Let’s drop the sugar coat and get real about Christianity for a minute.
Recently, I’ve seen a lot of people using this line of encouragement for their fellow Christians going through a wintery season in life and faith:
God only gives His toughest battle to His strongest soldiers.
How encouraging, right? But how misleading actually. Now, I’d be straight out lying if I said I never used this as a line of encouragement or wrote it on my mirror when I was in a season of academic pressure. Added to that, I think the best thing to do when we feel distant or alone is to consider the source of true joy and comfort. But the truth is, our human strength is temporary. The ultimate truth is that God doesn’t look a capability of strength but rather tenacity of obedience. The truth is we should be saying “God only gives His toughest battles to His most OBEDIENT soldiers”.
God has always valued a willing heart over a bicep or two. He chose the obedience of an old Abraham to begin a nation of His people. He chose the willingness of a young David to slay a giant. On the other had, we have Samson. Strong but not obedient (read his story – Judges 13-16). Where this left Samson was in the position of being a captive to the Philistines. Now, with some of his last words, he realised the one thing every Christian needs to be well aware of – our strength comes from God and not through our doing (replace strength with salvation/ value/ blessings and you still have an important life lesson).
When we come to terms with this, a weight is lifted off our fragile shoulders. God has never and will never be after the strongest soldier. He looks at the ones who know they need Him more than anything. God wants to pour out His Spirit and give you supernatural strength (and endurance). Your strength is not the top of God’s priority list. When I began to see that immensity of the call God had placed on my life, I immediately trembled because I realised that in my own strenght, there was no chance I could fulfill that. The battle God had placed me in could never be won if I was fighting alone. Even on my best day, I needed a whole lot of Jesus to-go. In that moment, God took me back to previous moments where I faced challenges and obstacles I had no chance of over coming and I came to the most comforting revelation. As long as my obedience to God outweighed my capabilities, I’d be okay.
If your battle is a pile of assignments, He wants to give you the strength and capacity to work through them. If your battle is surviving post-break up, He wants to give you the strength and wholeness to move on. Whatever you are facing, God is there, He is grieving alongside you and offering pieces of Himself to replace whatever hurt or brokeness or struggle you’re facing. But it’s our choice receive it. It’s our choice to drop our pride and admit we need Him. It’s our choice to surrender our hearts. It’s our choice to be obedient.