by Pastor Tim Burt
Listen to what God’s word says about you! Psalm 139:14 (NKJV) “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.” These verses continue… Psalm 139:16-17 (NLT) “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!”
God wants us to learn many things in life, but first and foremost, He wants us to know the depth of His love for us so that our faith will stay anchored in it, despite the storms of life. He is always with us!
He also says we are fearfully and wonderfully made! A human being is a complex creature. We are complex not only because of the human body’s miraculous functioning capabilities, but also because we are a thee part being. a spirit, a soul, and a body. Our spirit is where God converses with us. Our soul is made up of our mind and emotions. Our body, well, that’s pretty obvious. We see this in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 (NLT) “Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.”
What makes us complex is that in any of these three areas, we can be weak or strong. Our body could have the shape of a body builder or we can have a body that is quite weak and out of shape. We can have a mind that is sharp, intelligent, strong and under control, or we can be lazy in our mind and live with random, anxious, and bizarre thoughts that bounce out of control from life’s pressures and stress. We can have a strong spirit that is filled and steadfast to the counsel and promise of God’s Word and the cause of Christ, or we can walk in the light of salvation but be ignorant of God’s word and promises, spend little time with the Lord in His word and prayer, and be of little value in helping anyone else in their walk with Christ.
It’s God’s desire for us to develop strength in all these areas. A truth that most people don’t know is that if you work to develop a strong spirit, you will end up developing strength in the other two areas.
There’s a verse that has always been a measuring rod to me about the present strength of my spirit man. It is Proverbs 24:10 and says, “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.” Early in my Christian walk I considered myself a spiritual weakling! There had been far too many times where I had “fainted” or temporarily given up when I had no business giving up. I remember many times when I had decided to spend a day fasting about something I considered important. At the first sign of hunger, I’d cave in, blow the fast, and eat. My spiritual strength was small! I hate to admit it but at least I have the satisfaction of knowing I’ve changed and developed a stronger spirit.
God is often dealing with people about spending more time in the Bible or reading a book about a biblical subject they know He wants them to grow in. Others know God is dealing with them to get back into church weekly. Others know God is wanting them to begin some healthy life-style practices instead of going further and further backwards! But, just about the time they start thinking about it, their flesh starts screaming like and out-of-control child to which they cave and do exactly what they know they shouldn’t.
God has helped me over the years. He’s shown me a very important truth to gaining strength. He has shown me that strength primarily comes two ways. One is by feeding on good things. The other is through exercising resistance. Feeding on good things, in each area, your spirit, soul and body, will help invigorate you, create energy, and will increase your appetite for more good things. Resistance is the other way you create strength. Concerning your spirit man, the effort that you exert to resist temptation and sin builds the strength to do what’s right.
With your body, it’s resistance that creates muscle mass. When you lift weights you’re actually creating resistance against your muscles, resulting in increased strength. Regarding your soul, (your mind and emotions,) caving in to tormenting, fearful, or sinful thoughts in stressful times weakens your mind. Resisting thoughts that oppose God’s Word and instead focusing on God’s promises, creates a strong mind. 1 Peter 1:13 says, “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind…” This is painting the picture of tightening your belt. In other words, guard and strengthen your thought-life.
Are fears tormenting you in areas of your life? Fears begin in the imagination and that’s exactly what you’re to take authority over. 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV says, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Corinthians 10:5 NKJV goes on to tell us that we can further strengthen our minds by “casting down arguments and every thought that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”
It’s really quite a simple plan. Consistently feed on good things and and consistently resist the enemy in your life. Even small efforts on a consistent basis can have a powerful effect. Learning to resist Satan and temptation by saying the simple word “No” can be powerful and life changing. Learning to dictate and demand your flesh to do what it doesn’t want to do by saying “Oh yes you will” can be powerful and life changing. The key is just to become consistent with it day in and day out, starting with the smaller things first. (Don’t declare a three-day fast when you know that for you a three-hour fast would be miraculous).
The very first step in all this is to get consistent in praying for God’s help. That will keep you focused on what you want to gain strength in. It will also keep you at the throne of God for the grace (His supernatural help) He desires to give you. As you ask God for His grace, you’ll find strength come. The more you pray in the moment, the more consistent you’ll experience His grace and small victories. If you find that you faint at the first sign of resistance, your strength is small. Don’t let it condemn you. Let it simply be a measuring rod and say, Okay Lord, I can see that I have little or no strength in this area. With your help, I am going to feed on things that are good in this area and I am going to practice resisting those things I need to resist. By your grace, I will become consistent in what I should do. I will become strong with your help! Whatever it is you are resisting, do it long enough and the principle of scripture is, it will eventually flee from you. You will be strengthened in your resisting.
Begin now! In God, you are tougher than you think! Colossians 1:29 (NLT) “That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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