Our God hath commanded our strength: strengthen, O God, that which you have wrought for us. (Psalm 68:28)
Today’s verse suggests a wonderful daily prayer, and reminds us that all that we are, all that we have, and all that we are called to do are in and from Him. It affirms that nothing in our lives is accidental or incidental – it is all ‘wrought’ by God, shaped and created and directed by the divine hand of the I AM Himself. For those days, which we must all encounter at some time or another, where we feel our humanness rather than our spiritualness, this verse can be our comfort and our encouragement.
When I consider the word ‘wrought,’ I think of the creation of man. I think of our God on His knees in the dust, shaping the clay into a man. A think of His divine breath, the very substance of life within us. It reminds me that each one of us is ‘fearfully and wonderfully made.’ The person we are was wrought by the hand of god Himself. It reminds me that He knows ‘going out and our coming in,’ that He has used every experience, every decision, every mistake and every victory to continue to shape us. He has worked – wrought – all things to our good, every step of the way.
He also has wrought the ‘new creation’ through grace and the gift of salvation. He has made the way for us to return to Him through the death and resurrection of His Son. He has shaped the victory of sin, temptation and the powers of darkness through Christ’s victory at the cross. Even the very faith through which we believe unto salvation has been shaped within us by Him, and He continues to shape us through each step in our journey towards spiritual growth.
This verse contains the remarkable truth that He is the ‘author and the finisher’ of our faith. The knowledge that God Himself has commanded our strength is breathtaking in its scope. Strength applies to every single aspect of our walk and growth. Do we need strong faith? He has commanded it, and so it must be. Do we need strength to resist tempation, sin or Satan and his minions? God has commanded it, and so it must be. Do we need strength to endure a trial? He has commanded it, and so it must be.
When our God speaks, His Word is self-fulfilling. It’s not dependent on who or what we are, but on His own inherent faithfulness and power. His Word is absolute, and we can hold onto it with the faith that He Himself will strengthen in us. We need only to ask and be willing to humble ourselves to receive.
When we doubt or weaken – as we all do on occassion – let us consider this: If the Almighty God, creator and sustainer of the universe, has gone to all the effort to create, shape, mold, work, establish and direct who and what we are today, why would He not ensure the strength needed to sustain, complete and fulfill it? He has brought us to this place, and will see it through to His perfect end, whatever that may be. We are His children, the work of His hands, the work of His love, and the work of His grace and mercy. He authors our faith and will surely finish it.
All of these things apply to our calling in Him as well. We were created for a particular purpose. Every aspect of our personality, our character, our skills, talents and experience are absolutely unique. There is a purpose that only we can fill. It is a purpose that God has wrought, not one of our own plan or choosing. Every day, every hour, every moment of our lives has been part of the shaping to fit us for our intended purpose. What God has begun, He will complete.
We may doubt our ability, our knowledge, our experience, and our equipping. But God doesn’t, not for a single moment, because His plan, His purpose and His choice for any particular calling is perfect. We are not, and never will be. But we are able because He has commanded it, and He has also commanded – provided through His Word – the strength we need in every single aspect of our lives. His command is the provision we need to accomplish His purpose and plan through us and in us and for us.
It’s easy to restrict the context of strength to the physical or emotional, but God’s intention is far bigger, far more sweeping and all-encompassing than the limited capacity of our human understanding. We praise Him as being strong and mighty, because He is. Yet we often forget that every single attribute of God is present in all His interactions with us, His people. He desires that all we do in and through and with and for Him should be ‘strong and mighty,’ just as He is. He has commanded strength because it is a testimony to and a manifestation of His strength – one which is made perfect in our weakness.
Let this be our prayer – that He strengthen our joy, strengthen our love, strengthen our faith, strengthen our commitment, strengthen our zeal, strengthen our desire, strengthen our relationships, strengthen our praise and worship. The list is endless. Consider each and every aspect of our lives, and we will find that every one of them requires strengthening. We have His promise. We have His command. Let us be encouraged and emboldened to ask and receive the manifestation of His grace and unction on all we think, speak, believe or do. We can do so in the faith that what He has commanded will be.
Thank You, Lord, that we can take hold of Your Word and receive, by grace, what You have already commanded. Remind us daily that You are source of all we need. You have created us, redeemed us and shaped us, and we ask that You strengthen us in all things, according to Your Word, so that we may manifest You as You continue Your work in and through us.