A Superhero’s Strength
Continued from previous post, How to Become a Superhero (PART I)
What does working in God’s strength mean?
In 2006, God called me to write. At the time, I didn’t like writing. I didn’t think I could write. I had nightmares of writing from the months of writing my masters thesis in graduate school and a corresponding chapter for a scientific book. (sounds exciting, hey?) It was probably one of my least favorite activities. So the fact that I felt compelled to write, I knew it wasn’t my idea, but God’s – especially because I’d be writing about a relationship with Him. After a painstaking week of making the decision to leave the familiar waters of my career behind and plunge into unknown depths, I committed to it. The next day, I sat down, prayed and started writing and … the words flowed. Every morning as I sat down at the computer I prayed – God help me, I can’t do this alone. He always did. I was and still am totally dependent on Him to put words on a page for others to read.
Once committed, God gave me the desire. I enjoy writing. It’s fulfilling and challenging. It’s surprisingly rewarding. It’s been an incredible experience of acting in and depending on God’s strength.
However, though God has shown His faithfulness in this venture every day for five years, I still get a little anxious each time. I am still completely dependent on Him because it has always been about His strength and not mine. However, though it’s “uncomfortable” and I feel “out of control” it’s glorious at the same time as I see His working in my life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
The Role of Prayer
One of the most powerful ways of embracing God’s strength is through prayer. When we are in God’s will, what we pray will be done. John 15:7 Prayer of a believer who is seeking God’s will is extremely powerful.
In prayer we are reminded God is in control. It’s His power and not ours that makes a difference. In prayer, we humble ourselves to His will. We shift our confidence from us to God. We sync up our lives with His will. We are asking God to do the best for all effected by a situation. We are aligning our minds with truth. We look to God’s strength not ours. We admit our need for help and call upon God to help. Prayer stirs things up. It changes the situation. When we are in line with God’s will, our prayers are powerful.
Dealing with Difficult People
An example I’m sure many can relate to of working in God’s strength where prayer has proven powerful is dealing with difficult family members. Ones who have treated us or those we love poorly. Who have taken advantage. Who have abused the privileges of being part of a family.
On one occasion, as I was seeking God’s counsel with a family member, He told me to establish healthy boundaries but to love that person. (The boundaries would help me to love.) On our own truly loving someone like this can be a difficult task. The resentment, pain or anger may be too much to get past. We can try to fake love and care, but it’s not only hypocritical but a waste of time because our true feeling come out.
However being God’s will that we love him/her, He will provide what we need to truly love. I’ve seen Him do it time and time again. Our part is to be willing to walk in God’s will and submit to it and pray. (It’s easy for our pride to interfere with a willing heart to be humble and love.) With a willing heart, we pray for a heart to love that difficult person. Before each interaction with him/her, we pray for God to give us the right heart and mind. We ask other believers to pray for us.
When we are operating in God’s strength, instead of trusting ourselves to accomplish a project, grow a business, repair a relationship, provide for our family, or protect our family, we can look to God to do those things through us. His strength gives us the ability to do what we do with resolve, persistence and passion. We can approach each day with the attitude of doing what is in front of us, leaving the outcome is in His hands. We are obedient to Him, and leave the results up to Him. Not only does this provide a tremendous peace, but what He’ll do through you will surprise you.
One warning … be prepared to only receive what you need today. God will provide what we need, when we need it. Philippians 4:19. The problem is we want strength not just for today but the rest of the year. We want to feel superhuman. However, God gives what we need today. That daily provision keeps us dependent on Him and not ourselves so that we don’t make an idol of ourselves, or anything else. It is for our own protection and freedom. Matthew 6:34.
2 Corinthians 12:9, Philippians 4:13
If God has put a passion or purpose on your heart don’t give up. Don’t trust in you or your strength, trust in His. Pray and move forward and see how He brings it to pass. You were never meant to accomplish anything alone. Purposes created by God whether our vocation or to truly love another can only be accomplished by the union of you and Him. Yes, it can be uncomfortable living beyond yourself and yet it’s glorious at the same time because you constantly see God at work in and through your life. It creates an intimacy with God that is rich because of the level of dependency and connection you have to have to live and work in His strength.
What will your life story tell? What do you want it to tell? Let it be a powerful story because you trusted in God’s strength that took you to places beyond yourself.
December 6, 2010 at 6:57 pm
This was absolutely beautiful. Lately, I’ve been feeling a strong desire to lay things down. I feel like I’m in control of so many areas of my life, and I need to be willing to submit everything to Christ. It’s hard for me to think of giving up things like my dreams and hopes for the future. I like having goals and plans. I like having a sense of identity. God seems to be saying that I must be willing to give it all over to His control. I’m really inspired by your post, Rachel. Thanks.
December 6, 2010 at 7:22 pm
Hi Captainquaker – God gives us desires and dreams to drive and motivate us – without them we wouldn’t have the persistence or focus. But one we need to lay down all our desires and dreams and let Him direct where He wants us to focus and how. His ways are often not our ways.
What I’ve found is that my deepest desires and dreams God fulfills. I thought they would be fulfilled one way – and His way was much better. I suppose what I’m saying – is there is nothing to fear in letting go – in Him you will never feel more complete or satisfied. It is a journey to move into those things He has in store as our hearts and minds have to be prepared, renewed and come into unity with Him – but it is the only path worth walking in my opinion.
