After the message is preached at our church, oftentimes, people will come forward for prayer. The prayer requests range from needs people have for actual physical healing to heartfelt cries for someone to simply stand with them in prayer during times of financial or emotional trials. Recently, I was ministering with someone at the altar, and as I listened to this person’s pain the Holy Spirit reminded me to remind her of some important truths; First, strength is only going to come from the Lord. Second, anything is possible. Third, we must remember that it’s not really all about us.
Strength comes from the Lord. Psalm 27:14 declares, “Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!” I find it interesting how often I look to something other than the Lord for the strength to make it through a particular trial. Whether I run to the medicine cabinet, the television, the fridge, the gym, or some other ‘refuge’… what I always find is that when I am done… I am still weary. It is only in the presence of my God that I am strengthened. I am in full agreement with the Psalmist who wrote, “Truly my soul silently waits for God; From Him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved” (Ps. 62:1-2). Why is it, rather than wait for God – simply hang out with Him – to renew our strength, do we instead put our trust in something that can never truly satisfy? During World War II, Allied bombers carried machine guns in the nose, under the belly, on top, and in the rear. B-17’s, better known as “flying fortresses,” carried thirteen .50 caliber machine guns. At one point scientists suggested the planes might actually be safer without all that artillery. Without the extra weight needed to operate the guns, they could fly faster and higher, increasing their odds of survival. The pilots, however, thought differently. They wouldn’t even consider embarking on a mission without guns to shoot back and defend themselves. We make that same choice, way too often, when it comes to relying on something other than God. God says we don’t need the guns… we can soar higher and faster… just with Him. But we say, “No Thanks’; we feel better with something tangible that we can see and feel… something that we’ve heard and seen others’ use.” When what we truly need is the kind of radical, against-the-flow-of-this-world, trust in God that David showed when he told Goliath, “You come against me with sword and spear… but I come against you in the name of the Lord” (I Samuel 17:45). You and I must always remember, when life has gotten us to the point where we’re ready to throw in the towel, the powerful words of Isaiah; “But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
Anything is possible. When you feel weak and powerless, you have to go to the outlet and plug in to the Source of power. Mark 9:23 declares that “All things are possible to him who believes“. When we pray, we are plugging in to God’s power. Picture a boat trapped in mud and stuck on the bottom. If you can get it to the dock, you can repair it and send it back out to open waters. The trouble is, you can’t move it. So what’s the answer? Bring in high-powered tugboats, connect steel cables to the sunken craft, and wait for the tide to rise. Get it? When you and I feel so low that we can’t lift ourselves up, we must tap into God’s power and let Him lift us up to the place where He can repair, restore, and recommission us. If we can think like this, especially when we’re down, we’ll never think about prayer the same way again. Instead of seeing it as an obligation, we’ll start seeing it as an awesome power that works for us in all circumstances of life. And we’ll see reading the Bible in a different light too. The apostle Paul once said, “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the Word of His grace, which is able to build you up” (Acts 20:32). Listen, our problems may be massive, but the tide of God’s Spirit is way greater, and if we let it, it’ll lift us out of our troubles. Will they suddenly vanish overnight? Probably not… but we’ll be above them looking down, instead of stuck in the mud, underneath them, looking up. What do we really believe? Perhaps a better way to say that would be, ‘WHO are we really believing in’? Why? Because, ‘All things are possible to him who believes’.
It’s not really about you. I know that sounds sorta ‘obvious’, but the truth is, we often forget it. The Bible says, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he will lift you up” (James 4:10). That means that when you and I try to exalt ourselves – try and make ‘us‘ the most important thing – we are brought down, but when we humble ourselves in God’s sight He lifts us up. So often, when life seems hard and we want to throw in the towel and give up, if we’re honest we’d find that what we are really focusing on… is ourselves. It’s the “all about ‘ME'” syndrome. To get out of the dumps… to leave depression and that feeling of weariness behind, we must be humble… we must take the focus off of ourselves and look for what God is doing and wanting to do in us and through us. God does indeed love us deeply, and He wants to lift us up. Why? Because you and I are His children and He thinks we’re neat. Even when we feel like a nobody, in God’s eyes we’re a somebody. That shouldn’t make us prideful, it should make us appreciative.
When I’m tired and weary, I find it good to be reminded that my strength comes from the Lord, that anything is possible, and that it’s not all about me anyways. Today, I pray you’ve found that good too. Blessings!