Have you ever prayed “God give me strength“? Every single day I have people that come to me seeking strength from the Lord. The are looking for ways for God to give them strength. Over the 32 years that I have been a believer in Jesus I have prayed the same prayer that many of you have prayed. “God give me strength!” Whether it was when my dad died in an auto accident, or when my family went through the tragedy and pain of divorce, whether it was raising my teenage kids as a single dad, or the 8 years I had to wait faithfully for God to open the door for a single and divorced man to pastor a church. I learned how to obtain strength from God. I am going to share with you 5 things I have learned over the years and pretty soon you also will realize that people come to you to find out how you are so strong in the Lord and how you have learned to have the prayer answered “God give me strength.
The 5 keys to God giving you strength
First in order to receive strength from God you must surrender!
I know it seems illogical and counter-intuitive, but in order to be strong in the Lord you must first become weak in yourself. As long as you continue to dictate the plan and direction for your life, you will keep operating in your own power. It is when you surrender your future to Him that He then gives you the strength to accomplish His plans for your life. Prov. 3:5, Jer. 29:11
You must give up your perspective of who you are and surrender to His perspective of who you are. Many of us, myself included are carrying around baggage that prevents us from receiving strength from God. We think that we have done too much wrong, or that we are not worth being loved. Until you decide to agree with Him about who you are instead of agreeing with yourself, you will be hindered in receiving the strength you need. It was not until I learned that I was loved and accepted unconditionally by God because of what Jesus did, and not based on what I did, that I started to receive His strength for any situation. 2 Cor. 10:5
Second, in order to let God give you strength you must learn to pray from the heart.
Prayer is not a religious exercise but a conversation with God. If you approach God with a heart that is being covered and hidden because you are afraid of what God might see or think, then you are coming to God under false pretenses. You are being phony. God already knows the condition of your heart. The only one you are fooling is yourself. So stop trying to impress God with how spiritual you are and get real with God about what you are going through.
Develop a friendship with God. I know that God is to be honored and revered but He sent Jesus for the specific purpose of establishing a relationship with man. That includes you! Start developing a relationship with God. Start spending time just hanging out with Him. Go for a walk, or sit by a lake, or get away from the distractions around you and just spend some time talking and listening with your heart to God.
Third, you gain strength when you start to fill your heart with things that will feed your soul.
Do a serious evaluation on what you are putting into your spirit. The old saying “garbage in, garbage out” is true! If you are filling your heart and soul with stuff that drags you down and makes you doubt, then change what you are feeding your inner man. You cannot be strong in the Lord if you are feeding yourself with TV, negative music, or pessimistic words from other people. You need God’s word and good solid Christian music to keep your spirits uplifted.
There are 4 things that I always do to feed my spirit. I read the Bible, I listen to uplifting Christian praise and worship music like the video above, I spend time letting God personally speak to my heart, and I get around people that believe that all things are possible with God.
Fourth, If you want to be strong in the Lord, then you need to start giving.
I am not talking about paying your tithes or giving your money to a TV preacher or even an internet preacher from Wyoming with a little website. (Although I will accept any donations you want to send but it won’t make you stronger.) I am talking about giving out what you have received from God. Jesus said “Freely you have received, freely give.” I have found that the key to receiving strength from God is to give what He has already given you and that way you are not a “Dead Sea” with no outlet but a stream of living water to those that need it.
Finally if you are going to let God give you strength then you need to become a disciple and not just a follower.
You are going to have to decide to start down a path of learning and discovery. Disciples had a teacher, that meant they were students. Followers just wanted to get something from Jesus and not start becoming like Jesus. So what is it going to be? Are you going to just be a follower of Jesus who is looking for what is in it for themselves and when the going get’s tough, they decide to abandon ship or are you going to be someone who has set their course in life to be like Jesus no matter what happens? The choice is yours! For me, I have never regretted the choice I have made to make the rest of my life a quest to be like Jesus in as many ways as possible. It has been the key to having the prayer answered “God give me strength”.