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Do You Find Your Strength in Christ?
I want to focus on one thing and that is where we get our strength. Many people think they have become one with the Lord and say they have handed their lives over to Him fully trusting in the fact that what happens to them will be for the will that God has intended for us. We find peace in knowing this because it takes a lot to let go and hand our life over to someone, even though we know it to be God and Christ that we are handing over knowing they will strengthen us in all situations - it is still hard. We are human, we are independent and we feel that we can handle things on our own. We recite the verse to ourselves “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”” Matthew 11:28-30 we find a sense of peace and a weight lifted off from our shoulders, this is true. However, when we are truly faced with trials it is only then that we realize how much of ourselves we have not let go and let God.
I have found this out for myself during the biggest trial I have had to face and trust me when I say it is not a good time to be facing this reality during such a time. I was once a very independent person, strong in myself, climbing mountains and succeeding in life and I did this coming from a very dark place and I did it through my will, through God even though I had not fully accepted Christ at the time I know God was always with me because I had faith in God. At the time I was not fully committed to making myself belong to him. Over time I found that I had lost myself. The person who meant the world to me has stepped out for a break and I realized how much I had put my everything onto this person, I put a weight on this person that no one could bear as we have the weight of ourselves and carrying another person’s weight is something that we as humans are not capable of bearing. My strength, my hope, my dreams, my fears, my love, my pain, my trials, my issues, all of it I had placed on this one person to the point they couldn’t bear it any longer. I no longer have this person to be there for me all the time, no longer can I rely on this person to be my all in all and I realized in a very hard way that I lost myself and I lost my foundation. I was standing on sand the whole time thinking I was standing on a rock. ““Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” Matthew 7:24-27, and great was MY fall.
I have had many struggles with a great roller coaster ride feeling pain in ways that I never knew existed and I crumbled. I thought to myself, I stood up for myself and my belief in Christ and I lost, so where was God and why was he allowing this to happen to me? I thank God for the people I have in my life that provided and still provide me support to help me through. I am hoping that what I will be writing will help anyone else who may be going through this same thing where they are trying to find where their strength is coming from and that you will be able to gain the knowledge that I have so that it may make things easier to deal with. We have only one person to rely on in this life and that is not ourselves but Christ as he said “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “ The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6 We have to remember where our strength comes from, who our comforter is, who our provider is, and who will never let us down. People will let us down, but God never will as His promises are forever.
My Pastor reminded me of Exodus where people were wandering the desert, even though they were afraid and believed they won’t have enough to eat or drink, God is always there and always providing for them, same as he always does for us. When we are going through a hard time we often think that God is not there. However, when coming out of the desert and looking back we see His hand during that hard time. God was there and is there for us helping us, guiding us, and providing for us. He has never left us or forsaken us. There is more available than just enough, God is a sufficient supplier and will give to us in abundance, it is similar to asking God for a glass of water, the cup will be endlessly full as if he were giving us the whole ocean! What we have to do is know that there is something inside us that holds us back from fully receiving from God, that in us we believe that we can only draw life from a certain person in our lives, that is why we can only receive “just enough” when in actuality we can receive in abundance. Our trials are not to reveal our sins and they are not to test our faith in these kinds of situations. It is to show how much we truly draw and do not draw from Christ. All things on this earth are temporal, Christ is eternal. Things on earth can be given and taken away. Christ being eternal cannot be taken away and he cannot be stolen. ““Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21
"Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may
God doesn’t take away from us when it comes to people close to us; it is by this fallen world and human free will. Everything in our lives that is not Jesus Christ and our relationship with him can be taken away from us. If we draw life from these things it will seem devastating to us when they are taken away. We will see God as a taker and not the giver. This was the deception of Eve, which is why she ate the forbidden fruit. What God offers is astronomically larger than anything this world or the people of this world have to offer. The prize is Christ and our relationship with Christ and everything that Christ shares with us. When we don’t go after Christ and we go after people we have given our power and authority over to someone else, then we are the ones wandering in the desert because we are depending on someone else. The answer is not to depend on the self or anyone else; it is solely to depend on Christ. He is the only one who will not let us down, He is the only one who is there and never leaves, and He is the only one who will remain rock solid in our lives. He does not tell us to fix our issues first, He does not bring up our past, and He is not one to remind us of what we have said or done to hurt him. Repentance – change your mind to change your heart. When we are faced with this situation we do not believe that Christ is enough or that His grace is sufficient. We believe that a person is required for us to feel joy.
We need to be convinced in both our hearts and minds that Jesus and His grace are sufficient instead of relying and drawing life from other things. When these things are taken away we are devastated and we come to a realization of how much Christ is really in our lives. It is a great opportunity for us to truly grab onto him. He doesn’t need to prove himself to us; he’s already done that in all of our lives multiple times. People and psychologists will tell us to look within ourselves, we as Christians know to look to Christ. While it’s true that Christ is in us in the form of the Holy Spirit, we are still looking to Him and not ourselves. Go after the part of you that is still thinking that Christ isn’t enough and that we need a person to be happy. Ask the Lord to help you turn aside from this. He will help you and He will do most the work, once we begin to overcome this we will feel a new sense of peace, strength, and authority.
Trust me when I say I know that we as humans look for the bodily form of people to hold onto whereas with Christ it is all about our faith in Him. I do have faith in Christ, I think the part that is hard is fully submitting myself in which I felt I already did prior and was sadly mistaken. However, I do not feel condemned, I feel bad about me for believing I had given my all to Him when it is obvious I was only giving part of myself to Him. We have to repeat this to ourselves over and over. We don’t have to necessarily go through a bad time to learn this but going through a rough time brings it out. These trials are not to expose our sin but how much we are truly drawing from Christ - the whole time he stands there with his arms wide open.
We can have some dependency on others…which is why God says we are a body. We do need our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ for encouragement and support otherwise we could go live in a cave or on top of a mountain for the rest of our lives. So this is not saying other human beings are not necessary. It is saying that when we draw our life from Christ then we are always standing on a rock. When our dependency is on Christ we can find joy in Him. This enables us to be a person of joy around other people, and we can enjoy other people more, much more when we are in the full joy of Christ. This also shows other people Jesus. No human being no matter how strong can bear the burden; the only one who can is Christ. He can bear and he is willing, he wants us to burden him. He wants to be our all in all! Live your life to the fullest in Christ.
Thanks for the support Reverend Scott Towner - Gateway Fellowship - www.gatewayaddisonny.com