For many years I would pray “Lord give me strength.”
Lord, give it to…ME. I wanted to be the possessor of the strength. I wanted to be marveled at as one who was strong and could overcome opposition.
It was a very selfish prayer, as if I was making a wish from a genie (God I wish to be strong!) I was taking all the focus off of God and asking to be made strong in and of myself. Of course then I didn’t fully see it as such, but according to the wording that’s clearly where I was focused.
More recently however, God has brought to my attention that He does not want to give me strength – He wants to BE my strength.
He does not want to make me strong in and of myself but He wants me to completely and utterly really on Him for all things.
There is not a rock – not even a pebble that I should be able to move myself but instead rely entirely on God to move it for me. In this way I will never be focused on what I can do but on what God does for me.
The story of Gideon is an incredible example of this. Gideon is leading an army of Israeli soldiers against the Midianites (one of their many enemies) but God tells Gideon that his army is too large!
“And the Lord said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’”
Through an interesting process God whittled down the army to a mere 300 men – So they would know that it was the strength of the Lord who won the battle for them. Their enemies, the Midianites, were as numerous as a swarm of locusts but using only 300 men, God delivered the Midianites into their hands just as He said.
I must always remember that I can accomplish nothing of my own but by the power and strength of God.
He is my strong tower – I will no longer try to overcome by my own strength but I will seek refuge in Him – I will let the LORD be my strength!