S196P22 – Growth spurts: strength

2 Cor. 12:9-10

And [the Lord] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.

His goal was to be the man everyone aimed to beat.  He never entered the sport with the thought of just being good or better than some.  His first fight was encouraging even if the opponent he beat was not that skilled or well-known.  His second fight, however, brought him a world of pain.  He was beginning to enter some deep waters.  He kept training and honing his craft, and it was critical to continue to develop his skill set.  Even then,, he knew there was still something else to do.  No matter how good of a striker he was, he had to be able to withstand greater and more powerful onslaughts himself.  He had to be ready not only to hit but also to get hit back and keep going.  The easiest way to lose a fight is not to have the strength to endure every round.

We talk about going from glory to glory and from strength to strength, but then we cower when the fire gets hot and the waves become high.  We see our natural limits and fool ourselves into thinking that they matter.  Of course we are not strong enough to endure what we must endure for the kingdom; that indeed is the point.  We are mere imperfect mortals in desperate need of the omnipotent God.  When we say that we are to increase in strength as we go deeper in our walk, what we really mean is that we are to increase in the display of God’s strength through us in the process.  As we trust him in deeper waters, He shows us what He can do.  We do not get anywhere by simply dipping our toes in the wading pool over and over.  We must dive in the deep end so that God’s strength can manifest and grow in us.

There is nothing wrong with not having the strength necessary to do what God calls you to do.  In fact, that is the expectation.  If He asked us simply to do what we could accomplish on our own, then the spiritual value would be lost.  This is about God being glorified and fulfilling his will.  This is about his children being used as the conduits through which He shows what his strength can do.  We can let God work through us in small ways or in mighty ways, and we know which will bring him more glory.  Let us desire to fight the biggest fights so that God can exhibit greater strength through us.  Father, thank You for supplying what we need to withstand what the enemy brings against us, and remind us that in You we have all the strength required to emerge victorious.