People today are talking a lot about God's power and that we have the greater one living in us and we are more than conquerors. If we do have the greater one living in us, why are Christians giving up? Why are they fainting and ready to give up?
Some can look back now and see when they were ready to give up; it was a turning point in their lives. They were ready to throw in the towel of self-effort and picked up the power of the Holy Spirit. It's sad that we have to come to this point before we trust in the Lord.
You had to come to the realization when you were born again that you couldn't do it yourself. You had to cast yourself totally on the strength of the Lord. He made you what you are. Then a few months later you picked it up off his lap and said "fine, I can do it myself now." You then went about ten paces and fell flat on your face. That was about the time you were ready to give up this whole thing. You fell into the same trap as the Galatians.
vs. 1 "O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you...?"
vs. 3 "Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?'
The answer is no. Having begun in the spirit stay, in the spirit! Having begun with the strength of the Lord, stay with the strength of the Lord. You may say, "Oh yes, but I'm more than a conqueror." Finish the verse in Romans 8:37, “through Him that loved us." You are not a conqueror in yourself; you are a conqueror through the power he has infused into you. If you'll walk in line with His power, you will find this mortal body will be quickened by the power of the Holy Spirit in you.
The Word says, that pride comes before a fall (Proverbs 16:18). If you're about to fall, it means you are in pride. You took your eyes off the Lord and put them on yourself. You started operating in self-effort.
Under our own strength, some of us might be able to go further than others. This is true with athletes. A group of sprinters might run well around the track, and eventually, the stronger ones are going to end up in front. But even the strongest one can only run so far. Eventually, they will fall. Even the strongest have their limits. You, in the natural, have a limit also. If you will allow yourself to be connected to the Eternal One who has no limits, you can rise up into the supernatural realm of the limitless, infinite power of God.
vs. 29 "He gives power to the faint..."
This certainly describes some of us, doesn't it? We will faint. The Bible is filled with the word "faint.” But notice, He gives power to the faint. That's His power. Jesus said in Luke 18:1,"... that men ought always to pray, and not to faint." We're told in Hebrews 12:3, "For consider Him... lest you become weary and faint in your minds."
Those who faint are those who fall. But what came before that fall was pride. You took your eyes off of the Lord and put them on yourself. Eventually, you will faint.
When You Depend on His Strength, You Cannot Fall
There is a difference between faith and bull-headedness. A lot of people are getting things accomplished because of bull-headedness and then calling it faith. Yes, they are getting things done, but it won't last. You can sprint for a while but you will fall. The best human effort has limits. But when you depend on His strength, there is no way you can fall.
vs. 29 "...and to those who have no might He increases strength."
Notice that to them that have no might He increases strength. The world says today that, "God helps those who help themselves." That is not found in the Bible. Thank God it's not. He gives help to the helpless. He gives strength to those who have no strength. He increases might to him who has no might and to the faint, He gives His power.
vs. 30 "Even the youths will faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall..."
Even those in the prime of their life, who are the strongest, whose muscles are the largest, whose coordination is the greatest, all have a limit
vs. 31 "But those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not be weary, they will walk and not faint."
This verse says, "They that wait on the Lord..." The operative word here is "wait." In other words, the spiritual strength is doing nothing. Christians are always saying, "What can I do when I've done everything?" Try doing nothing. That is why you are in this mess. You got over into self-effort, and the Lord is waiting for you to turn it over to Him.
The Opposite of Fainting is Waiting
"Doing nothing" does not mean to just face a wall. The Word says waiting on the Lord is doing nothing. That is the answer. Jesus said, "...that men ought always to pray and not faint" (Luke 18:1). The opposite of fainting is waiting on Him through prayer and study of the Word. Too many people are doing things when they have no answer yet. Communion with God gets the answer from Him. That is the time when physically you are doing nothing.
We have an example of resting and waiting to gain strength in the Old Testament. The Sabbath day is to be kept holy in a unique way - remember to keep it holy. How much effort is there in remembering? None! It was meant to remember the good things the Lord has done. This is a time of reflection which brings strength for the next week.
Communion is a time of reflection. "This do in remembrance of me." It's the remembering that brings the answer. Communion looks back to the cross, remembers the work of Jesus and renews our strength.
Exchange Your Strength for His
"They that wait upon the Lord will exchange their strength." The word "renew" means to exchange. They will exchange their strength for His. My strength is limited, but God's power is unlimited. He is the omnipotent, all-powerful God. In Him there is no limitation. When we wait upon Him we exchange our strength for His.
vs. 31 "...they will mount up with wings like eagles..."
When an eagle flys it soars effortlessly. The eagle does not depend on it's own strength. It takes advantage of the strength of the wind around it. It depends on an outside source for flying.
Romans 8:14 says, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God." When we learn to be led by the Spirit, it takes all effort away. We "float" on God's wind currents of the Holy Spirit. Now, we can run and not be weary and walk and not faint. If you think you are about to faint, now is the time to wait upon the Lord.
Another meaning for the word "wait" is "trust." We show that He is worthy of us to put our trust in Him. It means to use faith. The Hebrew word for trust means to lean upon. We can lean on the Lord because He never changes. Trusting means you are depending upon the strength of whatever you are leaning against. He will hold us up if we lean against Him.
vs. 12 "Who has measured the waters in the hollow his His hand, measured heaven with a span and calculated the dust of the earth in a measure? Weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?"
