“It is God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect….He teaches my hands to make war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze…For you have armed me with strength for the battle; you have subdued under me those who rose up against me” (Psalm 18:32,34,39).
Life is full of battles from different fronts. We can only overcome in the battles of life when we make God the strength of our life. Then, God will equip us to handle the battles and challenges. To make God your strength means to exchange your weaknesses for His strength; it means, to discover and rely on the empowering of the Holy Spirit to fight the battles of life. It means, to make God your support and source of power.
David fought several battles in his life time; some were physical, some were spiritual and some were emotional battles. He fought against Goliath and against the Philistines. He faced rebellion in his family and had difficulty managing Joab, his army commander. He was able to overcome all these challenges because he discovered and made God the strength of his life. We all need to make God the strength of our lives to cope with the daily battles of life. We need to experience the supernatural strength, which the Holy Spirit can give when we face challenges. In writing Psalm 18:1 David starts by declaring, “I will love you, O LORD, my Strength.” Four times in the same chapter of the Psalms, David described God as the strength of his life. In many other texts in the Psalms, David also referred to God as his strength.
He described some of the spiritual and emotional battles he faced in the following passages. Psalms 27:1-3; 18:1-6, 31-39; 55:4-6,17,18. Through all these battles, he testified, “He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me. For there were many against me”. (Psalm 55:18).
MANY OTHERS MADE GOD THE STRENGTH OF THEIR LIVES
David was not the only one who discovered God as the strength of his life. Others did. Psalm 84 is believed to have been written by a Levite, one of the sons of Korah. In verses 5-7, he has this to say about God being our strength: “Blessed is the man whose strength is in you, whose heart is set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a spring; the rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion.” The Valley of Baca is believed to be the Valley of weeping, that is to say, a place of pain, sorrow and anguish. The Psalmist implies that we could turn our pain and sorrow into a place of blessing if we make God the strength of our life. Weeping, sorrow and pain are inevitable in life, but our attitude to them is what matters.
THE APOSTLE PAUL
Paul was another person who faced pressures on every side of life. In 2 Corinthians 4:8,9 he wrote, “We are hard pressed on every side, you not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” The same Paul later said in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Again in Ephesians 3:16 he prayed for the Ephesians thus, “that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory to be strengthened with might through his Spirit in the inner man.” When we experience the strength of God we receive grace to go through difficulties which ordinarily we cannot surmount.
When Samson was at the lowest point of his life, he desperately prayed to God to strengthen him so that he would take revenge on his enemies. Through God’s strength, he gave a lethal blow to his enemies. He pushed down the physical pillars that supported the building where the Philistines were. Consequently, it is on record that he killed more Philistines at his death than during his life time (Judges 16:28-30).
WAIT ON THE LORD FOR STRENGTH.
When we wait on the Lord we receive strength for the battles of life. Isaiah gives us a piece of advise on how to make God the strength of our life. In Isaiah 40:29-31 he wrote, “He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might he increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fail, but those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
In an earlier message, we said we are created and called to relate with God. As relational beings, when we wait on the Lord in the place of prayer and the word of God, we receive his strength to face the challenges of life.