Pastor Barry Bruce/ The Gathering Morphed Series/ Lesson 4
Physical Need Vs. Physical Obsession Isaiah 55:8-9, 1 Samuel 16:7
- having the power to move heavy weights or perform other physicallydemanding tasks. synonyms: powerful, muscular, brawny, powerfully built, strapping, sturdy, burly, tough, rugged… 2. able to withstand great force or pressure. synonyms:secure, well built, indestructible, well fortified, well protected, impregnable, solid…
Being strong, having power for living, is needed by everyone and God wants His people to be strong! But God’s ways are higher than man’s ways, and God’s thoughts are higher than man’s thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). The American obsession with exercise has less to do with being strong and more to do with being physically attractive, As a matter of fact trying to look good is actually killing us! Every year people die from over exercising (mostly heart attacks from excessive cardiovascular work outs). Many more die of course from the use of muscle supplements and steroids. Health experts still say moderation in exercise is the key to good health. Studies are proving that longer, harder workouts do more damage than good to your body and your heart. Of course let us not forget that no exercise at all is the biggest killer of all!
There is of course that growing American obsession with looking physically healthy without the workout. More and more people are getting medically tucked, sucked and lifted and health risks and death rates are rising as a result. Most deaths from cosmetic surgeries are related to reactions to anesthesia and air embolisms. According to a recent report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), Americans spent a whopping $16 billion on treatments and enhancements — both non-invasive and surgical procedures— in 2016.
All of this and we are told that our creator is not even interested in how you look. God is much more interested in the “heart “of the matter. That is in our true strength (1 Samuel 16:7). God transforms the believer supernaturally by putting His Spirit into us as we become “Born again” by receiving Christ into our life. God mentally transforms our thinking as we submit to His word (the Bible) and seek to follow Him. God also changes our emotional state as we trust in Him and allow His Spirit to work in our lives. God also will Physically strengthens us as we exercise our faith in Him.
Trust in the Lord Psalm 20:6-8, 2 Corinthians 5:7
According to the Pentagon, on May 31, 2017 the much anticipated intercept of an intercontinental ballistic missile was successful, and the mock ICBM warhead was shot down over the Pacific “in a success for America’s missile defense program.” The test was the first of its kind in nearly three years, and was the first test ever targeting an intercontinental-range missile like North Korea is developing.
This is great news for the protection of America; however, according to God’s word this is not where our American trust should be. We should work as hard and spend so much money on building up America’s faith in Jesus Christ. This is where true strength is found and sadly where America and it’s families are weakening.
God’s plan is to make His people strong. In fact, “He is the One who gives power and strength to his people.” (Psalm 68:35). We are even commanded, “Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might!” (Ephesians 6:10). God wants each of us to have an unshakable confidence in Him. God’s thoughts are not like our thoughts. Our thoughts are naturally weak. Thoughts of fear, discouragement, anger or frustration. Thoughts like: “I can’t do this”, or “God must be punishing me,” or, “The Lord is against me,” can become a part of our thinking. God wants us to live by faith not by sight. This is where true strength comes from.
Healing 2 Corinthians 12:7b-10
Being Physically strengthened by God can include a physical healing. If we are sick we are instructed in God’s word to call upon the elders of the church, to be anointed with oil, and to pray for healing (James 5:14-15), but rather God chooses to bring physical healing or not, His supernatural strength will come upon His faithful children. The Apostle Paul had some infirmity that he prayed would be healed on three occasions but it was not. Instead, God told Paul that His grace was sufficient for Him. Paul accepted the physical hardship, found reason for it, and was made stronger by it. When we are weak, we become stronger as we trust in God.
Sometimes we get the wrong idea about being strong., but who can argue that Jesus was not strong when He allowed Himself to be arrested, beat, and crucified to pay the price for our sin? Supernatural strength can be found in the deaths of martyrs. In fact, historically speaking, the greatest numerical growth in the church has occurred in the worse times of martyrdom. God’s Word says, “Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Tim.2: 1) and “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil.4:13).
Wings Like Eagles Isaiah 40:28-31, 1 Corinthians 15:42-44, 51-58
The supernatural strength of God comes to the believer as he or she exercises faith in God’s promises. We renew that strength as we wait on Him. We wait on God when we praise and worship Him, take time to read His word and meditate on it, thoughtfully pray to Him, and serve Him with our time, talent and treasures.
At times we can drift, and begin to coast along in life on our own strength. Then it becomes easy to get entangled in sin and the selfishness of our own ways again. We must turn from sin to be strengthened by the Lord. Sin will make you weak. The Psalmist said, “My strength has failed because of my iniquity.” (Psalm 31:10). That is why we must seek fresh strength from the Lord day by day and week by week. Wait upon the Lord and He will give you eagle’s wings.
When we are at last done with this physical body God promises to raise us up with a new immortal body! Until then we are encouraged to be “strong” and “Immovable” in our faith.
He is where our strength comes from and all we do in Him is never for nothing.