100-Day Identity Makeover: Day 36
You Are Strong (1 Corinthians 1:8)
You caved to pressure.
You gave in to your cravings.
You let addiction win.
You passed by an opportunity to witness.
Perhaps you respond with greater motivation to be strong the next time, or maybe you respond with a sense of hopelessness.
Be encouraged! The strength you need is not based on personal merit. God puts it all on Himself!
“He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful” (1 Corinthians 1:8-9).
Oh, how I could have benefited from this truth that time I chose to put confidence in self! Not even twenty-four hours passed before I was humbled and confessing my need of His strength! That’s what a vow to not take offense and a bag of bagels will do to you…
I stopped at the grocery on my way home from an evening church service. Mind you, I had just participated in a corporate vow to not get offended. With all the other attendees, I raised my right hand and repeated the words of the guest speaker. Honestly, I thought to myself how easy it was going to be to keep the vow for the next thirty days. I’m a hard one to anger.
I saw the cashier rip the bag of bagels as she moved them from the grocery cart to the scanner. She then asked innocently, “Do you want to go get a new bag? These are ripped open.” For some reason (actually, a known reason- I had just taken a vow!!!), I found myself instantly upset and murmuring the whole way to the bread department and back. I wrestled between thoughts of “It’s no big deal” and “Why am I the one to replace the bag of bagels?” My final moments with the cashier were not pleasant. Sure, I tried to hide my anger, but did I succeed?
The next morning I could not focus during my devotional time. I kept hearing taunts of failure. The enemy was mocking me, and I was beating myself up over it. I finally wised up to the scheme and made an audible confession: I did fail to keep the vow, but my God will never fail me!
You know what happened in that moment? I exited the past and stepped into the future. Lesson learned. I don’t have the innate faithfulness to be strong. I must rely on the One who makes me strong and who promises to be faithful.
Why does God keep you strong? So you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. If you, like me, have knowledge of a long list of personal failures, know that God erases them from His record when we put our faith in the sin-cleansing blood of Jesus. That was the past. What is before you now is your focus. Child of God, He declares you strong! So when you’re pressured to compromise your conviction, God will keep you strong! When you want to cave to unhealthy cravings, God reminds you He is your strength! When the addiction threatens to overcome you, know that God does not fail you! When fear threatens to hold you hostage, God will make rise a holy boldness within you!
Walk It Out Hear God’s Word and put it into practice (Luke 8:21).
Exit your past and step into your future by bringing your record of failure to the knowledge of Christ and the forgiveness He offers. Declare that you will trust in God’s faithfulness to keep you strong so that you will be blameless on the day of the Lord’s return.