Have you ever thought to yourself “The enemy is too close today.”? That happened last week. It was already a heavy week, when I got the text that left me thinking was the enemy got too close. That wasn’t the last time it happened last week either. I felt weak. And I had a emotional mix of gratitude, and knowledge that we are not in control of what goes on around us.
A few weeks ago I was sitting in Psalm 18. And psalm 18 teaches us about God’s strength. David sang these words to the Lord when God had delivered him from the hands of all his enemies, and the hand of Saul. It is a psalm that teaches us about God’s strength. His protection on our lives. And how He equips us to battle the enemy.
What Psalm 18 Teaches Us About God’s Strength
This psalm reminds us of God’s power in the face of enemies. David’s enemies were numerous, yet David begins saying “I love you Lord, my strength.”
I love that David says “my” strength. He is declaring that God isn’t just strong, He is OUR strength. And we get to say that, as David continues. Our rock (but the translation here is more like a cliff), our fortress, our deliverer… escape, the One who brings us into security and safety.
I will tell you that when I came home from work on Tuesday, as I took off my shoes, I felt like the ground was weak.
But God is the solid rock on which we can stand. David wouldn’t be referring to a little rock on the shore, where if we stood on it, and a wave came, we would be knocked over. This implies the rock is large. The waves wouldn’t even come near our feet. He keeps us far out of reach. He is a strong tower, a fortress of protection around us. The One who delivers, saves, rescues us from the hands of the enemy. Our shield, and our stronghold.
David says this after he had been saved from his enemies. But we can declare this when we are in the battle, and on the days the enemy is too close.
But How Do We Do This?
You may be wondering how you can do this. My answer may surprise you.
Yes, these days have been hard. I have felt physically, emotionally, and spiritually weak. But God is always so good to point us to a place in scripture that helps us navigate the path forward. Romans 8:26-27 says that the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness, and intercedes for us when we don’t know what to pray. He intercedes for God’s people in accordance to God’s will… and then we get to 8:28, in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, and have been called according to His purpose.
So when this verse says “in all things”… that means He even works our weakness for our good, and His glory.
What beautiful promises here. And I love that when Jesus was agonizing in the garden, after praying “take this cup from me, but nevertheless, not my will, but Yours be done.”, an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened Him. I love that we have this example in Jesus. That even though He was all powerful, He was still human.
If Jesus had to be strengthened….
And there are times that like Jesus, we need to be strengthened as well. The good news is that we have the promise that His joy is our strength, and that joy and strength are found in His dwelling place. And the Holy Spirit dwells in us.
We will always have the strength we need. Because God is good, and He doesn’t leave us lacking. The Holy Spirit is interceding for you. That is a good promise.
We don’t have to become strong on our own. It’s not our job.
the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:26-28
Verse 26 doesn’t remind us that the Holy Spirit will help us in our weakness. This verse assures us that it will help us in our weakness. It says that the Holy Spirit will help (or take hold of us) in our times when we lack strength.
We can remember that we can do endure all things in Christ who gives us strength.
Our strength doesn’t come from our own efforts. But I remember when I thought that it did, and how the stronger I tried to become, the weaker I actually was.
I love that with Jesus, the pressure of trying to walk in our own strength is taken off of us.
The only thing that will help us grow in our weakness is abiding in Christ. Our solid rock on which we can stand.
No our strength doesn’t come from our efforts. Our strength, even in times of weakness comes from only God, through Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
This is a beautiful refreshing truth, that I needed to be reminded of this week.