“They go from strength to strength. . .”

Psalm 84:7a

     The key isn’t exercise; it’s surrender.

     We all know physical strength diminishes the older we get.  Although some maintain remarkable flexibility and physical prowess well past the norm, the fact remains we do not “go from strength to strength” in the aging process.  We grow weaker.
     Yet, today’s Manna reminds us that such is not the case in the spiritual realm.

     What was it that caused Caleb to declare “And now, lo, I am this day 85-years-old.  As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me; as my strength was then, even so is my strength now for war, both to go out and to come in” (Josh 14:10c-11)?
     Without a doubt it was his faith in the Lord—the same faith that caused him to “still the people before Moses and say ‘Let us go up at once and possess it (the Promised Land)—for we are well able to overcome it’” after they (the 12 spies) returned from scouting out the land (Num. 14:30).  Truly, he had “another spirit” operating within him, which caused him to “fully follow the Lord” in every area of his life (Num. 14:24).
     And, it was this different “spirit” which caused him to cry “Now, therefore, give me this mountain!” (Josh. 14:12a).

     He knew there were giants living there—the same giants who were living there 45 years before when they first scouted the land (Num. 14:28-29; Josh. 14:12b).  But, that didn’t matter to Caleb.

     Because the same God Who’d promised to give them the Promised Land prior to their 40 years of wandering was the same God Who was “still with him and would enable him to drive them out” (Josh. 14:12c).  Hallelujah!!
     Oh, dear Pilgrim, so often we do not “go from strength to strength” because we do not go in the strength of the Lord (Ps. 71:16; Micah 5:4).  Instead, we rely upon our own strength. . .our own physical prowess. . .our own intellect and clever plans. . .forgetting that such strategies always end in defeat.
     Only those who realize “His Strength is made perfect in our weakness” (II Cor. 12:9-10) can move “from strength to strength” and “glory to glory” (II Cor. 3:18).  In Christ, we never “arrive” (Phil. 3:12-13a), but are constantly “forgetting those things which are behind, reaching forth unto those things which are before and pressing toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13b-14).
     This can only happen when we’re “crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:20). . .“lay aside every weight and sin that so easily trips us up. . . run with patience the race that is set before us. . . and keep our eyes fixed upon Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our  faith” (Heb. 12:1-2).  So, run the Race, Pilgrim, girded in the full Christian Armor (Eph. 6:10-18) as you “wait upon the Lord” and let Him grow you deeper in His Grace (Is. 40:31; II Tim. 4:7-8).

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated March 9, 2010

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