is set before me, and then there are moments when I want to get lost in the crowd and disappear. But all that changes when my eyes are taken off me and placed on Someone better, stronger, more stable, and constant.
When my eyes are on YHWH, my strength no longer matters.
He doesn’t demand me be strong. He offers me His strength instead.Jesus doesn't demand me to be strong; He offers me His strength. Click To Tweet
What I’ve been taught–what many of us have been taught– about strength is wrong, and we need to do some mind shifting.
When it comes to strength, we think we need to stir it up inside, but the truth is, we can’t. Sometimes anger or pride will give us the strength we need. But that strength never bears good fruit.
We need to replace our old, wrong thoughts with Truth.
Though we don’t realize it, strength can be interwoven with pride and the need to control. But when we are weak, then we are strong. (2 Cor. 12:10)
Jesus promised Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9).
Are you feeling weak? Come receive His grace and strength. Lean on Him. Thank Him for your weakness, and ask for His strengthening grace.
Bible Reading Plan
How to Use the Bite of Bread
Take a screen shot of the image, or write the verses down in a journal. One of my friends prints the post and hangs it up for the week. I also have provided a printable here with the verses and extra prompts to deepen your time in the Word. Take some time this week to journal your thoughts on strength and pray for new understanding about this topic as God sees it and uses it.
Exodus 15:2: “The Lord is my strength and my defense he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.”
Philippians 4:13: “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Nehemiah 8:10: “ Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Psalm 18:1: “I love you, Lord, my strength.”
1 Peter 4:11: “If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
Ephesians 1:18-19: “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms . . . “
1 Chronicles 16:11, 28: “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.”
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