1-3 "Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy."
Psalm 61:1-3 (ESV)
I love to try to muster up strength. If I am feeling nervous, I will pump myself up and overcompensate in every way.
If I am playing a sport, I try super hard to bring out every athletic juice in me, and I get super angry when it doesn't work. When my heart is faint, I look to the rock that is myself.
We have been raised to persevere, press on, to be strong and courageous. Without God, those can make for some pretty performance-driven people, but all those things are biblical!
James 1:12 says that the man who perseveres is blessed and will receive the crown of life which God promised to those who love Him. In Philippians 3:14, the writer talks about pressing on toward the goal which God had called him to in Christ Jesus.
In Joshua 1:9, God commissions Joshua to lead His people into the promised land and tells Joshua to be strong and courageous, for He will be with him wherever he goes.
But none of those things can happen apart from God. Mustering up our own strength, overcompensating, looking to ourselves – that is not what we are called to do.
Throughout the Bible and the history of the world, destruction meets the people who choose other gods and their own strength over the one, true God.
Notice that none of those verses are given apart from the commissioning, presence or calling of God.
Athlete, when your heart is faint, look to the Rock that is higher than you. For He is your refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.
Reflection: In what situations do you tend to look to yourself for strength? What difference is there in persevering, pressing on and being strong and courageous with God, as opposed to without God? Which will you choose?
Challenge: Pray about finding a way you can daily remind yourself to look to the Rock that is higher than you.