Jun 27, 2005

In Whom Doth Your Strength Lie?

"Some trust in chariots, and some in horses but we will remember the name of the Lord our God. They are brought down and fallen, but we are risen and stand upright. Save, Lord: let the king hear us when we call." Psalms 20:7-9

It is easy these days to rest on our achievements, and to forget that we are simply weak vessels meant for the master's good pleasure. We can read in many passages of scripture where men of old began to rely on their own strength and wisdom to get them through life, and in most instances, they failed.

We have read the story of Samson and how he brought great misery to the Philistines; until one day his weakness, and his self-reliance cost him his sight, his strength, and his dignity. Yes, god did allow him to regain his strength for one last victory, but have you ever wondered what the story of Samson would have been had he kept his vow, and his dependence on God. Truly, he would have been a mighty man.

Many instances of reliance on one's own intellect and strength are mentioned in the bible; but in all, pain, discouragement, and failure were soon to follow. Sure, many times these men with the best intentions meant no harm, but God required strict obedience to his word.

Disobedience to the word, brought much destruction on God's people. We can read several instances where the children of Israel lost battles simply to disobedience. Achan's hidden wedge of gold cost many lives, and eventually his own. Intermarriage with the Jebusites, brought weakness into the camp. Saul spared Agag and some of the cattle, because of "the people." A broken covenant stripped Samson of his power. In 1st Samuel 17:24, we read how a backslidden nation forgot the strength of God and became cowards. Even the apostles were rendered helpless over satanic forces because of their unbelief.

Where doth your strength lie?

We need to keep in mind that our strength cometh from the Lord, and only through Him are we able to stand. In these days of fancy singing, incredible slideshows, computers and other forms of "religious use" technology, it is easy to rely on the program and forget God. All the new methods we use in our daily lives makes it sometimes easy to forget that without God there is nothing! It is very easy to put our trust in our job, our family, our friends, our bank account, or even our own self. However, these things are perishable and finite. He alone is omnipotent and everlasting.

Often it takes being broke, destitute, and discouraged, before we figure out we need to rely on God to see us through. It would be a lot easier if we would give Him glory, and depend on him, as the word says we should, in times of plenty, than to wait until we are in bad shape looking up from the bottom of mess and we are in need desperately. He is as strong in times of prosperity as He is in poverty. Who do you think is prospering you?

Reliance on God is a choice. And it is one we all have to make in our own daily and spiritual lives. We can read how after crossing into Canaan, Joshua exclaimed, "As for me and my house, We will serve the Lord."

In Matthew 8:24-27, we read, "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it."

Where does your strength lie?

The choices we make now will ultimately affect us later on. There are times we don't rely on God's strength because we think it seems impossible or too easy an answer. I am reminded of the story of a man hiking in the mountains and came to close to the edge of a cliff and fell off. Screaming "HELP!" as he plummeted down the face of the rock, he managed to grab onto a branch growing in a crevice in the cliff. After catching his breath and realizing there was no way to climb back up the sheer wall, he prayed isn't there someone who can help me? Several minutes of sweating desperation went by when he heard a voice. "How can I help?" Although he was unable to see the individual he explained his predictamint. "By the way, who are you?, he asked. The voice replied, "I am God! Do you trust me to help you?" "Of course I do!" "Then let go of the branch, and I will catch you." After several minutes went by, the man again shouted, "Is there anyone else up there?" His trust in the strength of God, was not enough to cause him to let go.

Now I know this is a ludicrous example to test our trust in God, but it is very accurate most of the time. We are often more content to keep our problems, and do things our own way like we always do, rather than trust God to see us through. 1st Corinthians 1:27 states, "But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty."

Many passages of scripture relate the relavance of simple things being made mighty through the hand of God. Naaman was cured of leprosy simply by dipping seven times in a muddy river. The walls of Jericho fell by armored tanks and rocket propelled grenades. (Really! That is what our feeble minds would allow us to believe.) The camp of Israel simply marched around the walls, and on the seventh day, they shouted, and the walls crumbled to dust. And the Midianites were defeated by breaking a couple pitchers, showing a few oil lamps, and the blast of trumpets. They were so confused, they fought each other thinking they were being attacked. Yet, we think we have to invest all this money, training, time, and worry to accomplish the tasks laid before us. When we come to terms that God is our strength, and that he will supply, "all things are possible." Remember he fed five thousand with one little boy' lunch, and he saved us all with one act of obedience of his crucifixion on the cross. We simply have to follow and obey. Where does your strength lie? The psalmist David knew, and he wrote, "Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord." (Psalms 31:24) Where does your strength lie? We all like to quote passages scriptures of strength when we feel weakhearted, but it is the word of God for ALL times.

"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

The Name of the Lord is a strong tower! In Whom doth your strength lie?