I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me (Philippians 4:13 KJV)
Spiritual strength is the ability to do or be what God wants for us. It is one of the spheres of operation of God’s power, as discussed in this prior Deshen Daily devotional.
Spiritual strength is crucial for our daily Christian lives. As discussed previously, the goal of spiritual strength is not for us to work miracles but to be or do what God wants us to do. For example, for Paul above, God gave him the strength to be content whether he had plenty or was in lack. Similarly, we need strength to love people, live above sin, bear difficult times without losing our faith, overcome fear, be joyful, etc.
Paul says Christ strengthened him. But how did Christ strengthen him? The immediate thought is that Christ gave him spiritual strength, as the NIV translates it. And how did He give Paul this strength? Through the Holy Spirit! In fact, when Christ baptized us with the Spirit, He gave us not only His presence but His power. So when we are filled with the Spirit, He gives us power for miracles and strength to live His life.
But there are deeper layers of this truth revealed in other Scripture passages. Christ does not only give us spiritual strength. He is our strength. Jesus Christ lives in us as the Holy Spirit; in fact, the Christ who dwells in your heart is the Holy Spirit! See this beautifully illustrated in Rom. 8:9-11. The Holy Spirit in us( Spirit, the Person) gives us power(spirit, small “s”). As discussed previously, the Person of the Holy Spirit does not change in us, but the power (spirit, Christ as spirit) does. As the power of the Spirit increases in us, Christ is growing in our hearts! Space will not allow me to expound on this astonishing revelation of Christ fully, but read these glorious verses from the Apostle Paul on this subject:
“For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love” (Ephesians 3:14–17 ESV).
Can you see the relationship between spiritual strength, the Holy Spirit, and Christ in these verses?
Christ indeed is the wisdom and the power of God( 1 Cor. 1:24). God made Him become wisdom and power to us. As His power and wisdom grow in our hearts( as spirit), Christ is being formed in us, and He makes His home in us! At salvation, Christ came in as the Holy Spirit( Spirit). Now, He wants to fill our hearts, dwelling in our hearts as spirit( small “s”), where He fills our souls and is expressed in our character and personality.
Christ is your strength! May He dwell in your heart, abounding daily as His power overflows in your soul!
Watch Deshen Live Bible Study recording: How the Holy Spirit Powers the Christian Live
It was a bold attempt to condense volumes of truth in the devotional above. Please take a moment to let these words sink
Apply the Word
If Christ is your strength, He is who you are—your identity. He is not only your strength but your wisdom and your life. God has indeed invited us to live the life of His Son! Be strong in the grace that is in Christ!
Thank the Father for giving us His Son!
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