A Strength Beyond All Strength

“David said to the Philistine, ‘You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.’” -1 Samuel 17:45 (NIV)

Where did David get the courage and strength to speak boldly before Goliath? Certainly it did not come from his physical stature and military prowess. David paled in comparison to Goliath in this regard, for the Philistine could not only boast of unrivalled brute strength, but he was armed to the teeth as well.  Neither did David find his strength in the support of his own Israelite comrades. Initially King Saul was hesitant to send the young David against the battle-hardened Goliath and certainly the soldiers of the Israelite army would not have had a high opinion of the shepherd boy armed with only a sling. But David found his strength in the arms of God. Who was it that gave Goliath breath? Who was it who created the materials to make Goliath’s swords, spears, and javelins? Was it not the Lord of the universe who holds all things together? Armed with the confidence that the same God defends those who seek to honour Him, David stood boldly before Goliath and was able to defeat him for all to see that it was God who gave David strength to face his enemy and fight.

Sometimes we encounter situations which make us quake in fear. Comparing our perceived weakness to the enormity of our circumstances, we are quick to say that it is hopeless and that victory is destined to elude us. We ask ourselves how we, insignificant and weak as we are, could emerge triumphant over the gargantuan challenges we face. However, though in our strength the task we are called to accomplish seems impossible, nothing is impossible with God. If we rely solely on our strength or on the support of others, we will slowly succumb to discouragement and defeatism when struggles come along our path and our earthly sources of strength evaporate. But when we find our strength in Christ we can stand firm knowing that He fights on our behalf and empowers us so that his perfect will may be fulfilled in our lives. Like David, when we have entered into a relationship with God by allowing Christ’s Spirit to enter our hearts, we can find confidence in the fact that God is our strength and that He will enable us to do what He has called us to do. Entrusting ourselves to Him we will have courage to face our situations with boldness and an unmovable strength which comes from knowing that the battle belongs to the Lord who is Ruler over all.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Don’t Run Away!

“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” –Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)

A lack of unity at a critical point has often decided the outcome of battles. The victorious army is the one which, despite the situation, maintains itself as a dedicated and cohesive fighting force. Its members do not simply run away or defect to the other side when confronted with danger or when it all seems like an uphill struggle. A loyal solider serves both the commanding officer placed over him, and his fellow comrades. He puts aside his personal conflicts with others so that they may fight together as one. The army which will lose however is the one where soldiers desert and fail to lend their aid when it is needed most.  Such an army will never win if its members fail to rally together and fight so that they may carry out their mission.

Sometimes we may become discouraged when we see people around us who profess Christ with their mouths but not with their hearts. We wonder why they do not seem to get it, and the temptation is to wish that we would withdraw away from their hypocrisy and ignorance. But it is in these moments when Christ calls us to allow His truth to shine all the more. Being reclusive will not help anyone. Instead it deprives both ourselves and others of the opportunity to be blessed by the work of Christ. As His children, we are called to stand together in one spirit, serving each other just as how Christ serves us. When we allow His Spirit to enter our lives and seek to abide in Him, He will direct our steps and attitudes. Guided by His Spirit we will know that the days are short and that we cannot waste time arguing and drawing ourselves away from each other. Rather when His love is being made manifest in us, we will be able to love and help build up those around us so that we may be the people of hope and righteousness Christ has called us to be.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Who Is Overcoming Who?

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” –Romans 12:21 (NIV)

Human behaviour is tragically repetitive. It is repetitive because we use the exact same methods time and time again to deal with conflict. It is tragic because we often resort to such violent and vengeful means to somehow ensure in our minds that justice has been served. When someone strikes us, our instinctive response is to strike back and sometimes with even more malice. But if we do this, what is it that separates us from the one that has harmed us? Though we may think that we are justified in our reactions and that this gives us the moral high ground, we are no different from our enemies if we use the same underhanded and destructive methods they use. Instead of overcoming evil it has conquered us and made us its slave.

How then can we escape from this dilemma? As long as our sinful nature continues to hold sway over us, our concept of justice will be skewed and warped, and this will be reflected in our actions and reactions. The solution therefore lies in dealing with our innate depravity. But how can this be done? It is only through Christ, who entered this world so that humanity may be freed from their slavery to sin, that we have the hope of being restored. When we have acknowledged His death and resurrection for us and have allowed His Spirit to enter our hearts, He will give us wisdom and discernment as to how to live as His children. Through His righteousness being worked out through us, He will teach how to walk justly and to love mercy. In this we are able by His enabling to overcome the evils we may face with the light that He shines forth from us; bearing witness to the fact that we are new creations in Christ, holy and blameless before Him and before men.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.