“I love you, O LORD, my strength.” (Psalm 18:1 NIV)
I read Psalm 18 today. There is so much to take from this chapter of scripture, I decided to take a little bit at a time and talk about it. I love the Psalms, they are filled with human emotion. Many were written by King David not only, in the midst of his trials but also, during his joyous celebrations. He shared his heart with God. And God was compelled to give us a glimpse of the passionate heart he possessed. These Psalms are a beautiful display of someone that was chosen by God, served God, failed God and was redeemed by God. David’s story encompasses the life that many of us live. So today, I chose this first verse to share.
David proclaims that he loves the Lord and the Lord is his strength. Strength as defined in the Noah Webster Dictionary is “…capacity for exertion or endurance, whether physical, intellectual, or moral…” This particular portion of the definition grabbed my attention. I thought it was interesting to see that the definition of strength involves physical strength, mental strength and moral strength.
First, David’s physical strength was continually challenged. He was either fighting Saul or fighting in a war. He understood in his heart of hearts that the reason he got up each morning was because he had been called by God to face another day. Like David, we get tired, even exhausted. I imagine David was beyond weary at times, and yet, he endured. I know there are days I want to stay in bed and sleep rather than deal with the struggles of life. There are days when I tell God that I am extremely tired and I just don’t want to face another day. And yet, because He’s my strength, I get up and do it over and over again.
Second, David’s brain must have worked overtime. He was continually scheming and thinking of ways to escape the grip of Saul. Saul and his men were relentless in their pursuit of David. As a result, he had to stay one step ahead of the enemy. He had to think faster and smarter. I think his mind must have been running in overdrive most days. However, he made time to pray. He re focused his thoughts on the One that would renew his mind. He remembered that his strength was God and the only way to tap into it was to be filled with the Holy Spirit each day. We have so many things that require our attention every day. We have families and households that need to be focused on. We have jobs and commitments of service that require our time and devotion. We jump from one detail to the next and if we aren’t filled with the Spirit of God, we fall short. We can’t perform. We can’t keep any of it straight. It takes the strength that only comes from God.
And finally, David had moral strength. He knew he had a duty to the nation he was ordained to be king over. He had to serve the children of God with integrity. Granted, David made some bad choices along the way. He committed adultery and murder. But after all of the deception, God brought him back into a right relationship with Him. I think David was a different person after his mistakes. I think he was closer to God than ever. Because now, David experienced true forgiveness. He experienced undeserved grace. He experienced the love of the Holy One. And never again did he stray.
David had God as his strength and he endured. Many times, he was beyond his own strength, yet he persevered. We are the same way. So many days I awaken not knowing how I will get everything done. I have so many needs to fulfill, so many jobs to accomplish, so many things to remember. Somehow, I get through. Somehow, I endure. Somehow, I complete all that life has thrown at me. There are many days that I fail and need redemption. All of these things cause me to remember that God is my strength. None of it can be done well without Him. And redemption only comes from Him. When I fail, it is because I was walking in my strength instead of His.
Strength. It seems like such a small word, but it’s meaning is enormous. It touches every area of our beings whether it be physical, mental or moral. It is something that we require in order to live. My heart thankful knowing that God is my strength. I don’t have to do it all alone. I have a Father that does it for me. He is my strength. Amazing!!!