Mark Affleck

My Focus on Being STRONG Nearly Destroyed Me

August 6, 2021
Spiritual Growth

I think about STRENGTH a lot. Always have. Always will, I suppose. It’s an important appendage of my personality and deeply embedded in my DNA and character. I am wired to be strong in everything I do. I played football through college and strength of body and mind were my stock-in-trade. I was a corporate CEO and strength of leadership was my pathway to success. And I have committed to be strong in my discipline to follow Christ. But my focus on being strong nearly destroyed me because, over time, I forgot that MY strength will always FAIL.
This story has a really good ending because God taught me that rejecting my own strength and accepting his power would not come from a to-do-list commitment. Not from “trying hard.” Not from fighting off the persistent and pervasive urge to rely on my own strength.
Rejecting our own, flawed version of strength and accepting God’s pure and perfect power can only come from spending time alone with him in spiritual SOLITUDE to learn and know that HE is the source of our STRENGTH.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
We must remember WHY we need STRENGTH on our waltz through this life on earth. It is to fight the spiritual battles in our war with a powerful TRIAD: 1) The WORLD; 2) The FLESH; and 3) The ENEMY.
So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world.” Galatians 4:3
“For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.” Galatians 5:17
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
James 4:7

The other reason to trust God’s STRENGTH—beyond prevailing in our battle with that three-headed DRAGON—is to tap into his COMFORT (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Seeking SOLITUDE with God takes us straight to the “God of all comfort” who exchanges our fear for his hope. Wow.
I want to be strong in this life, but I want to be strong with GOD’S strength. To show me the pathway to that state every day and give him all the glory along the way.
When was the last time you sought SOLITUDE with God to release your grip on strength and accept his version?
“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him.” Psalm 28:7

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