When I was in college, I read a German book about metamorphosis – some guy turning into a giant insect. It was a really creepy book & there’s a good possibility that I’ve had a few nightmares from this book. It seems to me that without God’s involvement, human attempts to transform & change can result in nightmares and yucky results.
In contrast, whatever I ask God to be involved with in my life, there’s always an improvement. For some food for thought, please consider Titus 3:5-6 🙂
Holy Cow! That was Jeroboam’s solution to help him stay in power as the king of Israel, even though God had obviously put him in this position. I was reading this morning (1 Kings 7) about how God spoke to Jeroboam through a prophet & told him that he was going to be the king of Israel. When Jeroboam became the king, he got really jittery about keeping his power & decided that his kingdom needed it’s own set of gods, festival days, worship routines, etc that would exclude anything from the Temple in Jerusalem or the worship of the true God, as outlined by Moses.
Jeroboam was put in the position of king by God’s power but he didn’t stay long because he decided to trust in his own methods & efforts rather than trusting in God. In my thinking, there’s no staying power of any lasting value that doesn’t include trusting in our Triune God 🙂
When my kids were in preschool, I went to the parent intro day & I learned a great lesson watching one of the teachers who was working with a 4 year old. The 4 year old was having a difficult time trying to do some work with her scissors & when the teacher circled around the room to check on everyone, the little girl said to the teacher, “I can’t do this!!” The teacher was super patient and stooped to help the little girl, but said very firmly, “Honey, never say, ‘I can’t.’ Instead say, ‘I’ll try’ or ‘I need help’ but never say, ‘I can’t.'”
This lesson has helped me in more situations than I can count. We often say in our minds or actions, “I can’t” when something is really difficult, or when we’re tired, or when we can’t figure out a problem, etc. We truly may have reached our limit, but with Christ nothing is impossible and we can do whatever He tells us to do. We can do all things through Christ Who strengthens us – Philip 4:13!!
When I think about the word “strong“, I automatically think about muscles, weight lifting, eating protein, endurance, some pain & my gym. It’s interesting that I don’t immediately associate strength with teamwork, honesty, growing, change or time. But when I think about it, these words are also essential ingredients for the word “strong”.
On a somewhat deeper level, I think it’s critical to consider where strength comes from. Where does endurance, discipline, cooperation, patience & the like come from? For me, the short & ultimate answer is God.
Without God in my life, my endurance is like exercising with Halloween candy for fuel.
Without God in my life, the strength of my will power is like trying to swim a lap in a 50m pool without taking a breath – the effort burns my lungs & obscures my thinking
Without God in my life, cooperation & teamwork becomes disguised dysfunction (abusive, neglectful, manipulative & selfish acedia)
When I look to God for His strength in my life, the contrast of His strength versus my strength, helps me appreciate how truly weak I am without Him. Be strong!! 🙂
My husband thinks I’m intense. He’s probably right. It seems that whatever I give myself to, I can be extreme. For example, when I was learning to snowboard, I fell so hard one time that I got a concussion through my helmet, but I didn’t give up trying to learn. Now 4 yrs later, I snowboard & generally stay injury-free & THOROUGHLY enjoy it!
My point here is that it’s not all bad to be intense, especially when it comes to our walk w God. We are encouraged to live a balanced life & in some cases & situations, that’s totally appropriate. But when it comes to God, I’ve come to the conclusion that I intensely need Him. This intense need is the most obvious need in my life – everyone who knows me in any way, knows I need God. I’m a junkie – the honest truth. Because I need Him so desperately, I am quite intense about being w Him, knowing Him, loving Him & having Him be comfortable in my life (I want God to be comfortable around me). I want & need for my relationship w God to be nothing less than high octane, fully leaded & totally charged. May your walk w God be one of great intensity & immensity.
I like what Paul says in Philip 3:10 about knowing Christ, the power of His resurrection, fellowship of His suffering, . . . .
I’ve been thinking about this alot & here’s something to consider: i can find myself following strong people; people who have vision, strength of personality & character & those who are strong within themselves. I’ve been around LOTS of strong people – some politicians, Christian leaders, social leaders, etc & they’re very interesting people.
However, when it comes to connecting on a personal level, i find myself drawn to people who are flawed, who share their struggles & vulnerabilities. I think this is because i can easily relate to someone else’s frailties & failures in some ways better than a person’s strength. There’s a distinct fellowship & intimacy that can be experienced in hardship, weakness. Truth be known, i think most of us find it difficult to share our weaknesses. Our society applaudes strength, power, victory & not weakness, vulnerability & failure. Nevertheless, we’re invited to share in the fellowship of the sufferings of Jesus – bringing an intimacy w Him that is both distinct & beautiful.