Excerpt from This Beloved Road: A Journey of Revelation and Worship
“In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides.]” Ephesians 6:10 (AMP)
On a trip to the mountains of central Idaho, I stood looking at a tree growing from a rock cliff and the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart, It is going to be very hard when you go home. Very hard. I’m going to make you like that tree, able to grow roots in the rock. I took a deep breath and prepared myself, as much as I knew to, but growing roots into stone is not an easy thing. Little did I know the course the Holy Spirit would take as he led me into this truth, into God himself.
As I began this journey deeper into my weakness and his strength, I was quickly reminded that humility is essential. As unbearable as the path ahead appeared, I had to choose immediately to submit to it, thereby opening the floodgates of his grace. “God sets himself against the proud but shows favor to the humble” (James 4:6, NLT). Grace enables us to do what is otherwise impossible.
I also began to learn a deeper, more experiential meaning of a few words, as the route would demand:
• Tenacity: to hold fast.[i]
• Perseverance: to persist, to maintain an effort, not to give in.[ii]
• Persistence: to continue firmly in a state or action in spite of obstacles or objections; persisting, steady, persevering, lasting; to stand.[iii]
• Strength: quality of being strong, ability to endure, power or vigor, to make strong or stronger, to re-enforce.[iv]
• Stamina: power of endurance, staying power, vigor.[v]
Now, to walk in these attributes with our own strength is very different than finding a supernatural source in our weakness. The first lasts for a season until our strength is used up. The second starts at the point of our weakness, and so taps into a sovereign and unending strength. We were not created to be strong because of who we are or what we do. We can only truly be strong because of our union with our Creator, and this only in the realization of our total dependency on him.
As I read Ephesians 6:10 (AMP), suddenly the word be stood out. It says, “Be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him].” It doesn’t say to do strong, but to be strong. Our strength cannot come from our own actions, but from our submission to his strength. In 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, Paul records how he came to know that his weakness was the point of potential God was seeking after to demonstrate his own strength. In fact, it is God’s great desire to perfect his strength and power through our seemingly weak and useless bodies. Imagine the joy Paul felt as he realized the freedom he could gain in this place. “Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me” (AMP)!
As I read this verse sometime later, I saw a picture in my mind of myself crying out to God, my face to the ground. Then I saw a tent being placed over me. The Spirit asked me, What do you see? Well, I could only see the tent; I could not see myself praying inside. The Spirit said, When you are weak but covered in God’s tent of strength, it is his strength that is visible to those around you, not your weakness. Wow! This was an amazing encouragement for me as I had been wondering how I could ever minister in this weak state. But in our humility, his grace and strength covers us.
Although the process has at times been long and wearisome, I can feel my roots going deeper. I can see his strength increasing. I have tasted the honey from the rock and have been refreshed from the waters that pour forth. I will declare with David, “The Lord lives! Blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted” (Psalm 18:46, AMP).
Originally posted on Amy Layne Litzelman. Read more by Amy at: http://AmyLayneLitzelman.com/
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