Why you should pursue spiritual strength

There is a real sweetness and relief in being able to acknowledge your weakness before God. Suddenly, you feel lighter and happier because you realise that God knows you’re weak, and that he wants to offer you strong support. There are many moments in my days when I am conscious of my spiritual weakness, and we need to be reminded of this often.

But the aim of the Christian life is to develop strength, to muscle up (spiritually speaking), and to grow mighty in God.

One of the great dangers of our age is that we have a tendency to wallow in our ‘brokenness’, and celebrate our weakness. This is a problem if it fosters a mindset in which we shrug off our failings as inevitable, and give way to spiritual laziness as a personal foible. Whereas, the Bible teaches us to exercise strenuous effort in our desire to mature and grow and overcome. (Think of Paul who says ‘I press on towards the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus’ or of his hope that we ‘strive side by side for the faith of the gospel’, and so on.)

The Bible praises spiritual strength as a virtue. Christ himself is described by John the Baptist as ‘stronger’ or ‘mightier’ than him, and we are becoming more like Jesus as he changes us from one degree of glory to another. Elsewhere it says, ‘I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one (1 John 2.14). 

We are wrong to think that aspiring to spiritual strength is somehow proud or unrealistic and unattainable. God has gifted us his Holy Spirit for the very purpose of strengthening us. That is Paul’s point when he realises his weakness; that in that very weakness God’s strength is made perfect.

So, Christian, don’t be content to lounge around in weakness, wearing the spiritual equivalent of jogging bottoms like someone who’s given up on life. Make it your aim to get stronger.