ALL IN – STRENGTH
Strength means more than just your physical ability; it also means, “ability, might, power, and strength – literally and figuratively.” So when we are examining if we love God ALL IN, we have to also consider how to love Him with our abilities, might, power and strength. While we have to make the choice to use what we have as unto the Lord, we also must consider GRACE and the way the Lord has created us.
2 Samuel 22:33-36 NKJV
You see, it sounds like we will have to work so hard at loving God with ALL our strength. But that is works. If we know Him, we know that He is the One who will give us the very strength and power we need to honor and glorify Him with all that we are.
Psalm 68:35 NKJV
Imagine and realize that all God asks us for is what He has already provided. I fall more in love with Him every time I think of His thoroughness in providing all that we need – even to LOVE Him properly. He asks for it, but He has already made a way.
Isaiah 40:28-29 NKJV
Selah. (Selah means “ponder that!”)He makes our way perfect when we just acknowledge Him as the Lord of our lives and we choose to love Him first. Then He lifts us up and sets us on high places. He gives us the ability to win against our enemy! He also has given us JESUS and He becomes our Source as we receive the salvation offered us and His nature becomes ours. His gentleness makes us great.Everyone has a desire for greatness because that is how we were fashioned. We were fashioned by God to be great and to do great things. We are not ordinary; we are extraordinary so that our lives bring the difference forth that others can grow from. But that isn’t all. The other part of the definition of strength is “force.” We are to love Him with all our force. That means:
• with all of our capacity to persuade and convince
• with all of our moral and mental strength as well as military strength. (May the force be with you. LOL! Much better than Star Wars!)
We must realize that we have been given the greatest privileges of all. Not only do we get to love the One who loved us first, but we also have the ability to use all of the capacity within us for good. The goodness of God calls men to repentance. When we use our strength with this understanding, we are a force that defeats the hold of the enemy and the devil loses the power he has to hold someone in darkness.
Isn’t it true we are often intimidated by the world? We live in a culture where we are told that we have to retreat or at least wave a white flag of neutrality. We are being told more and more that Christians must accept all faiths no matter what they believe as long as they believe it whole-heartedly. We are being told, “By all means, don’t cause conflict.” Many times Christians just remain silent. But we must remember that silence is agreement!
As the Church, we are to stand for the truth, and tear down strongholds of lies and deceits that non-believers hide behind. We are the army of God. This is ignored in most Christian circles because it forces us to “suit up for a fight,” but the truth is the Church of Jesus Christ is likened to an army in many places in the Bible. You might say, “I thought we worshipped a gentle Jesus. I thought Jesus said, ‘Turn the other cheek.’ Jesus never picked up a sword, did He?” So when we talk about the Church going to war, it doesn’t seem to fit with everything we know about Jesus.
However, Jesus did talk about a sword, didn’t He? Jesus said He came not to bring peace, but a sword. One of Jesus’ names is Lord Sabaoth, which means, “Lord of Hosts, Mighty in Battle.” Jesus knew that we were going to be engaged in conflict and tension because of the Gospel, because of the truth. Though He never picked up a physical sword, what He did do was constantly engage others in conversations that would challenge their mindsets. He told the truth as He represented the heart of God. Sometimes that meant throwing over tables and declaring their actions to be in total opposition to God’s purest intentions. That same mindset—to be willing to tell the truth no matter what the cost—is an act of love itself. For love confronts to the highest good. The very first time the word “ecclesia,” meaning church, appears, it is used by Jesus.
Matthew 16:18-19 NKJV
Jesus said He will build His Church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against her. That means there will be conflict. But it also means the Church will win. And if you really think about the importance of what Jesus is conveying here, you must think about the purpose of the gates of the cities at that time. Gates are not an offensive weapon; gates were built to protect the cities at that time. So what Jesus is really saying to them is that the devil and those that serve him are trying to hide in the shadows to destroy lives. Oh, but God has a secret weapon! It is called the Church and they will rise and they will seek out and find the enemy, knock down the walls and they will prevail!
We will face some things. But we will face them as soldiers employed by the Lord and with the power of His might. I hope you are getting the importance and a new understanding of loving God with all your strength. But don’t be afraid! Remind yourself of the Word again and realize where your strength will come from.
1 Chronicles 29:11-13 NKJV
Be exalted, O Lord, in Your own strength! We will sing and praise Your power.
Psalm 21:13 NKJV23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 NKJV