Saturday, July 20, 2013

Strength

I'm standing beside a tall, well-trained guard in front of the Greek Parliament Building in Athens, Greece.  This guard is armed with a rifle with bayonet attached.  He could do some damage to an intruder.  Since I'm obviously no threat, he's effectively ignoring me.  That's fine with me -- all I wanted was a picture.

This guard represents strength in a man or woman and how people so frequently depend on their own strength to get them through difficulties.  I think as Christians this is one of our biggest failures (of course, there are many more biggies out there too).  The "Do it yourself" mentality is pervasive and persistent.  Sometimes the Lord will make a point with me.  I'll be trying and trying to take care of a situation or do something in my own strength.  Then, it will dawn on me, "Oh, I should ask Jesus to help me," and I do.  At such times, the Lord makes His point by immediately answering my need. 

On several occasions lately, the answer to my request for help is so immediate, I do a double-take.  By answering my need so quickly, the Lord also is making it very plain that it was He, not me, that took care of the issue -- and, thankfully, at such times, I'm very aware of that and I stop and praise Him for His amazing grace and answer to my prayer.

Psalm 33:16-17 says, "No king is saved by the multitude of an army; a mighty man is not delivered by great strength.  A horse is a vain hope for safety; neither shall it deliver any by its great strength."
Similarly, in 44:3 says, "For they did not gain possession of the land by their own sword, nor did their own arm save them; but it was Your right hand, Your arm, and the light of Your countenance."

Although these verses allude to pitched battles, they can be used to spotlight our dependence on human strength in any sort of circumstance.  God so wants us to be aware of His indwelling presence and His ability and desire to help us in every instance.  I like the verse in 34:10:  "The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing."

What a great promise for you and me.  The comparison between young lions in all their strength lacking and suffering, and those of us who simply seek the Lord and depend on Him lacking for no good thing -- now, that's a beautiful picture.  Next time you have a need, seek the Lord first -- and not as a last resort.  "Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!  For His mercy endures forever" Psalm 106:1.



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