A Strong Life

As born-again Christians, we should be incredibly interested in living a strong life, because a strong life allows us to keep working for Christ. As we look at the environment around us, we see many people with weak lives. This is because they don’t know about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and they don’t realize the strength that he extends. The Apostle Paul informed us in Philippians 4:13, “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” This is true for every believer.

The world has a standard of strength that is very different from the standard of God’s Word. Society places a tremendous amount of emphasis on how a person looks. This is how they define whether or not a person is strong, but a person can be a physical powerhouse and a spiritual weakling. This is why God tells us in 1Timothy 4:8 (NLT), “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” We can’t look at a person’s physical appearance and deduce that they have a strong life. A person that has a strong life is someone that has been empowered by Jesus Christ.

New Birth Reality
The most defining mark of a person that desires to build a strong life is that he or she has given their lives to Jesus Christ, and has made him the Lord and head of their lives. In John3, Nicodemus, a Jewish leader, wanted to have a dialogue with Jesus Christ. He had no doubt heard that Jesus was a very enlightened teacher, and that he performed miraculous signs.  Since Nicodemus had a keen interest in knowledge and religion, he thought that Jesus would ignite new thoughts and expand his knowledge; but he had no idea that Jesus would speak words that were completely outside of anything he had ever heard.

In John 3:3(NLT), Jesus told Nicodemus, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” Our Lord and Savior is speaking of a spiritual rebirth. God tells us in Romans 10:9, 10 (NLT), “ If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.” A lord is someone who does something to the very best it can be done; they finish what is required and go beyond what is expected. Jesus Christ is Lord, because absolutely no one could or can do what he accomplished for us on the cross.

Jesus Christ provided a way for us to be God’s spiritual children. When we confess that Jesus is Lord, and we believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead, a most profound spiritual transformation takes place. Our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ goes up to God, and He sends down His seed to abide in the innermost part of our souls. This begins our transformation from the inside out. We become new creations, because God causes a rebirth of our spirits. They are made perfect through Jesus Christ. We are no longer relying on our own strength, but we are totally relying on the strength of Jesus Christ, and we know from God’s Word that His strength never fails.

Follow His Teaching
Another defining characteristic of a person that has a strong life is that they follow the teaching of Jesus Christ. In Mathew 7:21-22 (NLT), Jesus Christ said, “21 Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. 22 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’”  The mark of a true disciple of Jesus Christ is that they follow the Word of God. It isn’t enough to say that you love God and follow after Christ. God’s Word must become so entrenched in our hearts that we wear it like a second skin.

Jesus Christ goes on to say in verses 24-25, “24 Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.” This strong house that Jesus Christ is talking about in these verses is our very own lives. We know that in life strong winds will blow and floods will come, but we can stand strong come what may when our lives are built on the foundation of Jesus Christ.

Lead by the Holy Spirit
Following the Spirit’s lead is also the mark of a person that has a strong life. We cannot do anything without the Holy Spirit. Personally, I don’t make any decision without asking him first. I want him to guide me so that I can make good decisions and choices. God has orchestrated our lives in Christ.  He knows exactly what we ought to be doing and how we should be doing it, but often we do things without considering or consulting Him. We must make it a common practice to consult with Heavenly Father through the Holy Spirit, because the Spirit will keep us safe and keep us in line. He receives information directly from God to give to us.

In John 16:13 (NLT), Jesus Christ is teaching his disciples about the Holy Spirit. He told them “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.” The Holy Spirit is our teacher. He helps us to understand God’s Word, and he also helps us to have a deeper relationship with Heavenly Father. He will tell us about the future, so that we can avoid the traps and tricks that the devil has laid for us.

Romans 8:26 (NLT) tells us 26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.”  Of course, we must pray for ourselves, but one of our responsibilities as Christians is to pray for others. Many times, we don’t know the details about their situations. Sometimes we don’t even know all the ends and outs about the issues we have ourselves, but the Holy Spirit knows. When we speak in tongues, the Spirit is praying for us, and it is perfect prayer. It is beyond awesome to know that God has given us this ability through the indwelling Holy Spirit. He helps us in so many ways, and a person will definitely have a life of strength and power by following the Spirit’s leadership and guidance.

In Matthew 7:26, 27, Jesus Christ tells us, “26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” In these verses, Jesus is showing us what a weak person looks like. When turmoil comes, they cower and collapse, because they are not built on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ. This doesn’t have to be their fate. We can have a firm foundation where we are able to stand strong, and keep pressing our way in his powerful name.  So we know that pressure and challenges are a part of life, but we have been equipped through God’s Word, the example of Jesus Christ, and the indwelling Holy Spirit to mount up with strength and stand on the solid foundation that He has provided for us. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“A Strong Lifewritten by V. Mack. 4TCM© 2017. All rights reserved. All praise and honor to God through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

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