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True Strength--(August 29)

A wise man is full of strength,

and a man of knowledge enhances his might. Proverbs 24:5

You may have noticed that on the football field it is not brute strength alone that wins games. There needs to be a game plan and skill to carry it out. As a player you refine your strength and your skills in order to play well. You listen to your coaches in order to understand the plan and achieve the goal. You would not have made it this far if you didn’t understand this.

This is a pretty good analogy of the spiritual life. Spiritually, strength is not a result of an ideal lifting program mixed with the right attitude and diet. This fullness of strength comes from being wise. This is different from being smart or intelligent. Wisdom is the application of knowledge with situational awareness and humility. You can be incredibly smart, yet very foolish. Making choices in your life that carefully consider what God has taught you through the years with a reliance on Him to show the best choices is true wisdom.

Interestingly the second part of the verse amplifies the first part in its parallel structure. The way to gain in that strength is by committing to knowledge. As you submit more and more to God’s instruction, you enhance your might and your ability to make choices that have a life-giving impact on the those around you.

In the football world, you learned to understand the game as you watched and discovered the meaning of “downs,” positions, gaps, and routes. Your knowledge today far exceeds where it started, but you continue to learn and apply your learning in more powerful and significant ways. You continue to strive to learn more and to apply your knowledge well.

In the spiritual world, you learned by hearing the Bible stories, stories of lives of Jesus-followers around you, and the message of the gospel. Even though your knowledge of spiritual things has expanded, you still need to seek the knowledge and apply it wisely to continue to grow. How are you seeking God’s teaching in order to increase your knowledge, wisdom, and strength? Take time to talk with Him and see where He wants to take you next, then go there. He may take you to someplace you have never imagined. He will challenge you to grow in strength and wisdom. This, however, is not a game. It is the way life is meant to be lived so you are best prepared for eternity with Him.

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