I like the fact that there is only one thing that is helpful and edifies. And that if I focus on it, I'll be able to do all other things that I'd love to do without stress, though with the discipline of hard work. Isn't that wonderful? I've tried this several times and found it to be true. But still it doesn't come naturally to me, as much as I desire to really forget about my talents and skills and knowledge and rely on Christ's strength alone. So even with this simple solution freely offered, I find myself needing His strength to be able to do what I know is really counts and is helpful for me and cannot do by myself. Isn't our situation just pathetic?
But here's sweet hope! God told Apostle Paul: 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness' – 2 Corinthians 12:9. I'd like to believe that the same assurance applies equally to my weak situation. It's comforting to know that my inability to do anything that counts can translate to being able to do all things, if I allow Christ to strengthen me. The best part is that He's ready to do so.
Knowing then that my weakness does not put God off, and that my inabilities do not exasperate Him, I have found two steps helpful to fully utilize this amazing strength that He offers freely to me.
Steps to Maximizing Christ's Strength
1) Determine to do God's will. His will for your life is that you come to know Him, fall in love with Him and remain in a loving relationship with Him. He's the only One that can't fail you, that won't leave you and is ready to help you do all things. Define your life around that. Whatever you are - engineer, doctor, cleaner, teacher, tailor, shopkeeper, determine that you will do the Lord's will. This edifies, this is helpful and He'll give the strength to do this. I can do all things, even fulfill the will of God! This is the single most important thing, yet is impossible for man to ever do in his own nature. But with Christ's strength, this impossibility becomes possible.
Find out His purpose for your life and let every other thing derive from that. True purpose is not manufactured at man's will, only generated by God's will. Something triggers it, for it is a cause greater than man. It is not external, but stems from a heart renewed by God and manifests outwardly in focused acts and behaviours. Sometimes it is not recognized for what it is, and men of purpose have been called lunatics in the past. It is often misapplied or misunderstood. Yet there is only one true purpose for man, and that is to do the will of our heavenly Father.
There are many other sub-purposes, and all of these will expire with time; but the main purpose will last all eternity, beyond the demise of every man. Do well to avoid people and things that seek to rechannel your attention away from your true purpose to your sub-purpose like a plague. Focus, focus, focus! Thou shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind – Matthew 22:37, Jesus reiterated in response to a lawyer's question about what to do to make His life count. In the final analysis, what will count are the things you did to achieve your true purpose, not the sub ones. Remember, Christ's strength is available to help you do just that.
2) Renew your strength continually. Your human frame cannot hold much of what God has to offer so it has to be replenished constantly. God tried to explain this to the Israelites when they wandered in the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land, through the provision of manna. Prophet Isaiah reminds us that the Lord gives power to the weak and to those who have no might, He increases strength – Isaiah 40:29. He doesn't do it all at once, but is ready to top us up as often as we need it.
The plan is to refill every day, that's how we were designed and created. It's also why you need to be hooked up to the Source, just as the branch is connected to the vine. Isaiah assures us that those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. – Isaiah 40:31. Prophet Jeremiah reassures that the Lord's mercies and compassion are new every morning – Lamentations 3:23. He's waiting; why not take Him up on the offer?
O JESUS, I HAVE PROMISED Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end;Be Thou forever near me, my Master and my Friend:I shall not fear the battle if Thou art by my side,Nor wander from the pathway if Thou wilt be my guide.O let me feel Thee near me, the world is ever near;I see the sights that dazzle, the tempting sounds I hear:My foes are ever near me, around me and within;But, Jesus, draw Thou nearer, and shield my soul from sin.O Jesus, Thou hast promised to all who follow Thee,That where Thou art in glory, there shall Thy servant be;And, Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end;O give me grace to follow, my Master and my Friend.
To Ponder: Charles Spurgeon made a commitment: 'I have now concentrated all my prayers into one, and that one prayer is this, that I may die to self, and live wholly to him.' What have you decided to do? Continue to trust in yourself to do all things or to die to that self and live wholly to Christ? Remember, without Him, you can do nothing.
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