Hidden Strength

Think of a time in your life where you felt you didn't have enough, or were just shy of meeting that mark, either physically or mentally. How about a situation where your brain freezes up and suddenly it's a destitute barren land. For me I don't have to think very far back before a number of examples pop into my mind, (like writing this devo!) Sometimes it feels like a sledgehammer just hit my stomach and soon I'm flooded with the overwhelming realization that I'm a total failure.

But where are those thoughts coming from? More important is there truth to that? When left to itself the mind is a very destructive place to be, even a battlefield at times. The thing is everyone has come up short in some way in their lives, but what expectation are we looking for? What are we trying to accomplish?

Romans 3:23 says that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

How often do we bank on expectations of people or goals in life, and it's such a let down when THEY come up short? Not only is that unfair to those people (because they are flawed and will mess up) but it's also unrealistic. Let’s take that deeper. How often do we put those worldly expectations on the Lord himself, and He "comes up short" for you? "But it's God, he provides all and is all powerful!" Why yes but we still think that about him don't we?....when He doesn't do what we think or want. We put these ideas in our heads and expect God to provide, which He does but not always in the way we think. If you keep reading Romans 3 you see that.

24-26
"They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. 25 God presented him as an atoning sacrifice in his blood, received through faith, to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his restraint God passed over the sins previously committed. 26 God presented him to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so that he would be righteous and declare righteous the one who has faith in Jesus"

God presented Jesus to atone for our sins, his blood as the full payment for every short coming we have. For me that's when I start feeling inadequate, I'm not a good enough Christian or the right fit. I've come up too short. Next thing ya know I'm backing myself into a corner of my brain and getting a left hook to the jaw by my own expectations and failures. That's all wrong.

See, God didn't make any mistakes when creating you nor was He coming up short, and if you allow it he will use you in ways you'd never imagine. A commonly known example of this is the first part of Gideon's life in Judges 6 and 7

Judges 6:11-16
The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. 12 When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” 13 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” 14 The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” 15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” 16 The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.

As the story goes God reduced Gideon's army from 32,000 men to 300 and they defeated the midianites in a very unique way. Gideon wasn't some amazing powerful warrior, he was a coward that God loved and used greatly, through faith. (For another fitting example read about Jonathan and his armour bearer in 1 Samuel 14)

Our lives aren't about the things we have or can accomplish, they're about what the Lord does through us. We literally just have to show up and be willing, we're not like a puppet or have to perform special dances or something in order to be worth any of His time, though that might be entertaining! We're his children, and He loves us. Just give yourself to Him and trust what He'll create.

See ya around (:

-Dakota