This verse is telling us the omnipotence of God. He is all-powerful. When He created the universe he created it with a span. A span is the distance from your little finger to your thumb. Psalms 8:3 says, "When I consider Your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained." He literally created the universe with His fingers. Do you think that might be a little more power than you have? Would you like to exchange your strength for that strength?
It says He can take all of the water of the earth, all of the oceans, rivers, and lakes, and place them in the palm of His hand. When we lean on Him we are connected with Him! Can you see how useless it is to lean on your own strength?
Exchange Your Wisdom for His
vs. 13 "Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, or as His counselor has taught Him?"
When people come for counseling, much of the information I give them comes from other sources. The Spirit of the Lord reminds me of sermons, teachings, and knowledge that others have given. All counseling help is passed down knowledge. But the source of all wisdom and knowledge is the Lord.
Who taught God? Who's big enough to teach Him? If you wait upon the Lord, you will exchange your wisdom for His.
vs. 14 "With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him and taught Him in the path of justice? Who taught Him knowledge, and showed Him the way of understanding?"
The answer is no one! When you go to the Lord you go to the source of all wisdom and knowledge.
vs. 15 "Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket, and are counted as the small dust on the scales; Look, He lifts up the isles as a very little thing."
Verse 15 tells us about the ruling power of God. You might have trouble ruling your own household. Why not exchange your ruling power for His? God could rule every single nation of the world, and each individual person in those nations, and it would be no strain at all to Him. Our president has a hard time ruling this one nation. But God could rule every nation and He calls it a drop in the bucket. He says all the nations are as a particle of dust on the balances or scales. That's how insignificant the nations of the world are when compared to God. Are you having trouble ruling in your own household? Why not wait upon the Lord and exchange your leadership for His?
vs. 16 "And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor its beasts sufficient for burnt offering."
vs. 17 "All nations before Him are as nothing, and they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless."
When you try to give your self-efforts to the Lord, they are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:16). If you could take all the wood of the earth and burn it before Him it still would not be a sufficient sacrifice. If you could take all the animals of the earth and offer one large burnt offering to God, it still would not please Him as much as one person worshipping him in spirit and in truth.
He doesn't want your self-effort. He wants you to return to Him the things that He has given to you. In praise he wants you to put Him in remembrance fo His Word. He wants you to worship Him from your own spirit which has been recreated by His own Spirit. He wants you to offer to Him a sacrifice of praise in that unknown tongue which comes from our recreated spirit and not your carnal understanding.
Your Best Self-Effort Will Need Help to Stand
vs. 18 "To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare to Him?"
vs. 19 "The workman molds an image, the goldsmith overspreads it with gold, and the silversmith casts silver chains."
vs. 20 "Whoever is too impoverished for such a contribution chooses a tree that will not rot; He seeks for himself a skillful workman to prepare a carved image that will not totter."
In one verse the rich man molds an image to the Lord. He fashions it into the shape of his god, then has someone pour gold over it. Finally he "casts silver chains."
When men in the ancient world made large gods they had a hard time making them stand up because they could not make the base perfectly flat. So they attached chains to a wall to hold up their god. Do you see what this verse is saying? Your best self-effort will need help to stand. In and of itself it won't stand. I don't care how beautiful and golden it looks in the natural if your sacrifice is not offered through His Word and His Spirit, you are going to fall flat on your face. Then you are going to have to try to find something else to hold it up. Silver chains to prop up your golden image.
Verse 20 tells us about the man who is impoverished. He can't offer gold so he finds a tree. He must first find one that will not rot. He can't have a god that rots. He carves the tree into the image of his god and then he bows down to worship it. You say, "I will never do such a thing." If you are leaning to the arm of the flesh, that's exactly what you are doing.
vs. 21 "Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?"
vs. 22 "It is He who sits above the circle fo the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, who stretches out the heavens like a curtain and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in."
Look at the Giants in Your Life in Comparison to God
When the children of Israel saw the inhabitants of the Land of Canaan, they said, "We are as grasshoppers in their sight (Numbers 13:33)." But they forgot to look at the giants in comparison to God. The giants would look like grasshoppers.
In the natural, the circumstances of life look bigger than you do. In the natural, inflation can make you feel like a grasshopper. Russia invading nations one after another, you might feel helpless and powerless. If you look at Russia or inflation next to the power of God they will look like grasshoppers. When all is said and done, the princes of this world will come to naught under the mighty hand of God. I have read the last chapter and the grasshoppers will be destroyed.
vs. 24 "Scarcely will they be planted, scarcely will they be sown, scarcely will their stock take root in the earth, when He will also blow on them, and they will wither, and the whirlwind will take them away like stubble."
vs. 25 "'To whom then will you liken Me, or to whom shall I be equal?' says the Holy One."
vs. 26 "Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things, who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; Not one is missing."
In verses 24-26, we find that God knows the names of all the stars. You are more precious to Him than stars. If they don't fail, neither will you. You are bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh. You are of His body. He loves you more than He loves all the nations of the world. His greatness and His love are bestowed on you. He has chosen you and set you apart. He loves us more than the whole universe. One of these days there will be a new universe and a new earth, but we will continue on.
vs. 27 "Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel: 'My way is hidden from the Lord, and my just claim is passed over by my God'?"
vs. 28 "Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, theCreator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable."
No wonder we don't faint, we are leaning on the one that never faints. It goes on to say "there is no searching of His understanding." Wait upon the Lord and He will exchange His strength for yours.