1 Chr. 16:8-11
Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice! Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!
Before I accepted salvation in Jesus Christ, I was at my worst as I am sure others have been as well. It seemed like everything I touched simply crumbled before me. I had decided that it was time to give up trying. Life was something I would get through if I happened to make it, but I had no more ambition, no more dreams. I was too weak to do anything but simply exist. Looking back, weakness certainly was my defining characteristic in those days even if I kept that to myself. Not only did I often lack the strength to stand up for myself against the pressures from others, but I lacked the strength to stand up to my sinful nature and the enemy. It was not until I stood in God’s presence that I felt I could continue. It was his presence that made me strong enough to face what I could not face and achieve what I could not achieve on my own.
When we consider the greatness of God and we consider how lowly we are in comparison, one might think that being in his presence would actually make us feel or appear weaker instead of stronger. However, the opposite is true. One of the reasons we are strengthened when we stand in the presence of God is that our communion with him reinforces our identity in him. It is a reminder of what we are able to accomplish when we let him work through us. Standing in his presence does not weaken us by contrast but strengthens us by complement, which is a mechanism founded in his grace. This is not only a recognition of what his strength makes possible but an impartation of that very strength. He is not strong for us but through us.
The presence of God should remind us of who we serve and, by extension, of who we are. It is a reminder that we do not rely on ourselves to get through the day and its circumstances, but we rely on the eternal wellspring of God’s strength. That is where we find the wherewithal to pull up our boot straps and keep on going. It is through this recognition and confession of our desperate need for God’s strength that He imparts it to us, overriding our weaknesses and doing a good work through his children. In the presence of God is where we see his strength manifest in us. The weak one can find no better place to be. Father, thank You for not only showcasing your strength when we stand in your presence but for increasing ours as well.