To learn more about the details for activities happening during the 10 days, please read here. Each day we will be sharing a devotional here on the KCI Blog, which you can follow via RSS here or by signing up to the emails here. Read Day 3's devotional below.
Day 3, Strength for Conquest
Today's reading is Deuteronomy 11:8-9.
I think about the word ‘strength’ a lot. Where do we find our strength to conquer in life? Where do we find the strength to conquer dreams, see miracles and lead a fruitful life? Where do we find the strength to ‘cross over’? How do we ‘take over and possess the land’ so to speak?
The truth is that we do not have the strength. Only God does.
Moses came to know this as he led the people of God in Exodus 15:1-3; “‘I will sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted. Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea. 2 ‘The Lord is my strength and my defence; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him. 3 The Lord is a warrior; the Lord is his name”.
King David knew this. He said this of God:
1 Chronicles 16:27
“Splendour and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling-place.”
2 Samuel 22:33
“It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.”
David encourages us in 1 Chronicles 16:11 to find our strength in God, “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.” Even the most powerful characters in the Bible sometimes got discouraged and downcast but the found their strength in the Lord in these times.
I have lots of favourite verses but one of my favourites is 1 Samuel 30:6. It explains how distressed David was and how broken and bitter in spirit he was because everything in life was going against him but then we read this phrase: “But David found strength in the Lord his God.” Maybe you need to replace David’s name today with your name and say it out loud… “But_____found strength in the Lord!” As we come before Him, we will find great strength to overcome.
We can declare like David, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” (Psalm 28:7). We can know that, “The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace” (Psalm 29:11).
Isaiah 40:29 encourages us that God gives, “strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” And Isaiah 40:31 continues, “those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
We need to live trusting God, without fear, knowing in everything, “The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defence; he has become my salvation” Isaiah 12:2. This has got to become the new normal in how we conquer.
We can’t go in our own strength and expect supernatural, fruitful results. Leviticus 26:20 illustrates how natural strength does not produce a spiritual harvest, “your strength will be spent in vain, because your soil will not yield its crops, nor will the trees of your land yield their fruit.”
What we do know though, is that with the little strength we have, we give our best to the Lord and let God do the rest. This is the same advice that God gave Gideon in Judges 6:14, “‘Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”
Through this time of prayer and fasting we need to capture the confidence of the early church. They felt weak but knew God made them strong.
Paul boldly models this in 2 Corinthians 12:10, “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Paul was confident that even when he didn’t know what to pray for God had it covered: Romans 8:26, “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.”
It is clear that the early church leaders worked very hard to make sure their disciples and churches were strong in the Lord so that the church could conquer quickly:
“strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. ‘We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,’ they said.”
“He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.”
“So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.”
Paul prayed some incredible prayers for his disciples and these are great prayers for us so that we may know the strength and power of God enabling us to conquer in life.
- Ephesians 1:18-21, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.”
- Ephesians 3:16-21, “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.”
- Colossians 1:10-14 - “We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
The early disciples were dynamic and conquered because they learned to rely on the Lord’s strength and not their own.
It is only when we come to terms with our weakness that we can start to live by God’s strength.
We find our strength when we trust Him and when we rely on Him with all of our heart. We can only cross over from defeat to victory and weakness to strength through the cross and the power of the blood of Jesus.
We must come with a simple faith and trust in the Lord fully yielded to him in our weakness and let him be our strength and let him lead us forwards in conquest.
Thank you Sovereign Lord that you are my strength and enable me to run and scale the mountains of life. Thank-you Lord that you walk with me in life - you keep me rooted, you build me up and you strengthen my faith. I am overflowing with thankfulness. You are faithful and you strengthen me.
Your grace is sufficient for me. Your power is made perfect in my weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Have a fantastic devotional and day today. Please do your best to pray together in families or small groups today (details are here).
- Pastor James