What is strength?
The capability to do something. We often associate strength with weight training or something like that, but I believe strength is a primary ingredient in a fulfilling Christian walk.
Some similar words would be: toughness, steadfastness, firmness, courage, bravery, unwavering, and (my personal favorite) unshakable.
In a Christian walk strength could be demonstrated and perceived in so many ways.
We need strength to carry our crosses and follow the Lord, we need strength to die to ourselves daily and we need strength to contend for the faith (however that may look in your life). Contending for the faith not only with words but by being a living demonstration of His power.
Now, I know that's easier said than done, especially if we rely on the strength that we have as humans.
Thankfully, the Lord has enough strength to keep us going. In our weakness, His strength is actually made perfect.
In what ways do we obtain this strength?
It's not a power up in a video game, or a type of performance enhancing supplement but simply by calling out to Him for help.
In my personal journey my strength is not only being tested by how much I can take but by my readiness to contend for the faith.
I've recently faced multiple opportunities to contend for the faith and I didn't.
Sometimes out of fear and other times out of lack of words. Either way the Lord is my strength and my refuge. (Psalms 46:1)
I cannot be moved when the Spirit of God is dwelling within me. I cannot be moved when the Son of God is going before me, and standing behind me.
Unfortunately, over the years I've subconsciously started to associate speaking up with being mean or disrespectful, which is not true at all.
As long as we are being led by the Holy Spirit and speaking with love then it's ok to correct and defend.
In fact, we're suppose to.
Recently, in my devotional I was led to Luke chapter 1. In that chapter, the birth of John the Baptist is foretold.
In verse 13, the angel of the Lord tells Zechariah (John's dad) that he and his wife Elizabeth will bear a son and they are to call him John.
Fast forward to John's birth and his circumcision in verses 59-63.
On the eighth day, Elizabeth's neighbors and relatives came to circumcise him and they were going to name him Zechariah after his dad.
However, knowing her instructions, Elizabeth spoke up and told them that his name was to be John.
They dismissed her, then asked her husband what he wanted to name the child.
To their disbelief, Zechariah wrote on a tablet, "His name is John."
You see contending for the faith isn't just about defending the name of Jesus Christ it's also about defending the instructions He has given you.
She knew what her command was, and she refused to conform and be moved by the ones around her.
She trusted in the Lord and He gave her strength.
We can receive the same strength we just have to ask and believe in our heart that He will give it to us.
In James, the bible says that when you ask, you must be sure you believe in your heart you will receive it, for a heart that doubts is as dangerous as a wave of the sea tossed by the wind. (James 1:6 NIV - But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. )
Granted, James was referring specifically to wisdom but the same applies to seeking strength.
In 2 Corinthians, Paul talks about how in our weakness God's power is made perfect. (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV - But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." )
We cannot appreciate the strength of God until we accept just how weak and incapable we truly are; in those moments, that's when God's strength is perfect and apparent.
There is no coincidence that the bible also tells us that through the Lord's strength there is nothing we can't do. (Philippians 4:13 NLT - For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength. )
We just have to accept that it's all through His strength.
Co-Author: Kevin Brown