Athlete, Be Strong
1 Corinthians 16:13,14 (NASB)
Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.
Athletes spend most of their competitive lives getting physically stronger. When game day arrives, they need to be able to endure, push their limits and outlast everyone else. Athletic skills aren’t much good without strength.
Are you wondering if you have the strength to apply this verse? Seems a little out of reach? In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, he relates a personal struggle. Jesus reminded him and he responded:
“‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong” — 2 Corinthians 12:9,10 (NASB).
God’s strength covers our weakness as we depend on Him. Our sense of weakness is good in that it moves us to trust Him and to act in obedience. God intentionally asks us to do things that are beyond our capacity so that it is obvious that He had His hands in it.
God never meant for us to have the strength apart from Him. King Uzziah was young and ambitious. The Bible says he was successful as long as he sought the Lord. But when he became strong (built an elite army, advanced weapons and cities), he became proud and then unfaithful to God. He was self-sufficient (2 Chronicles 26).
The greatest enemy of the Christian life is self-sufficiency (Ron Dunn).
Here’s the catch — you will need to step out in weakness first. He rarely gives the strength required just so we can keep it in reserve.
Tomorrow — Paul wraps it all up with an attitude.
Tom Petersburg | www.catapultministries.org