What’s the Source of Your Strength?
“How the king rejoices in your strength, O LORD! He shouts with joy because you give him victory.” – Psalm 21:1 NLT
In this Psalm, David, as the Lord’s anointed king, recognizes that any victory or success he enjoys is attributable only to God and to God alone. David can’t take any credit for any of it. He can’t brag or boast about his own strength or his military capabilities. His army is not the source of his strength. His military prowess isn’t either. It’s God. He says, “the king rejoices in your strength, O LORD!” What a different perspective than that which pervades our society. We love to take credit for our victories and boast about our own capabilities. Even as Christians we can find ourselves puffing out our chests and basking in our own glory. But David reminds us that all glory belongs to God. David looks back over his life and recognizes the hand of God in all that he has accomplished as king. Sure, he went into battle, wielded his sword, suffered wounds at the hands of his enemies, killed his fair share of them, and came back tired and sometimes bloody. But he recognized the reality that God was the one who brought about victory.
Over in the book of 2 Chronicles there is the story of the people of God facing tremendous odds against a far superior army. Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, stood in front of the people and called out to God. He confessed their weakness and called on God to save them. He prayed, “you alone are the God who is in heaven. You are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against you!” (2 Chronicles 20:6 NLT). He went on to describe to God their dire circumstances and then called out, “O our God, won’t you stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help” (2 Chronicles 20:12 NLT). As they stood there waiting, the Spirit of God came upon an obscure man named Jahaziel. Under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, Jahaziel told the people, “This is what the LORD says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chronicles 20:15 NLT).
How did David know this same truth long before Jehoshaphat ever ascended to the throne of Judah? How could he be so certain that victory was God’s doing, not man’s? If you recall, long before David ever became king of Israel, he experienced first-hand the victory of God over a far superior enemy of his own. As a young man, he had come face to face with Goliath, a giant of a man who had ridiculed and taunted the men of Israel for days, challenging them to send out a champion to face him. He had no takers. That is until David showed up on the scene. And while every other Israelite soldier, including King Saul, cowered in the shadows, afraid to face their enemy in their own strength, David called out to him, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies — the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the LORD will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone assembled here will know that the LORD rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the LORD’s battle, and he will give you to us!” (1 Samuel 17:45-47 NLT). Notice what David said, “the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you.” Ultimately, he knew that this was going to be up to God. David had a role to play, but any success would be solely attributable to God. What a valuable lesson for us to learn today as we face the enemies of our lives. The battle is STILL the Lord’s. Like David, we must learn to trust in the Lord and recognize that His unfailing love for us is what keeps us from stumbling in defeat. He is our champion. He is our strength. He is our victory.
Father, the battle has always been Yours. Forgive me for sometimes assuming that I bring something of value to the fight. I can do nothing without You. Victory is impossible only through You. Continue to teach me to trust in You and to rest in the power You provide. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men