There was a fierceness in his eyes as he stared me down. I stared back trying to discourage him from continuing his efforts toward my defeat. Both our arms were strained but both of us were prepared to go all the way. “Give it up” I encouraged to which he said, “No!” Our muscles pounded for what seemed like an hour when the reality was only a few minutes, and still, we were basically deadlocked ‘in battle’. Eventually my arm began to grow weary and give way, so I fought back as hard as I could.
Ultimately, I was defeated and victory became my opponent’s. What you don’t know in this true life story is that it was an embarrassing defeat for me. Why, you ask? Well, thanks for asking… You see, at the time I was 21-ish and my opponent was my male cousin… and he was only eight-ish at the time. Okay, before you think I let him win, know that I tried my best and failed to defeat an eight year old at arm wrestling. Really, I don’t think I’ll ever live that one down! Nonetheless I learned that day that strength can be deceiving.
The LORD God is my strength… Hab. 3:19
…Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob. Ps. 81:1
…God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Ps. 46:1
The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him. Ex. 15:2
He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. Luke 1:51
These are only some of the scriptures about God’s strength, which infinitely exceeds the strength of any man who ever lived. According to many writers, our God is not only strong, but He is our strength. And that strength translates into Him being strong enough to: provide refuge, save, heal and deliver us from any bondage we are in.
As I was weakening under the muscle strain of arm wrestling, so we become weak in times of worldly strain. When we are weak and ready to give up, He is the One we need to run to for help- and we know He can deliver it. The Lord can be counted on. “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” (Nm. 23:19)
The Bible reminds us to “Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.” (1Ch. ) so we may be confident in His strength, and though we are weak and fail continually, realize He is able to continue the work in us until completion (Php 1:6). We need to stop relying on our own strength which ultimately fails, but to count on the Lord for His strength which will endure as long as He does- and that is forever!
Be encouraged today that God is not a weak 21 year old, or weak like a world champion arm wrestler, but is all powerful with unlimited strength for He holds the worlds in their place (Heb. 1:3) and they do not fail because of Him (Is. 40:26). Be left with this charge:
…be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Eph. 6:10