October 16, 2017
t is a good feeling to get your second wind, to feel that your strength is renewed as that of the eagles, so you can continue in the fight of faith. The Prophet Isaiah had that thought in mind when he said: “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles” (Isaiah 40:31).
We find many examples of strength from God in the Scriptures. King David often spoke of the strength God had given him. In Psalm 84, he wrote: “Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them . . . . They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.”
Caleb, of whom it is said three times in Scripture that he wholly followed the Lord, could say at the age of eighty-five: “As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in. Now therefore give me this mountain” (Joshua 14:11-12).
The name “Samson” immediately projects a mental image of strength. When Samson trusted and relied upon God, nothing could bind him or hold him back.
The strength God can give to mortal man is wonderful. The name “Samson” immediately projects a mental image of strength. When Samson trusted and relied upon God, nothing could bind him or hold him back. Even when a thousand came against him, he slew them all with the jawbone of an ass. After the battle he felt weak and thirsty, and he cried unto the Lord. The Bible tells us: “God clave an hollow place that was in the jaw, and there came water thereout; and when he had drunk, his spirit came again, and he revived” (Judges 15:19). Remember, they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.
David was just a shepherd lad, tending his father’s sheep, when he was asked to take provisions to his brothers who were in the army of Saul. As he went on his way, he came to where the battle was being set in array, and he gave a shout for the battle. He could already feel victory coming, though there was still much to do.
The giant Goliath came to challenge Israel’s armies. There was something wrong in the camp of Israel. Not one man would accept the challenge! But David had the courage which came from the Lord. He explained to Saul that he had killed both a lion and a bear when they had come to take lambs out of his father’s flock. And he said Goliath would be but another like them.
Though he did not have the superhuman strength of Samson, he said: “The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:37). He was going from strength to strength in the name of the Lord: first the lion, then the bear, and now Goliath. Later he would say, “By thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall” (Psalm 18:29).
God has many more blessings for us than we claim. We content ourselves with the smaller things when we should be running through troops and jumping over walls.
It is hard for us to realize the full potential of the Gospel. God has many more blessings for us than we claim. We content ourselves with the smaller things when we should be running through troops and jumping over walls. We can conquer difficult challenges by the help of the Lord. We may never literally have to face a lion or be surrounded by troops, but we are living in days when the forces of evil are growing stronger. We need the strength of God in order to be overcomers, to get victory over the problems that come to us along life’s pathway.
Think of the boldness of Peter and John when they stood before the council which had much power over them—to the extent of putting them into jail. In spite of that, Peter and John could say, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” They couldn’t keep quiet about what Jesus had done for them. Why, He had saved them from their sins! He had given them power to go and sin no more!
That is the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is what we receive when we confess our sins and are willing to forsake them. In an instant of time God delivers people from the cigarette habit, from their bondage to alcohol, and every other sinful habit. Then they can go on from strength to strength.
More strength comes through sanctification, the next step. Then think of the power that comes with the baptism of the Holy Ghost! Jesus said: “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you” (Acts 1:8). These experiences are real and they are a part of the inheritance of the Christian.
The power of God does not dwindle away as we follow on with the Lord. Jesus said it would be like rivers of living water flowing from our inmost being. It will flow if we keep the channels clear. Peter and John knew this. It is wonderful what those men of God accomplished through faith, and we can do the same.
Consider what happened when Peter was in prison, chained between two guards. He was asleep, unperturbed by his circumstances. A light shown about him when an angel appeared, but the light did not wake him. The angel had to strike him to awaken him. The chains fell off and the angel told him to put on his sandals and garments and follow him. As he followed the angel, the gate opened of its own accord to let them out.
Not until he was out in the street and the angel had left him did Peter realize he was awake. Peter’s friends were praying for him, but when he went to them they could hardly believe their prayers had been answered.
Jesus said that we too might have to face councils, but He said: “When they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak” (Matthew 10:19). Let the Lord give you the words. We have not yet had to face that situation, but if it comes, the Lord will be with us.
Think of the times the Apostle Paul was brought before kings and governors. When he stood before Felix, Felix trembled even though he had the authority of Rome behind him, and Paul was one lone prisoner. But Paul could give his testimony of the mighty power of God without a tremor. The Spirit of God was with him.
The Spirit of God that gives power to the believer also reasons with the sinner of “righteousness, and of judgment” to come. He is asking, “Where will you spend eternity?”
You may have heard people testify of having made their past wrongs right. If you think that is more than you can do, know that God will go with you.
If the Spirit is convicting you, does it seem too big a price to make restitution? You may have heard people testify of having made their past wrongs right. If you think that is more than you can do, know that God will go with you. He will give the strength and grace to do it.
We remember the testimony of one man who would say, “God made me face what I had run from for years.” He had accidently shot and killed a man in a holdup, and after he was saved, he wrote the Governor of Texas and confessed. He said, “God went before, and I never had to spend one moment in prison.”
Another man had spent most of his young life behind bars until someone gave him an Apostolic Faith paper in the Spokane County Jail in Washington. He read it, and right before his cellmates he knelt on a cigarette-strewn floor and prayed his way through to victory. When brought before the judge, he gave his right name (he had gone by an alias for years) and pleaded guilty. God softened the heart of the judge, and he never had to serve another day.
These are outstanding victories we have witnessed. All of us who are Christians can testify of the strength God has given us to do His commandments, and God has promised to go with us even unto old age.
The Apostle Paul, in one of his final battles, wrote to Timothy: “At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me . . . Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion” (2 Timothy 4:16-17). By that time he was Paul the aged, but the Lord had renewed his strength.
Do you know the strength of the Lord? Have you proved His power? Or has sin weakened you until you feel you cannot resist the enemy? Remember, through the power in the Blood of Jesus you can overcome: “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God” (John 1:12).
That power can be yours now. In an instant of time you can know the joys of salvation. You can feel that strength. You will be able to face any situation that comes to you. The Lord will raise up a standard against any enemy. You can know the thrill of victory over every test and trial.