Beginning Strong

In physical education or physical training, athletes, boxers, heavy weight champions, footballers and others who engage in sporting activities are taught four forms of physical training. The first is STAMINA which is the ability to keep going. Then you have SPEED the ability to do something fast or with speed. There’s also SUPPLENESS the ability to stretch and reach. Then we have STRENGTH which is the ability to carry heavy weights. Some athletes possess one of these qualities, some possess two and some possess all. You certainly need to be well trained and developed in any of these forms of physical training to have a name to be reckoned with in the sports world. Usian Bolt the reigning Olympic champion in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 4 x 100 meters relay has in the last seven years risen to prominence and limelight because he is undoubtedly a sprinter with suppleness, great stamina and speed.

In 1 Kings 18:46, we have an interesting account of how the power of the Lord came upon Elijah and he received divine stamina, speed, suppleness and strength to outrun with his physical legs a man that was riding a chariot. “The power of the Lord came upon Elijah and tucking his cloak into his belt, he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel”. Elijah was supernaturally strengthened by the Spirit of God to run faster than Ahab’s chariot could run. The power of God enabled Elijah to do what was humanly impossible. Elijah was not the Usian Bolt of his time, but the power of God strengthened him to do what he was not physically trained or equipped to do.

A New Year is a journey; a journey of 12 months. Only God knows what those 12 months have in store so you need the power of God to overshadow you so you can go through the year physically, mentally and spiritually strong, so your marriage, business, career and ministry doesn’t crash, sink or collapse as the year progresses. A New Year also brings with it new ideas, projects and responsibilities. When we are about to embark on a project for example start a crèche or school, or we have been called upon to take up a new assignment or appointment, we need the power of God. When we want to break new grounds for God; do something totally different from what we have been doing or are used to, we need the power of God. When you are a pioneer minister, worker or member of a new church, you certainly need the power of God to endure the difficult beginning stage. When there are obstacles and roadblocks before us that are preventing us from getting to where God has planned and prepared for us, we definitely need the power of God to surmount these obstructions to progress.

As believers, there’s a limit to what we can do with our physical strength, knowledge and wisdom. But when the power of God envelopes and saturates us, we can do wonders for God. When Zerubbabel had been given a divine assignment to be part of those that will complete the construction of a temple for God, God told Zerubababel in Zechariah 4:6 that this work would not be done by Zechariah’s might, nor by Zechariah’s power, but by the Spirit of the Lord.

Whether it is in our marriage, family, career, business or ministry, God wants us to start strong this year and continue in that same momentum all through the year. You can’t start strong if you are not excited or happy about this year or if you lack enthusiasm for what you are doing or where you are. Here again, the power of God comes to play. The power of God can fill you with a special Holy Ghost excitement to go through the year, to carry out all your regular daily responsibilities and also empower you to take up new assignments or responsibilities this year. In Luke 10:17, after Jesus sent out the seventy-two to go and preach, they returned with so much joy, they returned excited that demons were submitting to them in the name of the Lord. They went out strong because they were excited about what they were doing for God. You need to be inwardly excited to start strong and it is the Holy Spirit, the power of God that can give us this inward joy and excitement to face new things and do new things in our personal life and for God.

The power of God, the Holy Spirit also gives us the momentum to continue strong. Without the power of God working in us and through us, we can easily get tired, frustrated, discouraged and give up. Paul was hard pressed on every side, crushed, perplexed, abandoned and struck down, but he still remained strong in the Lord. 2 Corinthians 4:16 tells us what his secret was. “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day”. His secret was that he was inwardly being renewed and strengthened by the power of God though there was so much happening in his life and around him to weaken him and make him give up.

So everything still boils down to the power of God. Whatever circumstance or situation we find ourselves today, whether we are starting something new or we want to continue in something good and worthwhile, we must not rely on our strength but on the power of God. So open your heart to a fresh infilling of the Spirit of God so you can be strong in the Lord and have supernatural grace and strength to go through every month of this New Year and make a positive impact for God.

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