January 16th - strength
For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height--to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Eph 3:14-21 (NKJV)
The chorus started with the following declaration, "My strength is in You Lord..." It is a good thing that my strength is in the Lord, because it certainly is not found in and of myself. I recently strained my back--and I continue to strain said back every-time I pick up anything that weighs over 40 pounds. At this age and in spite of my work-out regiment, I'm just not that strong. If I apply the same measure to other areas of my life I seem to be falling short of what I pretend to be. Self-Discipline—not very disciplined. Emotional Stability—great until facing a crisis. Spiritual Tenacity—strong with other Believers, timid with non-believers. Intellectual
Prowess—fading with age. General Health—feeling the years piling up. "OK, I'll admit the truth...on my own merit, I'm not very strong!"
"But--wait a minute--my strength is in the Lord!" We are all somewhat frail by nature. Almost every Bible hero was hampered by character flaws and personal failures and weaknesses; and yet, they are heroes by any definition. The difference maker was always God. Empowered by God, Moses stretched his rod over the Red Sea and the waters parted. Empowered by God, Joshua led the Children of Israel to shout and the wall of Jericho fell down. Empowered by God, Peter stepped out of the boat and walked on the water. Empowered by God, David slew the giant Goliath. With God our strength and capabilities are raised exponentially. To the power of whatever is necessary.
This was the type of strength that Paul was referring to when he prayed that we would, "Be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man!" God can and will bring His strength into your life if you let Him in. The cry of Jesus to the Church of Laodicea was an invitation to open the door and let Him in. Jesus is knocking at the door of the heart--the inner man--waiting to come in. The very moment we let Him in, is the very same moment that our inner man is strengthened and our possibilities are, “Exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us.”
Author's Note: I used to be Mr. Self-Sufficient...that is another way to express that I was foolishly inclined to believe that with a little bit of self-determination I could accomplish about anything. I know--it sounds ridiculous! I have lived enough life to be cured of that notion. Strangely enough, at least to my natural mind--I'm convinced that God has some truly amazing works that He wants to accomplish through my life. "Lord, my strength really is in You!" RJD