How to do it in God’s strength?


Nehemiah 8:10 “…Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength”

Nehemiah did not say that the supernatural power of the Lord is your strength, or the  extraordinary ability of the Lord is your strength…but simply the joy of the Lord is your strength. Our strength comes from our joy in the Lord, our love for him, our passion for him and our motivation to serve him.

We say all the time to do things in God’s strength and not our own, but to be honest I have never really understood what that actually looks like. I am expecting that I need to ‘feel’ something or have this extraordinary ability to be in his strength…otherwise it just feels like my strength. I have always challenged myself in preaching or leading to not do it in my own strength, even though it always felt like I was.

Strength is not about outward ability, but inward motivation.

Because I was always looking for an outward sign of his strength in my life, I always missed that it was actually about what was on the inside. It is only by God’s strength that I am motivated to do what I do. It is God’s strength that keeps me going on the inside, that keeps me burning, that keeps me passionate, that keeps me zealous for his Kingdom. That’s where his strength goes to work in my life, in my inner motivation, not my outward ability.

The ability to choose is the very first gift that God gave to man. We have been giving free will, but the problem with that, as history shows, is that we are in the habit of making bad choices. God’s strength enables us to make correct choices, to make choices that are good for us and pleasing to God. Therefore a person of strength is not someone who can perform well, but who can make great choices despite their circumstances. The choice to trust God throughout cancer is great strength. The choice to love an enemy is great strength. The choice to keep showing up and keep serving is great strength.

Isaiah 40:31 “but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength…”

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