Do you recall the song many children learn to sing called “Jesus Loves Me?” That little song is not just a kid’s song, but is one all of us should sing regularly and take to heart! The truth in the title is meaningful and powerful. Jesus truly does love us more than we can imagine. Then one line of the lyrics goes on to say, “they are weak and He is strong.” We need to take very personally the truth that we are weak and He is strong!
In fact, the Bible tells us that [tweet_dis]in our weakness, His strength is made perfect in us![/tweet_dis] But he said to me, ’My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10, NIV)
It is impossible for us to live a lifestyle of freedom in our own strength. That is why the key of total dependence on God’s perfect and complete strength is necessary. Depending on God’s strength is not for addicts only, but for all who desire to live successful, transformed lives.
What is a successful, transformed life? It is a life lived for Jesus Christ, and becoming more like Him each day. This lifestyle is not just defined as an addict living a life of sobriety; it is far more than that. It is not just a life void of addictive behavior. But, success involves becoming all we were created to be. It is becoming more Christ-like in our character and in our moment-by-moment choices. [tweet_dis]True success is when, in moments of weakness, we choose His strength.[/tweet_dis] That is how we experience a victorious outcome.
God loves exchanges. He constantly provides opportunities for us to experience divine exchanges. We see examples all through the Bible.
He gives us strength when we give Him our weakness.
Consider these as well:
Keep in mind that there are conditions to most of God’s exchanges and promises. I am not going to give an extensive teaching on all of the conditions for each promise, but it is important that you understand and believe that God wants to help you. He is on your side! He desires to take your weakness and give you His strength. Your part in this exchange is to call out to Him, invite Him into your life and into each circumstance. And then trust His strength. God will not fail you when you call upon Him. But, He will also never violate your will. He waits for your invitation. As long as you keep striving in your own self, His strength cannot not be accessed.
Leaning on His strength is not an instant, once for all time, event. But it is a daily, even moment-by-moment choice of inviting Him into your situation and asking Him to give you strength. It is a lifestyle of learning to trust Him and lean on Him for all you need.
This may sound pretty easy, however when we face temptation, are we actually going to choose to call upon God’s strength? Or are we going to be so preoccupied with the temptation that we don’t look for His strength and the way of escape that He promises to us (1 Corinthians 10:13)?
Relying on His strength comes out of our relationship with God. If we have become comfortable with a moment-by-moment relationship with Him, when temptation comes, it will be much more natural to ask Him for His help and His strength. The more we depend on Him, the more natural (and quick) it will be to invite His strength to come alive inside of us. When we call on Him in faith, He will do for us, what we cannot do in ourselves!
Most of us can relate to the scripture in Romans 7:15 where the apostle Paul says, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (NIV)
When we do not rely on the strength of God, we tend to live out this scripture, not doing what we want to do, but instead, doing what we hate. Doesn’t this sound similar to addiction?
The God of the Bible can be trusted to give us strength when we ask. He loves us and always wants what is best for us. (See previous writings on the character of God by clicking here.)
I love God’s reminder in Deuteronomy 33:27, “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out your enemies before you…” (NIV) We find refuge and strength in Him alone.
We cannot face this world and its temptations on our own. We will fail. It is through our active and consistent relationship with God that we will find access to His strength. That is a major difference between living in freedom or living in captivity. Let’s choose freedom.
Scripture: Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. (2 Corinthians 1:9, NIV)
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, I realize that I do not have the strength in myself to live the life I truly want to live. I find myself doing things I really don’t want to do, and not doing those things which I really do want to do. I am weak. I ask you to forgive me for trying to live a life of freedom on my own and without You. It has been a futile effort. I want to depend totally upon You and Your strength and ability. I ask you to not only forgive me, but also to help me change. Help me learn to lean upon You throughout each moment of the day. I thank you God for forgiving me, and for delighting in giving me Your strength for my weakness. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
(I encourage you to talk to Him in your own words. Share your heart with Him. He loves you and desires to hear what is in your heart and on your mind.)