Avenues Of Strength

There are those points of time in many peoples’ lives when they feel they cannot go on. They are “at the end of their rope,” they have no strength within. In a way that can be good, because in such a case one will find need to look to God, Who never runs out of strength.
Avenues Of Strength
Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2016 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete).

Most, if not all, of us have encountered those times when we were worn out, not just physically, but mentally, spiritually, emotionally. Well, that is a very good reminder that we are human, and not God! Such a reminder can, at times, encourage a person to go to God. If a person sincerely chooses that route and faithfully does things God’s way they will not be disappointed. Let us now look at four avenues whereby we can get strength from God.

I. The Word Of God -

Psalm 119:25-32 (NASB*)

“My soul cleaves to the dust; Revive me according to Your word.
26

I have told of my ways, and You have answered me; Teach me Your statutes.
27 Make me understand the way of Your precepts, So I will meditate on Your wonders.
28 My soul weeps because of grief; Strengthen me according to Your word.
29 Remove the false way from me, And graciously grant me Your law.
30 I have chosen the faithful way; I have placed Your ordinances before me.
31 I cling to Your testimonies; O YHVH, do not put me to shame!
32 I shall run the way of Your commandments, For You will enlarge my heart.”

“My soul cleaves to the dust” corresponds very well to when we might say, “I’m at the end of my rope,” “I have had enough,” “I cannot take it anymore,” and so on when we feel we have no more strength. Yet, the psalmist realizes that the Word of God can truly revive him according to its precepts. That is a main point: If we want to be truly revived, and that to the glory of God, it must be done according to the way God declares it to be accomplished.

I see a sequence in verse 26 in that the psalmist confesses his ways before God who corrects him as needed. “Teach me Your statutes” should be the desire of every true Christian, for we are to be disciples of Christ, and a disciple of Christ is one who is taught by Christ. We need to listen for His teaching not only when we read or hear His Word, but throughout the day. When trouble comes our way it is best to ask God, “What do You want me to learn from this?”

In order to get some insight into the workings of God we should pray what the psalmist has written in verse 27. Our understanding will grow as we walk in Christ. It will grow more robust as we learn to faithfully obey Him, for it is written (Psalm 111:10b), “A good understanding have all they that do his commandments.” With that, the psalmist sets his heart on the purpose of thinking about God’s awesome wonders. That is far better than meditating about one’s problems.

Verse 28 can be considered as showing positive progression, going from clinging to the dust to weeping. Yet a continuous sorrowful condition drains one of strength. The Hebrew here tends to picture the soul as dripping rain {1}. Again, by the Holy Spirit the psalmist points to the Word of God as the remedy.

“Remove the false way from me,” as constructed, can mean “take the false way out of me” or that the psalmist asks God to help him avoid any false path he might encounter. Since, by the Holy Spirit it is not narrowed down, I believe both are meant. While one might think of a person who has written by the Holy Spirit a portion of the Holy Bible as being a “good saint,” we are to remember that all people are born sinners (Romans 5:19). The psalmist is not so gullible as to think himself as immune from sin. And, those that desire to walk in truth do not want any sinful way placed before them.

While asking the false way be removed from him, the psalmist desires God’s law. Note well that the psalmist does not think that he deserves God’s law and also realizes he cannot earn it. He states it is a gracious endowment from God. Such a blessing brings abundant life now and Eternal Life as we continue in Christ until we leave this world.

As I think of how the psalmist says, “ I have chosen the faithful way,” I must think of Christ Who is the Way (John 14:6) and it is His faithfulness that brings us into His eternal Kingdom as we steadfastly remain in Him. Additionally, the entire verse in the context of the previous verse depicts there are two ways before him, viz., the false and the faithful. He has also placed God’s ordinances before him, the spiritual maps and GPS aids, for a blessed journey unto Eternal Life.

