My daughter and I downloaded an app that provides a seven minute workout and the first time we used it I was amazed at how weak I've become! This time last year, my husband and I had been in a routine working out at the gym every morning and on Saturdays we'd been going to a class that combined yoga and Pilates. As our kiddos have been getting busier schedules, it was getting harder and harder to get to the gym at 5:00 am because we were staying up later. I didn't like doing side planks; however, I could do them when the yoga/Pilates class called for them. Needless to say, it was very discouraging when I found that I could no longer do a plank. Over time, I had built up a lot more strength than I realized and now that I lost it, I know that I have a long way to go. Ugh! Strength doesn't come over night; I had built it up by having a regular routine of working out. The other thing is that we can spend a lot of time working out and building up strength, but we can lose it easily once we stop working out regularly.
All this week, I have been looking at strength and how God renews strength to the weary when they trust in Him. But this strength goes beyond just the physical; this is a strength that carries us emotionally. This is a strength that allows us to serve God fully and completely. Today, I am looking at some verses that remind us why it is so important that we operate with God's strength rather than our own. Please use the link and read 1 Peter 4:10-11.
We are told to serve with the gifts that God has given us. But notice what verse 11 says; we are told to serve with the strength and energy God provides. One thing that I've noticed is that I as I have improved my prayer-life and as I have spent more time reading the Bible, the more I have learned to let go of myself and serve using God's strength. I think this is because the more I spend time with God, the more I have learned to trust Him. Just like we need a routine to stay physically fit, we also need to spend time serving, praying, and reading the Bible. I would just caution that it shouldn't be a "routine," it should be what sustains us. We should recognize that we need this time with God.
The more I serve Him, the more I learn that it isn't about me; it is all about Him. We are reminded in 1 Peter 4:11 why it is so important we do things with God's strength rather than our own. Aside from the fact that our strength will never be enough, 1 Peter 4:11 (NLT) says, "Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ." It isn't about us - it is all about bringing glory to God! When we use His strength, we can point others to Him. When we can be humble and recognize that we do not have enough strength to serve Him, we can then bring Him glory by serving with His strength.
Are you bringing glory to God by using His strength?