A calm strength! Does that describe you? Although you may not believe me, it can describe you. If I asked you – “does your life have any stress” – what would you answer? Similarly, if you rated yourself on a scale of panic in problems, where would you mark yourself? How would you rate your approach to each day? So, I ask again: do you have calm strength?
Since we have lots of questions. let’s begin today’s content.
Calm strength is rare. Do you know someone who exemplifies it? You can be a person of calm strength. However, to accomplish this, you need a miracle source. Since you live in a world overflowing with trouble and chaos, you need courage to address problems, to carry out good plans, and to move in a positive direction. But when you run out of courage, where do you get more?
“A calm strength that never got into panic.” (My Utmost For His Highest, Oswald Chambers, Oct. 21.) What a great quote! I’d like some of this calm strength. What about you?
People gain calm strength only one way – a miracle way. The quote I shared was written about the calm strength of Jesus. He embodies it in everything He does. Consequently, He is also the miracle source for your calm strength supply.
What Jesus Does
Better than anyone, Jesus is a model of humanity functioning inside God’s original design. It’s incredible, really! Jesus shows how to be truly human in the very manner God intended from the beginning.
Why is this true? Let’s look at focus as we dive further into our content. Self-focus is endless struggle in life. But calm strength is not a quality of self-focus. While self-focus is an unhealthy life power, God-focused is a continual, bountiful supply that changes everything: you, the other guy, nations, and the world.
Instead of taking up self-focus, take up God-focus.
So, what are we saying here? Basically, God-focus is the start point for calm strength. We are also saying something else. There are few God-focused people. Maybe some. But not enough to catch the gaze of our faltering world.
Drag and Drudgery
It’s true, right? Many things happen in the course of your life that resemble drag and drudgery. I’m quite confident a “natural man” perspective would have made Jesus’ life that way, too. However, He did not have a “natural man” perspective. He had a super-natural, God-focus.
Still, let’s explore. If Jesus had engaged self-focus, it might have looked more like this:
- How many times must I say the same thing to these guys before they actually “hear Me?”
- Didn’t I do this same miracle yesterday?
- Have you ever seen so many needs in the sea of humanity? Gosh!
- Why don’t people just believe Me? Surely by now, they know I tell the truth and never lie!
- With just a word, I could have legions of angels doing My bidding. Does anybody “get” that?
- Doesn’t My love mean anything to these folks?
- What’s it gonna take?
It is safe (and incredibly remarkable) to say Jesus never had any such perspective. His approach to human depravity was always rock solid. Refreshingly creative. Compassionate and loving. Calmly strong.
It would be accurate to say Jesus had a platform of “calm strength that never got into panic.” Even in extreme conditions – like when soldiers drove nails into His hands and feet – Jesus likely had a human panic, but it was wrapped up into His calm strength. How could this be?
The short answer? Jesus’ focus was on His Father. Consequently, when human panic would have been natural, He delivered a calm strength to guide humanity back into God. Jesus overcame drag and drudgery in every form.
Fresh Life and Calm Strength Take Time
If you knew you could have fresh life each day, wouldn’t you want it? If calm strength was in your grasp, wouldn’t you close your hand around it?
Fresh life and calm strength only come from Jesus. And He offers a healthy stock-pile to you and me. Imagine! Fresh life and calm strength pulsing into you – 24/7!
God’s methods are anything but dull and boring. Still, He uses time to accomplish His ways. Christ’s character is claimed by practicing it and praying for it. That means time. Calm strength is not learned in five minutes.
Being noble and an example of Jesus in a broken world means being exceedingly flexible. As you bend into His image and invite His miracle in your heart, God forms you into His likeness – over time.
Refreshingly, it’s a “hand-in-glove” arrangement. You don’t have to come up with this stuff on your own. You simply let the vibrant, life-pulsating hand of God slip into your empty shell-of-a-glove life. Flex! Bend!
Paul calls this living sacrifice. (Rom. 12:1) Jesus says it’s giving up your life completely to Him. Hear His words. “Whoever finds (and protects) their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for My sake will find it.” (Mt. 10:39)
To have God’s hand in your glove is an incredible honor. You gain His character through this arrangement. As you give up your life to let His life come forward in you, He saves you – from sin and death – and in every daily situation. Consequently, you finally become the person you were created to be. Finally, you have a supply of calm strength.
So, when you don’t know what to do, go hand-in-glove!
But It’s A Terribly Broken Life!
Since life is tragically broken and full of troubles, left to your abilities to pull things together, you would lose!
However, you can offer your entire person, to an extraordinary person. This means setting aside your own interests to take up the interests of this other person. Although this may feel odd, it’s the one thing that connects you with the person you were created to be. And it puts you in the flow of calm strength.
This other person is the only one who can bring harmony and purpose to broken lives in a shattered world. This amazing person is Jesus. He specializes in making things as they should be.
Do you know you are chosen by God? Before He created the world, you were in His great heart. He made your life glove shaped for His loving, mighty right hand. Jesus wants to fill you with His Spirit. That means you match your life to His, making every thought, word, and deed congruent to His. And He does a miracle inside you.
God chose you. But only an act of your will completes this arrangement. God has no intention of forcing you to respond to Him. Still, there is always the invitation – “Come to Me. Let Me share My calm strength with you.” You do your part. God does His.
Jn. 15:19 says, “As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.” How significant. Christ has chosen you for Himself. But He lets you decide if you will choose Him back. As a result, this is the most important decision you will ever make.
Do you agree with God that He chose you? Do you choose Him back?
Transformed Into Calm Strength
Too often, Jesus followers assume their salvation is the only saving Jesus does. Actually, I believe Jesus desires to save His followers in a continual progression that passes through the cross into every day living. We already mentioned this a bit earlier. But let’s unpack it more.
2 Cor. 3:18 gives interesting insight into being saved. “And we all . . . are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory . . . “ The portrait of a believer is Christ’s cross and empty tomb for eternal salvation PLUS being saved continually in daily details, habits, and problems of life. The goal is to reflect Jesus “with ever-increasing glory” as believers choose Him back in the moment, every day.
So in every struggle and problem, as you “Come to Me. Let Me share My calm strength with you,” your very essence and person begins to be transformed to your middle. This only happens as you welcome it. This decision is confirmed through “living sacrifice.” Die to self and live for Christ. Shift from self-centered to God-centered. From self-focused to God-focused.
Jesus followers must choose increasingly – “God’s way, not my way.” They open their entire life glove and step back so His great hand slips in to make all the difference.
This hand-in-glove way of living is a virtual picture of Christ and His calm strength. Wow.
Application Thoughts And Questions
- Does calm strength describe you?
- If I asked you – “does your life have any stress” – what would you answer?
- Similarly, if you rated yourself on a scale of panic in problems, where would you mark yourself?
- How would you rate your approach to each day?
- Have you decided to open your empty glove to God’s life-giving hand?
- What does ever-increasing glory mean in your daily decisions and responses?
- When you look in the mirror, do you see a likeness of Jesus?
- Remember: “God’s way, not my way.”
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* Some of these ideas come from Oswald Chambers thoughts, My Utmost For His Highest, Oct. 21 and 25.