Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. Ephesians 6:10-11
I was 19, and worn out. I’d been studying for college final exams, skipping sleep and feeling sorry for myself. I’d yet to really experience deep pain in my life, and to me – at age 19 – final exams were a mighty trial.
“I have no strength left,” I told my mother over the phone.
“Ah, well, that’s when you are your strongest, when you have none of your own strength to lean on. That’s when you have to rely fully on God.”
Her words, spoken to her college sophomore, have echoed through the decades of my life as I’ve faced weariness and trials far beyond the scope of a biology exam. God’s strength is what really makes me strong – not my own effort, my own physical stamina, my own brain power, my own logic or ability to solve problems.
When Satan hurls temptations and heartaches, when he aptly aims fiery darts of doubt and peril, I must put on God’s armor, stand in His strength, and prevail.
It seems that God takes us to places our strength cannot match on purpose. Like Gideon, in the book of Judges.
Outnumbered something like 450 to 1, Gideon’s army shouldn’t have overcome the Midianites. Not by any calculative measure. Not by any stroke of luck. And the reality is, even if Gideon’s army had remained at the diminutive number of 32,000 (verse somewhere around 135,000), their chances were slim at best. But by God’s direction, the fighting men of Israel were whittled down to three hundred. Three hundred men with trumpets and pottery against trained soldiers, yet they won. Soundly. After that battle, Israel lived in peace for forty years. No one wanted to mess with the power that protected the Hebrew people.
That’s amazing. That’s the power of God.
Am I resting in that strength? Am I trusting Him to do what I can’t? Do I believe He can accomplish the impossible?
David Peach writes: “The truth is, whatever God wants from you, it probably will be even more impossible than you could imagine.”
God specializes in the impossible. He calls us to believe, and to act on it, even when the odds are overwhelmingly against us. That way we know it’s Him, not us.
His strength, and not my own.