And, as you see, the psalmist say, “I have chosen.” We all have the ability to choose. It does not matter how you were born or how bad off you are, you can choose {2}. He also takes the initiative to place God’s ordinances before himself. These are acts of the will, and the acts of a person wise enough to be responsible before God.

Progressing through our text we now come to a contrast. The psalmist’s statement about his soul cleaving to the dust is conquered in victory, for by the Spirit he writes “I cling to your testimonies.” The Word of God has given him power to get out of the dust and into His glorious Word which includes accounts of men and women who by the grace of God became spiritually strong. He concludes that verse with a plea to YHVH to uphold him so that he will not fall into shame.

There is even a bigger contrast in our last verse under consideration for the current point. No longer is he cleaving to the dust but now he is running the course of God’s commandments. Here I must think of the picture set forth in Hebrews 12:1-2, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily besets us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

The Holy Scriptures, the Holy Bible, is at the top of my list because it is the unchangeable Word of God, and though “the letter kills,” therein is Life (John 5:39) and coupled with the Holy Spirit it will bring forth life when Christ dwells within. This is the foundation for the psalmist to write by the Holy Spirit, “I shall run the way of Your commandments, For You will enlarge my heart.”

II. Worship -

Psalm 81:1 

“Sing for joy to God our strength; Shout joyfully to the God of Jacob.”

Singing unto God is part of worshiping Him. Of course we may simply vocally or even silently praise Him. We are encouraged to lift up our hands to Him. All of this is worship He rightfully deserves and for the true Christian it is done out of joy. Centrally, one who is redeemed will sing because by the grace of God they have been redeemed. We should sing unto Him for He is God, everlasting, always reigning in glory.

“God our strength” stands in stark contrast with our strength. He is everlasting, our own strength is certainly not. We must not worship ourselves, the things of man, or the philosophies of the world. We must worship God alone. He alone should be our strength. Here we are to recall Ephesians 6:10, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”

Where the NASB above has “sing for joy” the KJV and NKJV have “sing aloud.” The Hebrew reflects both in the Hebrew word in the text {3}. So it is good that we sing out loud, as loud as you desire, unto God. When I was a very young Christian I was not much for that, but as I grew in Christ I found that there certainly is power in praise to God.

Also note we are commanded to joyfully shout to God! Why not? There has been a notion among some that in order to be reverent one must be quiet. One should be quiet if they are going to do something that


is not going to edify the Body of Christ and give glory to God, but when it comes to worship, loud is OK. A careful examination of the Holy Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation indicate that worship to God certainly can be loud.

The usage by the Holy Spirit of “to the God of Jacob” speaks to the fact that despite our moral frailties earnest worship to God through Christ will bring us into His presence that we may receive His strength. As many know, Jacob means “deceiver,” but as Jacob yielded his life to God, at a crisis point in his life, his name was changed to Israel which can mean “prince with God.” God is worthy of our robust praise no matter what, even if we are not all that “saintly.” Truly praising Him regardless of conditions strengthens us by His gracious power.

III. Fellowship With Other True Christians -

Jude 20-21 NASB

“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.”

Jude is a great, colorful, brief epistle that has an interesting parallel in 2 Peter 2. Our verses for our message are in contrast with earlier verses in Jude that exposed the sly undercurrent in the Body of Christ that would subvert the Church and prevent it from fulfilling its mission of bringing the hope of the Gospel of Christ to the world so that those who will might be rescued from destruction.

The true Body of Christ has a manifold God-given agenda. Sure, the Church is to evangelize, but as this passage in Jude points out, along with others in the Holy Bible, there is to be a mutual building up within it.

True, many churches have “problem people,” but we have been adequately warned by Christ that such would happen (Matthew 13:24-43). However, if we are truly saved by God in Christ, Christ within will rise above such situations and develop His wonderful character within us.

IV. Fellowship With God -

Psalm 28:7 NASB

“YHVH is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.”

