Friday, July 16, 2021

Five Minute Friday - Strong

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One word. Five minutes to write about it. This is the idea behind Five Minute Friday and this is today's free-writing post.

I am weak, but he is strong
Be strong and courageous

Early this morning, before I'd seen today's word prompt, I was thinking about how much I'd like to be more energetic and . . . well, strong! And what would that look like for me? I have been struggling with joint pain and often it's just difficult to get moving or even to keep going when everything seems to hurt. My personality and style has never been to be on the move constantly, or to deal with stress by housecleaning, like some people do. But I do need to have things to keep me busy and engaged, and I realize I'll have to be very intentional about avoiding lethargy and laziness so I can have the strength to fully enjoy the retirement years that are coming! 

So I looked at the prompt and thought of the well-known commands to Joshua, and wondered how my reflections and the exhortation to "Be strong and courageous" fit together. I looked it up - in Moses' final words in the book of Deuteronomy, he commands Joshua twice to be strong and courageous, and God gives him the same command. Then in the first chapter of Joshua, God gives him that command four times, and then Joshua gives that same command to Israel. Why could Joshua be strong? Because God promised to be with him. But there's another command in there too, and it's the basis for strength and courage:

As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. 

Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. 

~Joshua 1:5-9

Obey the law of God. Talk about it, think about it, and be careful to follow it, and then you'll be successful. And I think that's also how you'll know that God is with you.

And look at this in the New Testament: When Paul is encouraging the church in Ephesus to be strong, he also links the power of God in their lives to their knowledge and obedience to God's Word.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet firmly fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people. 

~Ephesians 6:10-18

Joshua was a warrior going into battle to conquer the land God was giving Israel. Paul was a missionary instructing the early church how to live as part of God's kingdom of peace. Different circumstances, but the source of strength was the same, and remains the same for us today. Know God's Word, obey it, and trust God to be with you as you stand firm in his power.

Whether or not I have the physical muscle strength to keep up with all the things I wish I could do remains to be seen. I can be confident in my spiritual strength to play my part in advancing God's kingdom though, because it depends on HIS perfect power and strength, and all I need to do is live by his Word. Not always easy, but God is faithful and keeps all his promises.


She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
~Proverbs 31:17~

This post is linked at Five Minute Friday for the word prompt "Strong".

This post will also be linked at Inspire Me Monday.

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Susan said...

I'm not as strong as I used to be and I'm trying not to let it affect me. Hard.

Joybright said...

Visiting from FMF. Loved your thoughts on strength and the role it plays in advancing God's kingdom. Loved the Scriptures you shared!

Lisa Blair said...

May the Lord give you wisdom in how to be intentional and in how to aid your joints. I hope you have many wonderful years before you!
~Lisa, FMF #10

Great-Granny Grandma said...

This post spoke to my heart, as did the Scriptures you shared. It's hard not being as strong as I used to be, and having to deal with aches and pains.
Visiting from #19.

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