To “fear” God is to have reverence for Him. When we revere God, we put our trust and hope in Him. In Psalm 147:11 it says, The Lord delights in those who fear Him, Who put their hope in His unfailing love. Once we put our trust in God and know His power over all we do, then God can use our abilities most effectively.
When we observe the power of nature all around us (waves in the ocean, wind through the tress), we should be reminded of God’s great power. Psalm 114:7 says, Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob. To tremble at God’s presence is to recognize God’s power and authority and our frailty by comparison.
With God we can do anything. God’s strength is more powerful than anything put up against us. In Psalm 108:13, David ends the Psalm by saying, With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies. The beauty of David’s request is not that he asked for rescue, he asked for victory. With God’s help we can claim more than simple survival, we can claim victory! Let us all look for ways to turn our troubles into powerful opportunities to show God’s love and strength in our lives.
Psalm 9 is a Psalm of praise to God who never ignores our cries for help. David begins the Psalm with the first verse by saying, I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. No matter how bleak it may seem because of our circumstances, God is always with us. Over and over again, God hears our cries and delivers us through His power and His love for us.
Our ability to grow does not come from our own efforts, it comes from a relationship with God and the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. 2 Peter 1:3 says, His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Christ called us to to a relationship with Him first, not the other way around. It is through His power we receive everything we need.
As we come to the end of the second letter to the Corinthian church, Paul gives them some final instructions in 2 Corinthians 13:11, Finally, brothers, good-by. Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. Notice how Paul tells them to “Aim” for perfection. He does not say “BE” perfect. God does not want our perfection, He wants a heart that aims for it. In the process we must realize we are weak and God is the only source of power that can give us the strength we need. We will never be perfect on this side of eternity, but we must never stop striving for it. It is through our striving we seek His strength and His perfect plan for our lives.
Just as John the Baptist made it clear in John 3:30 of his place in comparison with Christ when he said He must become greater, I must become less, in 2 Corinthians 11:30 Paul says, If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. Our weakness is God’s strength. No matter what area of life we may think we are strong, God is stronger. When we submit to the power that can only come from the Spirit living in us, we finally experience our full potential in service to God.
When we try to battle the world on its terms and on its timing, we lose every time. Paul points out in 2 Corinthians 10:3, For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. Engaging the world in a battle of words or actions, we will ultimately lead to failure every time. We must approach battle in a different way: though prayer and trusting the Lord. We cannot battle on our terms and with our own strength and expect to be victorious. God has the power to win and He deserves all the glory from victory if we just trust in Him.