Full of Strength

cropped-dsc_0241.jpg

Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!”
1 Chronicles 16:11

Some days I feel weak. I grow weary doing what God has placed on me, even though I know His calling is amazing and full of adventure. I still find myself tired when tasks take longer than expected, people don’t respond how I think they should, or I simply get physically worn out. Learning how to tap into God’s strength appeals to my weariness.

Nehemiah 8:10 says, ” … for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” When I read this, I began to wonder how the joy of the Lord is my strength. We learn from Galatians 5:22 that joy is a fruit of the Spirit. True joy comes from the Holy Spirit, not from ourselves.

How do we experience more joy? Psalm 16:11 tells us, ” … in your presence there is fullness of joy … “ Being aware of and enjoying God’s presence infuses us with incredible joy. His presence fulfills us in so many ways!

What is it about joy that gives us strength? Joy motivates. Motivation empowers. According to Proverbs 17:22, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Think about a patient with a life threatening illness. Patients who have internal motivation to live often recover or live longer. In contrast, those who let go of life often take a turn for the worst. Our personal motivation hugely influences our physical selves. Joy from God that surpasses human understanding motivates and strengthens us to continue through trials.

My conclusion is this:

Experiencing God’s presence produces joy,
which produces strength.

Therefore, “Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!” tells us exactly how to live full of strength. I love the use of the exclamation point in this English Standard Version translation. What an exciting life we can lead when fully experiencing God’s presence!

Why Does Satan Exist?

John 10:10Satan causes a lot of disappointment, hurt, strife, confusion — the list of negativity continues. Have you wondered why God allows Satan to continue? If the enemy comes only to “steal, and kill, and destroy,” why not eliminate him now rather than wait until after Christ’s return?

IT’S ALL ABOUT
GOD’S GLORY.

Just as “God longs to do works through us that can’t be explained except by His reality,” 1 His glory shines brighter “when humans renounce the promises of Satan and take pleasure in the greater glory of Christ.” 2

When we encounter difficult circumstances, Satan feeds us lies intended to cause us to fear, make harmful choices, and turn from God. However, when we cling to God in our struggles, we turn from Satan and God gets the glory. “Our God is always turning what the enemy meant for evil into our good if we will choose to love him above all else.” 3

Without Satan in the picture, the miraculous display of God’s love, mercy, and grace would not be possible. “If God had simply terminated Satan, then it would not have been so clear that God is both stronger and infinitely more to be desired than Satan.” 2

GOD WANTS US TO
CHOOSE HIM OVER SATAN.

By doing so, we receive the abundant life Jesus came to offer us.

The Lord calls us to rejoice in Him always. Always means all circumstances (Philippians 4:4). Understanding the purpose of Satan’s existence can heighten our sensitivity to his schemes in the midst of difficulties. Being wise to Satan’s devious strategy gives us the ability to accept the joy found in God alone, regardless of our circumstances. We can rejoice knowing that by rejecting Satan’s lies, we glorify God!

Armed with the knowledge of Satan’s purpose, I have an even greater desire to not allow Satan a foothold – not even a tiny one. The joy of the Lord now has deeper meaning for me, and it’s a tremendous weapon against my enemy!

* First 15 Devotional – Abiding Fruit
** Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ by John Piper
*** First 15 Devotional – Abiding in God’s Joy