One day a small boy tried to lift a heavy rock, but couldn’t budge it. His father was watching and finally said, “Are you positive, son, that you’re using all your strength?” “Yes, I am!” the boy cried. “No, you’re not,” said the father. “You haven’t asked me to help you.” Learning to live a life of dependence upon the Lord and His strength is one major aspect of the maturing Christian life. Wouldn’t it be great if you had a whole team of people praying for such strength for you?
We’ve been looking at Paul’s prayer for the Colossian believers. We’ve seen his strategic commitment to pray for them in 1:9 and then began noticing the specific content of his prayer in verses 9-12. His first request for them was that they would be filled with a knowledge of God’s will (v. 9). His second request was that they would live a life worthy of the Lord (v. 10). His third request was that they would bear fruit in every good work (v. 10). He brings a fourth request before the Lord and it is that they would grow in the knowledge of God (v. 10).
This morning let’s notice that he prays that they would —
E. Get Strong in Living Out the Christian Life (v. 11)
How can one tell if he or she is getting strong in living out the Christian life? A few questions occur to me: (1) Do I see myself and my life as “on mission” for the Lord? That is, do I attempt to begin each day with the purpose of serving Him, contributing where I can to the fulfillment of the Great Commission, seeking to know specifically what in my life needs to become “more conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29)? (2) Do the daily trials and nagging inconveniences steal my joy as a believer and put me in a bad mood? (3) Do I find that I give in far too easily to temptations that may seem trite to others, but direct me away from a settled contentment in Him? (4) Have I somehow convinced myself that any victories I have gained were achieved by my cleverness, skill, or ability?
A woman writes the Readers’ Digest: “Following my arm operation, the hospital physical therapist taught me exercises to strengthen it. In one, called `climbing the wall,’ I faced a wall and `walked’ the fingers of both hands up it, trying to reach as far with the injured arm as with the other. I seemed to be `climbing the wall’ morning, noon and night. After watching me, the woman in the next bed said, `Excuse me, but what religion do you belong to?'”
If you “belong to” biblical Christianity, then you (and I) need to live in His strength!
The verses below challenge me to rejoice in His strength, to pray that He would be my strength every morning, that my hope in Him will renew my strength, and that He can enable me to shepherd His flock in the strength of the Lord.
Wow! Ask others to pray that for you. And pray that right now for someone you love. [I just did. Your turn]. (to be continued).