Yesterday we learned from II Timothy 1:7 that God has given us three weapons to combat fear. Today we are going to talk about our first weapon: power. And I love how God works! I stumbled upon a quote yesterday that is perfect for introducing our discussion today. Cynthia Heald says,
“What God wanted the Israelites to know (as they entered Canaan) was that it was His strength that would go before them to defeat giants and bring down walls. They still had to enter the land and fight, but His enabling would give the victory. They were not to depend upon their strength, but His. They were not to look at giants, but at their God. The Lord is still teaching this truth today. He longs to show Himself mighty on our behalf; He longs to be our source of strength. He wants us to believe the Scripture.”
Let’s look at how God instructs us to be strong…
We are all aware how fear attacks our sense of power. It whispers to us, “You can’t do this! Who are you trying to fool? This is too big for you to even attempt! Consider the obstacles for goodness sake! Besides, you are too weak, too young, too old, too foolish, too far gone.”
Fear will either convince us to not even try or it will persuade us to act outside of God’s power in our lives and take matters into our own hands. When attacked with this kind of fear, we need to take up the weapon of power.
Ephesians 6:10 says, “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.”
Scripture teaches us that all power resides with God and that He dwells within us to enable us to do what we otherwise could not. We are strong and fully equipped in the Lord, even in our weaknesses. (I talk about this in-depth in my seven day devotional. You can download the devotional simply by subscribing to www.ArabahJoy.com )
Proverbs 31:17 says the virtuous woman “dresses herself with strength.”
Stop a minute and think about this. The concept of dressing can help us learn how to tap into God’s power made available to us. Let’s take a look at how she does it so we can learn to do the same.
Dressing is a skill, a learned practice. It is not a natural ability that you either have or you don’t. The Proverbs 31 woman had to learn how to dress, just like we must. The phrase here “to dress” implies “Preparing one’s self for something that requires readiness, strength, or endurance.”
Which pretty much describes living a godly life.
Sure, it would be easier if it came naturally, but once we realize it is something we learn, we are free to start practicing! Men and women and boys and girls of all ages can learn how to put on strength.
God calls us to be women who practice putting on His strength like we would our clothes. Morning after morning.
She dresses herself.
We can and should come to the place where we don’t expect others to make life easy for us. Many women- even older women- have never learned how to dress themselves with strength. They expect others around them to make their lives easier or more comfortable. They are high maintenance women.
As we learn to dress ourselves, we eliminate the props that hold us up and are instead strengthened by the Lord alone. Then we are in a position to serve and minister to others.
She dresses herself with strength.
Ever wonder why the particular trait of strength is pointed out in the life of the virtuous woman? I think it is because God places women (men too!) in situations where we are overwhelmed. The demands He places on us are beyond our abilities. Like the disciples in Mark 6:32-37, there are multitudes of people around us with impossible needs and Jesus turns to us and says, “You feed them!”
We can either sit there overwhelmed . . . or we can take up faith and clothe ourselves with strength. (Remember, strength is having a “can do” attitude.)
My friend, unless we have a good, solid understanding of how God equips, provides, and strengthens, we will either flat-line or wear ourselves out serving in our own strength. Today’s a great day to start dressing with the strength of the Lord!
What do you do when overwhelmed by the odds? Do you shut down? Do you take matters into your own hands? Or do you strengthen yourself in the Lord?
We fight this type of fear, the sense of powerlessness, with the spirit of power God has given us. Practice dressing yourself with strength when you recognize this fear. For more on this topic, download my free devotional. Simply subscribe to ArabahJoy.com and the download link will appear at the bottom of each post.
How are you doing? We’d love to hear from you!