Posts Tagged ‘Strength’

1 Cor 1: 22-23  For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishnessThe-Weakness-of-the-Cross-3_24_31-608x430

1 Cor 1: 24-29 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. ……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.  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, [yea], and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.

Why did God do what he did through the suffering of one man on a Roman Cross?

In this world Might and achievement is reckoned by the force of ones armies and the willingness to die for a cause.  For some it is in striving for great riches and wealth. In Islam those who die in Jihad are honoured with immediate paradise whilst those who don’t get to live in a conscious existence in the grave.  For others heroism and bravery is commended and cowardness is disgraces.  Bravery above weakness.  Yet God in his wisdom cuts through all this, and through weakness achieves the impossible.  He brought salvation to mankind.

The scriptures say that Gods foolishness is still wiser and his weakness stronger.

  • Now if salvation could be achieved through wisdom and intellect, then only the wise would get in and the foolish and uneducated would not.
  • If Salvation was based on strength and valour then the weak would be at a disadvantage.
  • If salvation would be found among the healthy, then the sick would loose out.
  • If salvation could be found among the rich, the poor would loose out.
  • If salvation was achieved through works, then only those with the strength of ones might be able to achieve salvation, and those who don’t loose out.
  • If salvation was based upon my goodness, then the bad have no chance.

Sadly for many in their pride are unwilling to humble themselves, they still cling to the notion that might is right.  They clamber in the belief that their efforts will be recognised and earn a reward called salvation, But its all dross and futility.

They battle strive and struggle in the belief that there are points to be mad,e and their salvation is earned as a reward. For many they can climb upon their intellect, look down upon those who don’t, and boast in their pride  believe they have made the grade whilst others cannot.

 God however cut through all this red tape and made salvation infinitely simpler.  As Paul said to his jailer, whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.  Faith as simple as trusting is all that is needed.  It does not matter if you are rich poor brave a coward, Healthy or sick.  God made the playing field equal.  Whoever comes will be saved.

You see Gods way strips me of my boasting.  I have nothing that I can hold onto that says I am better that that other person.  I have nothing that says I have earned my place along side God best.    In fact I am totally disarmed.  All my wisdom, intellect, treasures, gifting , pride, and even my  strength is laid bare before him.  As Paul said he counted it all but dross.  Even in my weakness there is still no pride because one in his weakness he chooses to endure the cross in weakness.  All I can do is look and live.  All I can do is fall down and cry out for mercy.  All I can do is place myself into the hands of the one who died and rose from the tomb.  Throw away any confidence in me and place all my confidence in him. 

Gal 2: 20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me

Its not my might but his.  Its not my goodness but his,  its not my bravery by his,  its not by my riches by his infinite riches.  It is not even by my love , but because he loved me before I knew there was a love to be loved by.

Rom 5: 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.In the end Jesus did not die just for his friends, but  for his…… ENEMIES!

Ps 28: 7 The LORD [is] my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

I recently wondered why certain temptation would always seem to dog me when others were simply ignored.  I came to realise that they were there so I could overcome it.  The Battle is not to defeat us but train us to be stronger.  It is only as we train that we become skilled.  By being skilled come to an even greater realisation of the graciousness of our Lord. 

Rom 8: 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

We can know this verse by heart and never fully understand the fullness of what it means.  In many ways we never stop learning and there is always a deeper depth in which God wants us to know.

Rom 7: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

Even the great apostle cried out who will save me from this body of death and the new nature that battles with the realities of sin in our flesh.   We are never told what Paul battled with and many ways it does not matter.   What matter was that he came to the right answer in the end?  In such trials we are prone to try and buckle up.  Try harder and pull ourselves up with our own shoe laces.  Otherwise by our own strengths and usually we fail.   The secret is the victory is not ours but Christ.  In that we learn to trust him more.  He is the resource that we don’t have within ourselves.  In the Battle we come to realise God is our strength and our security. 

Satan’s trick is to provoke us into trusting in our own resources.  To try and defend ourselves using our own wisdom and strength, knowing full well that this is most often a recipe for disaster.  He stands on the side lines and whispers with much laughter come on try harder.  until finally we fall and crash exhausted and broken.  But in that brokeness comes that quiet assurance my strength is in the lord. 

Rom 7: 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin

Victory came when in his own strength he surrendered and began to trust in the one who alone had the strength to cry out it is finished.

Rom 8: 1 [There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

We can read these verses a hundred times and still not come to the realisation of the victory.  It is not until in the midst of the storms and the crashing waves we finally  throw up our arms in defeat and cry out LORD SAVE US , then the true realisation comes.  Then comes the realisation that our resources may be sparse but his is infinite.     We are weak but he is always strong.

2 tim 1: 12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day

I hope like Paul we become fully persuaded that we can trust ourselves fully to his cause.  To be able to fully shout with great joy that our victory was in trusting not in ourselves but to draw upon Gods infinite resource.    He is our shield that will quench every poisonous dark .  His word is the sword we use.  All we have need he has provided.  In the end our calling is to be overcomers.

The Battle is the Lords