God has been talking to me about strength recently. Somewhere along the way, I got the mistaken impression that God wanted me weak. But that just isn't true. Maybe that idea came from wanting to be a princess where the white knight comes and rescues her(love those fairy tale ending romances) Maybe I just didn't want to put in the effort to make myself strong in areas I saw as weak. Some of it come from a wrong interpretation of scripture. 2 Corinthians 12:9 is the one I'm talking about.
The word used here for weakness is 'astheneia' which translates as feebleness, usually talking about physical weakness; the fact that we are living in a mortal body. This verse has nothing to do with staying weak and everything thing to do with becoming strong in the Lord. He isn't saying he was going to stay weak, but that where He was weak, God's grace would make him strong. For me to purposely be weak does not bring glory to God.
So I repented and God started showing me some things about strength.
In Judges 6:14, Gideon was told to "Go in the strength you have" and defeat his enemies. Strong's defines this phrase this way:
So God commands us to Go in the strength we have. Let's look at how strong we are.
First, we have our human strength. This starts with what we were given at birth and builds through our lifetimes experiences. As we navigate those weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and difficulties Paul was talking about, we can gain strength. You've heard the famous saying by Friedrich Nietzsche, the German philosopher: "That which does not kill us makes us stronger." This is only true as we accept God's love and allow Him to teach us to be strong.
Second. we have the strength of angels available to us. God has assigned ministering angels to us in every situation we face. There are numerous example of angels and them using theirs strength and ability for God's people. Isaiah 37:36 records that a single angel obliterated 185,000 men in one night. At Sodom and Gomorrah, angels rescued Lot's family before it was destroyed. An angel appeared to both Mary and Elizabeth with direction for their unborn children. Since we can't see them, we often forget that they are present and out there making sure God's will is done. They are charged with our protection and to keep us on the right path. They are using there strength for us.
Then, on top of that, we have the power of God. Here is all the strength you could ever imagine wanting or needing. This is the strength that threw Satan out of heaven! This is the strength that created everything by His word! This is the strength that raised Jesus from the dead! This is the strength that is holding all things together! This is the strength of the entire Godhead-the Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit! This is the strength to make the impossible-possible! I could keep going, but this would be a big book instead of a little blog.
Finally we have the strength of nature. In the beginning at the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were instructed to fill the earth and subdue it and take dominion over every living thing that moves on the earth.(Gen. 1:28) Everything on earth was made to work with man to declare God's glory. When we work with nature and not against it, everything we do is stronger.
So does God want us be weak and stay that way? NO! He say we are to be strong and courageous because His Grace makes us sufficiently strong. Weakness is regarded as a disadvantage or fault by the world. Weak leaders are soon overthrown. It is the strong who win the battles and bring home the spoils. It is the strong who the world turns to when they need help. It takes courage to step out in this strength. But God instructs us to find that courage and go in this strength of ours to win the lost, subdue the earth, demonstrate His power and bring His kingdom to earth.
Who is the strongest person alive? YOU ARE! God designed you that way. You're more super that Superman, mightier than Mighty Mouse and more wonderful that Wonder Woman.
You, my friend, are stronger than you think!