am I living in Christ, christain walk, encouragement, getting stronger, how to live in Christ, how to live in God's strength, living in christs strength, spotters, truly living in Christ's strength, weightlifting or surrender
If you’ve been around me at all, you probably know I’ve been reading a lot of Andrew Murray’s books. The one I’m currently studying is called Absolute Surrender and I highly recommend it.
As I was reading along a few months ago, Mr. Murray took us to Galatians 3:1-3. It says, “You foolish Galatians! Who has hypnotized you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was vividly portrayed as crucified? I only want to learn this from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now going to be made complete by the flesh?”
Part of verse three says, “…after beginning with the Spirit, are you now going to be made complete (KJV says “perfect”) by the flesh?”
That really hit me.
Did I receive Christ by the Spirit? Yes.
Am I receiving and acting on that power today? That’s where things get iffy.
Am I depending on Christ’s Spirit in me, or am I depending on my own self will and determination to live the Christian life?
Am I white knuckling the Word, or resting in the completion that Christ has gifted in me?
Again… all of those questions are answered “yes”, or “no” depending on the day.
His Spirit is in us for a purpose and yet I find myself thinking I have to figure out how to get all these “good works” accomplished that He has called me to fulfill. Christ is in me to achieve all He has called me to do, not so He can simply whisper where I’m supposed to go and leave me to it, but also to empower me every step of the way.
I Thessalonians 5:24 says, “He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.”
This verse reminds us that not only does God call us to good works, He is the One who accomplishes it in us.
I just found this verse in Proverbs10:22, and I got so excited. Listen to what it says: “The LORD’s blessing enriches, and struggle adds nothing to it.”
I’ve deceived myself into believing that I’m supposed to work out my completion in Christ. I’m supposed to struggle. Each day, I’ve taken Jesus by the hand and powered on in my own ability. Sometimes dragging Him along instead of submitting to His lead.
I’m discovering though that I will never be able to grow in Christ. Only His Spirit can accomplish that in me. My flesh, my will, my determination is not what makes me a mature Christian. Only my absolute dependence on Christ makes me complete.
Look at all the times we have failed Christ when our intentions were good. Look at all the times we made new commitments, renewed vows, or even woke up thinking “Today, I am going to do this, or not do that, like yesterday”, but lunchtime arrives, and we look at the day and wonder, “What happened? I was so determined to make it work this time.”
I’ll tell you what happened. We tried to do it in our own strength. Philippians 4:13 says, “I am able to do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” We forget this verse is describing Christ’s strength in us.
It’s not describing walking along the path of our Christian life in our own strength and when we need help, Christ giving us a boost. Philippians 4:13 is reminding us that in order to do anything, it’s about Christ’s strength, not just using Him as our spotter.
Are you familiar with who a spotter is? This isn’t something that’s usually in my scope of everyday life, but my oldest is into weightlifting, so I’m learning.
Wikipedia describes the action of spotting in this way, “Spotting in weight or resistance training, is the act of supporting another person during a particular exercise, with an emphasis on allowing the participant to lift or push more than they could normally do safely.”
How often have we treated the Holy Spirit as a spotter when He simply wants us to be the weights in His arms. Picture that…we are the weights, not the weightlifter. That’s a huge difference.
It’s His job to lift us to heights we never realized were possible.
It’s by His strength we are able to join with others in tasks we never imagined.
It’s by His power we can do all things because as a weight in His hand, we are relying on His force, His strength, not ours.
That’s when verses like Psalm 112:7 are possible. It says, “He will not fear bad news; his heart is confident, trusting in the LORD.”
I’ve actually memorized this verse and tried to will myself into the completion of it in my life. In the past, I start to imagine a bad scenario that may, or may not happen soon. I remember this verse and will myself not to fear. That works for a while, but what I’m finding is that I need to go a step further.
When I’m simply a weight in the arms of God, I rest in His strength. I tell Him I can’t accomplish this verse without His muscle, and He lifts me by His strength into the empowerment of this verse.
Then, I really and truly do not fear bad news because I’m living in His strength. He will pack me where I need to go. He will lift me to where I need to be and because I am in absolute surrender to a faithful, trustworthy God, His strength becomes my reality.
“O, foolish Galatians…”
“O, foolish Christians…”
“O, foolish Melissa…”
Our Lord never intended for us to complete our lives on this earth in the power of the flesh. Our God has given us everything we need to live our Christian faith and it’s not by willpower, it’s by His strength alone. Simply and totally Him.
Isaiah 40:28-31 says, “Do you not know? Have you not heard? Yahweh is the everlasting God, the Creator of the whole earth. He never grows faint or weary; there is no limit to His understanding. He gives strength to the weary and strengthens the powerless.
Youths may faint and grow weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who trust in the LORD will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.”
That’s His desire for you. Rest in His arms today and let Him lift you higher than you ever thought possible.
*image by fitness19.com