Strength from God

Most of the promises and blessings of God are conditional, not automatic or a birthright of every person who says they believe in God. One of the really great blessings of God is supernatural strength to live life successfully. Many believers think that they have access to God’s strength in their lives simply because they are a Christian, but there are a lot of very wimpy Christians who walk around claiming Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me,” as their life verse. I used to watch Pop Eye the Sailer Man when I was a kid, it was one of my favorites. Usually Pop Eye’s girl friend Olive Oil would get in a jam caused by Pluto, Pop Eye’s enemy, and he would be beating the stuffings out of Pop Eye when he would pop out a can of spinach and eat the whole can in a single gulp, and become amazingly strong and whip Pluto and save the day. I still like spinach today, but my love for spinach came as a result of my worship of Pop Eye the Sailer Man as a 8 year old kid. Pop Eye’s strength was conditional, it required spinach. An example of of a conditional statement in scripture is found in 1 Timothy 1:12. “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful”. The “because” is the link between the blessing and the condition. God looked at the life of the Apostle Paul and considered him faithful, therefore he strengthened him. A major condition to be strengthened by God supernaturally is obedience. Just a tiny step in the direction of proactively obeying God results in a massive outpouring of God’s strength into our lives. When I was in High School growing up on our family dairy, one of the nasty jobs was to bury any cows that died. We didn’t have a lot of extra money so any digging to be done was with a hand shovel, and it seemed like I got most of the assignments. When I would dig a hole by hand with a shovel to bury a dead cow, I dug it just barely deep enough to cover the big, bloated bag of guts. One such cow rotted away leaving a bunch of very stinky “soup” in the bottom of the hole. When I walked over the grave of this decomposed cow I fell through the thin crust of dirt into this very stinky “soup”. I was so overwhelmed by the smell that I was sure I had fallen into hell!!! I managed to climb out of the hole, but I was covered with the remains of this dead cow, and the smell hung onto my skin for days. I remember the first time I dug a hole with a backhoe, the power was amazing. But I still had to operate this powerful machine. I made the decision and moved the levers and the result was a massive hydraulically powered shovel scooping dirt a hundred times faster than if I did it with a hand shovel, and a thousand times easier. Let me say it again, “a simple step in the direction of obeying God results in Him giving us His strength”.

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