Deuteronomy 3:26-28 (MSG)
But GOD was still angry with me because of you. He wouldn’t listen. He said, “Enough of that. Not another word from you on this. 27 Climb to the top of Mount Pisgah and look around: look west, north, south, east. Take in the land with your own eyes. Take a good look because you’re not going to cross this Jordan. 28 “Then command Joshua: Give him courage. Give him strength. Single-handed he will lead this people across the river. Single-handed he’ll cause them to inherit the land at which you can only look.”
Sometimes you wonder if anything that is being said really matters. Does anyone get the message? The reason I say this is because we live in a culture that basically judges a message by how entertaining it is. The truth is, the best compliment you can give the word of the Lord is the testimony of a TRANSFORMED LIFE.
Booker T Washington said, “There are two ways of exerting one’s strength; one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.” My desire is to PULL you UP and GIVE you MY STRENGTH so you can be a better saint, a better husband, a better parent – or simply better than you were before. It is important if you want to make a difference and a change for better in your life. How will you use your strength? Everybody has life skills, talents and abilities that matter. Nobody is bankrupt of strength and ability. You were born with certain gifts and if you have been saved you have acquired more gifts that are useful, powerful and significant.
We all have these things. No one is empty. Everyone has something to give.
Look how groups like Hamas and ISIS use their STRENGTH – to destroy, to kill and HURT as many people as they can. Some people want to frustrate and weaken the hands of God’s people who are trying to fulfill the purpose of God.
Ezra 4:4-5 (KJV)
Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building, 5 And hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.
These people even brag about how they hinder and frustrate the Kingdom purpose.
Revelation 17:12-13 (KJV)
And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. 13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
While many of those who follow Islam give their strength to the beast, I choose to give my STRENGTH to the PROMISE. We must channel our strengths to a greater purpose. We live in an evil and violent world that thinks nothing of taking what does not belong to them and hurting you in the process.
I do not want to run in vain.
Philippians 2:16 (KJV)
Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
How are you going to use the talents, skills and abilities that lie within you? How are you going to use your strengths? How do you plan to put your strengths into practice?
Samson was one of the strongest men in the Bible, but through 4 chapters and 96 verses, and in 40 years of judging Israel, he only prayed two prayers. He had miraculous strength but the only prayers he prayed were for God to get him out of predicaments he had gotten himself into. Samson illustrates the tragedy of a mismanaged life! Not once did he lead Israel to a greater expression of worship or adoration or faith to God. When they led him into the Temple of Dagon they heard the music playing and the people praising Dagon for delivering Samson into their hand. Samson took his strengths and used them in such a way that he made the Philistines more pagan than they already were.
We are not here to make things worse; we are here to make things better. I hope you will make up your mind to help your Pastor and your church become the best church it can be. We need people who want their pastor and their church to be the best thing in the city. Too many times we allow the enemy to deceive us into thinking that because of our flaws and failures we cannot be used by God. We come to church and are disappointed because we are operating on our weaknesses and expect people to cater to them rather than overcome them. We expect someone to do something to make us feel better about ourselves. We have no internal compass of truth that guides us to give our strength to the mission at hand.
I want to use my strength as Saul did before his name was changed to Paul. The Bible says, But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews . . . proving that this Jesus is the Christ (Acts 9:22). Psychologist Sheldon Kopp says, “All of the significant battles are waged within the self.” That’s true. The greatest of the battles people wage is against their own flaws and failures. To have an opportunity to reach your potential, you must know who you are and face your flaws. You can reach your potential tomorrow if you dedicate yourself to growth today. Remember, to change your world, you must first change yourself.
To do that:
1. See yourself clearly.
2. Admit your flaws honestly.
3. Discover your strengths joyfully.
4. Build on those strengths passionately.
5. Connect to your mission always.