Our theme for this 30 for 30 is Strength and Strategy. You need both in every area of your life to be successful. Therefore, you need to watch out for these four strength stealers!

  1. Shame

Shame that comes upon you for your past mistakes, sins, and failures will drain the life out of you. It speaks to you that you are no good, on “plan b” with God, a loser, a hypocrite.

Shame doesn’t just say that you did bad, but that you are bad. Shame attempts to reach the very core of your being – your identity.

So how do you get rid of shame? God’s Grace.

“But where sin abounds, grace much more abounds.” Romans 5:20

You must believe that God’s grace is more powerful, more abundant, than your sin, because it is.

When you sin, ask God to forgive you, turn around and head in the right direction again.

“But if we freely admit our sins when his light uncovers them, he will be faithful to forgive us every time. God is just to forgive us our sins because of Christ, and he will continue to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 TPT

  1. Stress

“Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.” Proverbs 12:25 NLT

Stress steals your strength and robs you of your joy. Just think of how the opposite works – when you finish a big project, a homework assignment, or a financial need gets met, your energy returns and your joy spikes. You are nice again and easier to get along with.

Whenever I am stressed, I take it as a sign that I am not trusting God but rather living in fear.

I then do my best to stop, think about His faithfulness, remember how much He loves me, is for me, and has promised to take care of me. Whenever I do this my stress immediately decreases. (I have to do it over and over sometimes depending on the intensity of the issue I am facing). Can you relate?

But the key is found in the second part of that verse,

“Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.” Proverbs 12:25

The Bible is your encouraging Word. His faithfulness to you is connected to His promises for you.

  1. Stubbornness

“Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols.” 1 Samuel 15:23a NLT

Rebellion, witchcraft, stubbornness, and disobedience are all rooted in self-will. It is an attempt to be in control, and to control others.

Why does this steal your strength? Because whenever you are being stubborn, rebellious, willful, and disobeying God, you are resisting God’s rule in your life. God wants to be in control. He knows best and He will wrestle with you until you give in, because He loves you.

Often, we will resist God’s will until we are completely exhausted. But thank God He doesn’t give in  because the end result is blessing and peace. (Although that pesky thing called “free will” will keep us running for as long as we can).

“Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.’ And you forgave the guilt of my sin.” Psalm 32:1-5 NIV

  1. Unhealthy Relationships

People in healthy, life-giving relationships constantly add value to one another. They build each other up and encourage you in what God has called you to be and to do.

People in unhealthy relationships constantly dishonor one another, tearing one another down and discouraging your walk with God.

It might not even be that your friend, or significant other, is intentionally trying to draw you away from God, or taking value from you, but if they aren’t propelling you forward in your walk with God they are pulling you back.

There are some relationships you can’t get out of, but you can enforce healthy boundaries. Other relationships you need to just cut off.

“Do not be deceived: Bad company corrupts good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33 Amp

When I first gave my life to Jesus, I tried to maintain all my relationships. But I soon realized that Jesus was leading me in a completely different direction. I would begin to obey Him, changing my habits, then I would hang out with my friends, and they would either tell me I was being “too extreme”, or by simply being in the environment I eventually cave in.

I came to realize that this Scripture is true:

“Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?” Amos 3:3 NLT

If your friends are not encouraging your walk with God, you need new friends.

“Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.” Hebrews 3:12-13 NLT

 

THINK ABOUT IT

  1. Which of these strength stealers are you dealing with right now? What do you think is the solution to regaining your strength?
  2. Do you believe the blood of Jesus is more powerful than your sin? If not, why not? I encourage you to memorize 1 John 1:9
  3. What relationships do you need to cut off in your life? You can still pray for them, but if they are pulling you back from your walk with God, you need to let them go and trust God.