Though fellowship with true Christians is important, most important is our fellowship with God. Just like Asaph by the Spirit in Psalm 81:1, David by the Spirit states that God is his personal strength. He also adds, “and my shield.” The first time “shield” is mentioned in the Holy Bible is in Genesis 15:1 when God told Abraham He would be his “shield and exceeding great reward.” Having God as one’s shield helps to protect them from the onslaught of the negativity of the world along with its displeasure for God’s Word and His ways. Such negativity tends to sap the spiritual strength out of everyone.

Trusting God is a foundation for fellowship with and in Him. Real trust in God means to depend upon Him, His Word, and His ways instead of the world, friends, family, self and anything else. Trusting God includes not demanding He does things our way, but relaxing in His way, prepared to do His bidding at any moment. Trusting God also involves waiting for Him to act.

Committing to God through Christ requires we trust God. We must choose to enter into His redemption in order that we have fellowship with Him. I can remember that the moment I trusted God through Christ I immediately received His much needed peace in my life along with knowing He fully forgave me for my sins and for being a sinner. I, and many other Christians, will gladly testify to how God helps one throughout life here on earth as they remain in Him. From personal experience Isaac Watts penned, “Through many dangers, toils, and snares I have already come. ‘Tis grace that brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home.”

Such a friend, helper, and guide supernaturally causes joy within one’s heart, strengthening spirit, soul, and body. His joy within, a fruit of the Holy Spirit (), will be expressed in our lives. Among many ways, it should be with singing, and note David by the Spirit says, “with my song.” He would make his own song unto God, expressing his thanks to Him. Each of us can and should too.

One truly born again establishes, by the Spirit and grace of God, such a relationship with God. As we read the Holy Bible we see one becomes stronger as they spend time with Him in fellowship and as they maintain fellowship with God throughout the day. This is done by communing with Him, worshiping Him, listening to Him, and obeying Him all of the time. Like most other things this takes practice, but a real Christian will desire to maintain the ability to sense the presence of God throughout the day. These things can be done within ourselves as we go about our daily activities.

With that, for mature growth and enduring strength, all the above avenues should be used. None should be neglected. Grant it, though, there may be some reading this that will find fellowship with others who are true Christians to be difficult to come by due to a number of factors, like persecution, isolation, or the lack of true Christians in an area. If this is the case one will find that direct fellowship with God will fill any such gap. Again, such fellowship with God is offered to all who will turn from their sin and surrender to God through Christ, commit all to Him, and fully trust Him.

Notes:

{1} Albert BarnesFrom an electronic version of Barnes’ Notes, by Albert Barnes, incorporated into the Online Bible computer program.

{2} Please read, “You CAN Choose--Choose Wisely,” at http://thesureword.expertscolumn.com/article/you-can-choose-choose-wisely .

{3} From an electronic version of Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance by James Strong incorporated in the Online Bible program, and so throughout the article whenever the ancient language is referred to and no other authority is cited.

This article was written in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by March 25, 2016 (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M393 .

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the 1769 Authorized Version with spelling of some words updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates. An * next to the abbreviation for another translation or version indicates the same for the text presented.

Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.



Article Written By BrotherPete

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, having served over forty years as a pastor. I graduated from Northeast Bible College of Green Lane Pennsylvania and have a Bachelors Degree in Bible. I am enthused about the Word of God and how it can make a positive change in the life of anyone once it is teamed up with faith and the Holy Spirit. I am happily married. Visit www.sapphirestreams.com.

Last updated on 29-07-2016 124 2

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  • nbillett  28-12-2016
    Once corruption has taken over and the vision of God's alliance has faded away, those who recognize their part in the evil affecting the whole of society must make positive gestures regarding money and the enjoyment of it, which will be for all a sign and a call to conversion.
    reply 0
  • Morning Girl  07-02-2016

    There is no life like a life that walks with ; i have been walking with him for more than 30 years now and this is since that day i decided to make hin as my Lord and Savior.

    reply 0
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