Throughout scripture repeatedly we are told to love the Lord with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. (Sometimes strength is left off but other times it is included. I am not sure why.) Loving the Lord with all your strength can be equated to loving him in the physical or with our physical body.
Loving God with our physical body can include a variety of things such as how we serve, what we do for a living, how we relate to others, how we spend time and money, how we worship, and what words we speak. God’s word speaks about strength in many different ways. It talks about our strength as something that fails, falters, and is insufficient. As we seek to live and love in our own strength we need to continue to be renewed, strengthened, filled, and will still find ourselves to be lacking.
When we live in our strength and try to live out our faith on our own there are great risks that we will fall into several traps and deceptions. Our flesh and the enemy try to deceive and mislead us at every turn. We could fall into works righteousness, trying to earn our way or prove ourselves. We also might fall into the trap of trying earn our salvation. Salvation is free and we cannot earn it. Physical acts and living out our faith is fruit of our relationship with God, but our acts will never earn us a place in heaven. We also might become driven and controlling people. Sometimes this is seen through pleasing people, being an overachiever, or being a perfectionist. It is very easy for us to rationalize these things as part of the culture we work in, the family we come from, or the way we are, but ultimately if we are living in these ways we are seeking to live and love in our strength and we will never succeed.
Our strength must come from God, and as we surrender to him and allow him to live and be through us we are filled with his spirit. We are the temple of God so he should be living in us therefore his spirit is within us and is giving us strength. It is God who will give us the heart and the strength to love him, live for him, and be part of this world in a radically different ways from non-believers. Is your theology (belief system) working, or do you need to reset your mind to match what God’s word says? Here is some of what he says about Strength!
- It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. (2 Samuel 22:33)
- Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. (1 Chronicles 16:11)
- It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. (Psalm 18:32)
- The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. (Psalm 28:7)
- Summon your power, O God; show us your strength, O God, as you have done before. (Psalm 68:28)
- My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26)
- Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. (Psalm 84:5)
- but 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. (Isaiah 40:31)