What Strength Are You Living off?
How would you finish this sentence: "What the world needs right now is..."
Would you say:
It's certainly a conversation allot of people are having right now. And everyone seems to have an opinion. For us who follow Jesus, the most crucial question to ask is - how would Jesus end this statement?
What's In A Name?
We're preparing our hearts to celebrate Christmas - particularly the birth of Christ. To help us, we're working through the names given to Jesus in a prophecy about Him made by the prophet Isaiah in chapter 9:6
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
In this blog today, we're going to explore what it means that Jesus is our Mighty God. And it has allot to do with His strength and power in leading the world, and leading our lives. The word "Mighty" in the original Hebrew language means - being stronger than, superior to, exceeding, and prevailing over.
The name of Jesus, our "Mighty God", can otherwise be rendered our "Strong God" or "Stronger God" or better yet, our "Prevailing God." In other words, Jesus is our "Prevailing God", the one through whom we can and will prevail. My question to us all is - is He the one on whom we are relying to Prevail in this life?
A Year of Strength Sappers
This has certainly been a year where we've needed help to prevail. Over financial pressures and stresses. Over relationship barriers and subsequent strains. Over a global virus that has brought many of our countries to their knees in various ways, and for various lengths of time. These and many other challenges have been strength sappers. I know we, our governments, and our businesses have done the best they can, but in the end, our capacity to prevail has been shown for what it is - limited, vulnerable, and far from almighty.
And here is the encouragement that Jesus brings us. As our Mighty God, our Prevailing One, He has demonstrated to us that He is our source of strength and therefore hope to prevail. His life, death, resurrection and pioneering of the church that has stood now for over 2000 years is His evidence to us that He has what it takes to prevail.
His Prevailing Strength
Another prophet knew that this life cannot be fulfilled by human strength alone. He declared, under God's inspiration, that the particular project the people of God were trying to achieve, under pressure of resistance and opposition, was to be achieved:
‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit’ (Zechariah 4:6)
Do you know what all this means?
We have strength to prevail, no matter what we face in this life. More than that, this strength to prevail, of and from God's Spirit living in us, gives us hope to continue on in this life. You and I have strength to continue in God's ways and purposes, to stand in the storms and challenges of life, and to remain confident that God will bring all our days to a good end.
Because He has already prevailed. He came into this world by a miraculous birth. He died, sinless, upon a sinners Cross, for our forgiveness and redemption. He rose again on the third day, victorious over the worst (sin, death, and evil) that this world could throw at Him. And He has led His church through thousands of years of highs and lows, to this our present day. And so, we can be confident that He will continue to lead us onward until He finally prevails for good, on the day of His triumphant return.
How do you know if you have access to and are drawing upon His prevailing strength? You have hope for tomorrow. You have hope for your relationships. You have hope for your work. You have hope for your efforts in service to Him. You have hope for all the various aspects of your life.
In short, you have a real and present hope that gives you confidence to keep going.
The foundation of this hope is the strength of God. This is the only strength by which we can, and will, prevail.
If you're feeling more sapped than strong. Do these three things:
Ask - where am I relying upon my limited and vulnerable strength alone?
Confess - to God, where you have identified this to be the case.
Repent + Believe - for God to show up, in the midst of your limit zones, and give you His Prevailing Strength.
And then, watch and see the goodness of God to you in building, or rebuilding, real prevailing strength in your life. Bit by bit, step by step. But it will come. And then your life will be a testimony to all who see and wonder - and you can declare with great joy, "this strength is not my own, but my Mighty God's, working through me."
Living into this with you, this Christmas, and beyond.
Written By Ps. Rob Waugh