December 6, 2010 at 11:38 pm
This was good to read about how you started writing. There are times in my journal that my first line is . . . ‘well there’s not much on my mind this morning’, and six pages later I’m done.
I replied to your reply from last week. For a couple of reasons – one a little related to the mutual compelling we both feel to write and the other a comment about a setting on your site – it might be worth going back to if you haven’t already.
I really enjoyed this post.
December 7, 2010 at 12:50 am
Hi Mike — haha – sounds familiar – amazing how a pen can pull so much out of us. I didn’t get that comment for some reason ? Mind resending it?
December 7, 2010 at 12:35 pm
It was a comment you made on my site that I replied to. You may have seen it already. No big deal.
December 7, 2010 at 5:48 pm
Hi Mike — I commented on your site. Thanks for the follow up – it’s greatly appreciated!
December 7, 2010 at 1:08 am
The last paragraph alone was worth the visit to your blog.
You nailed it.
Let those who have ears to hear…
Donald in Bethel, CT
December 7, 2010 at 5:48 pm
Hi Donald – thanks!
December 7, 2010 at 4:11 pm
I re-read this again, and this comment jumped out at me:
“On one occasion, as I was seeking God’s counsel with a family member, He told me to establish healthy boundaries but to love that person.”
That screams spiritual maturity! I loved it!
Donald in Bethel, CT
December 7, 2010 at 5:42 pm
Hi Donald – that’s God’s good counsel. The Spirit’s counsel is tremendous – He cuts right through the situation bringing truth and love.
December 8, 2010 at 3:01 am
Thanks for this….”I was and still am totally dependent on Him to put words on a page for others to read.”
I know exactly what you mean. Mostly, I haven’t a clue how to start or finish and all things in between! I’m in the habit of looking at each sentence or para and saying, “Thanks Lord, show me what’s next.”
This morning I laid down & recommitted everything to the Lord, so I was very blessed to read this post 5 hours later.
God bless you and your faithfulness
December 8, 2010 at 6:29 pm
Hi Roger – it’s a tremendous feeling to be that dependent – scary and yet refreshing and exciting. 🙂
December 8, 2010 at 4:48 am
God HAS made a writer out of you, Girl…for you have what the Bible calls…”the pen of a ready writer!” You have been made “ready”….by His Spirit! I always enjoy His Voice speaking through your writing. He has done it in and through you! So write on!!! I am an English major, a teacher of English, and a tutor of English…college level, and you posts get an A on every level…but especially in the realm of the Holy Spirit!
PS….LOVE the pics of the little boy! Classic!!!
December 8, 2010 at 6:33 pm
Hi Sandy – thanks for your encouraging words … it has been a fear of mine in the past and sometimes now to not do well in whatever area. There have been times that I held back from moving forward because of that fear – but when it comes to what God desires me to do – He won’t let me hold back. My spirit’s compulsion outweighs any fear. And I know I can trust Him to work it out and regardless of what happens I know I’ll grow in the process.
I love those pics too – so cute!
December 8, 2010 at 4:57 am
Loved it! I felt like those last two paragraphs were just for me 🙂 They are confirmation and encouragement for some ideas and thoughts that have been bubbling up in my soul lately.
Resolve. Persistence. Passion. Those are definitely what we need to run this race!
December 8, 2010 at 6:34 pm
Hi Ruth – it is my prayer each time I write that God will use the words to speak right to someone’s heat — so glad they spoke to you. Isn’t it incredible how He uses us to confirm and encourage each other – to say just what we needed to hear?
December 8, 2010 at 5:04 pm
OK. OK. OK. I think I’m getting it God. You want me to make the most of the moment. To live in the now. To do what I can. To worry less so I can love more.
Thanks Rachel for being one more reminder for me. Thanks for sharing your journey to write as well. I’m amazed how God leads us all down other paths.
December 8, 2010 at 6:35 pm
Hi Trevor – glad you got it! haha It too amazes how God works with each one of us in just the way we need.
December 8, 2010 at 8:10 pm
So great to see how God is using your writing to challenge and encourage all of us to go deeper in God! I’m so glad I got to meet you at the writer’s conference and see how you are following your passions to impact others!
December 9, 2010 at 5:31 pm
Hi Arlene – thanks for your encouraging words 🙂 I look forward to checking out your new book!
November 13, 2011 at 5:07 pm
Dealing with difficult people is hard but with his strength everything is possible. Thank you for your reminder.
January 10, 2013 at 3:23 am
That is so neat, Andrew! Abba Father,We praise You and lift You high for Your savnig hand in our lives; for Your Son, Jesus Christ, Who died on the cross for our sins past, present, and future. Thank You Jesus. Father, I pray that this site will be used in a mighty way through You alone; that You will be glorified. Thank You for Your savnig grace! May those who visit the site who don’t know You as their personal Savior come to see that they can’t go on through life without You in their hearts. Thank You Jesus! Praise You, our Strength and our Song! In HIS most powerful and righteous Name we ask these things, knowing You hear us, AMEN (so be it!)