“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Ephesians 6:10 King James Version (KJV)
If you want to reign (experience success) in life, then you need to give up trying to be strong (no matter how strong you may be) and start trusting in and relying on the Lord for strength. Scripture tells us to “be strong in the Lord”. That means that you should be trusting in His ability and power in you and through you – not in your talents, abilities or strength. True strength is found in Christ and flows from Christ.
“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 New King James Version (NKJV)
This passage of scripture is usually butchered by people and made to say things that it doesn’t! There is much that needs to be said about it, but we don’t have enough space here. For now, whatever you believe about it, I’d like to encourage you to put that aside for a moment and see the victory that this verse is talking about. The biggest thing to see here is that the “infirmities” Paul is speaking of is not referring to sickness, physical weakness, poverty or sin, but rather it refers to the hardships that he suffered because of the fact that he was preaching the Gospel (Paul lists his infirmities, or hardships, in 2 Corinthians 11:23-30). God’s power and strength enabled Paul to endure under persecution (hardships), and to continue boldly to preach the Gospel which he was being persecuted for.
We all go through difficulties, but it’s important to remember that God is not the author of those difficulties. Rather, He is the answer for them. He has placed His power and strength at our disposal for us to endure and overcome. “My strength is made perfect in weakness” means that we need to come to the end of ourselves and come to the end of trusting in our own efforts, and we need to fully rely on God. Paul had many reasons to trust in himself – he actually had more reason to trust in himself than any of his critics. And yet in Philippians 3:7-8 he lists his impressive accomplishments and states for the record that he considers all of them as dung and chooses to rather rely on and trust in Christ. If we want to see the power of God at work in our lives and through us, then we need to cease from our efforts to deserve it, and start looking to Jesus and believing that it is completely unearned, undeserved and unmerited favour (grace).
“And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”
Romans 11:6 King James Version (KJV)
It all comes down to this: are you trusting in God (grace) or trusting in self (works)? It’s easy to say that you trust in God for salvation by grace (Ephesians 2:8), but many believers leave it there and live their Christian lives trusting in self, not God. You will never reign in life as long as you are trusting in and relying on yourself. Paul said that the same way in which we received Jesus is the way we “walk in Him” (Colossians 2:6). You cannot earn or deserve the blessing of God, healing, provision or miracles. It’s by grace: undeserved, unearned, unmerited favour. The end of trusting in your “self” is the beginning of God’s grace working in your life.
“Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”
2 Timothy 2:1 King James Version (KJV)
We often feel like we have to be strong in difficult times, or that our success is dependent on how strong we are. But as long as you’re trying to be strong in and of yourself, your success will always be short-lived. Look to Jesus and be strong in Him. Trust and rely fully on His unmerited, unearned and undeserved favour.
Thought to focus on for the day:
Reigning in life and living in victory starts when you stop trusting in your goodness and start trusting in God’s goodness. His blessing and favour is not dependent on your strength but on His.
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