Here is a sermon my Dad, Jerry Trammell, preached at his church, First Assembly of God Dumas Texas on 2.15.2004.
The Secret of Spiritual Strength
Isaiah 41:10,13-14 – 10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 13 For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, “Fear not, I will help you.” 14 “Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel! I will help you,” says the Lord. And your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
Let me ask you, do ou ever have feelings where hyou feel as if you are almost overwhelmed by what life has dealt you? Allof us from time to time go through trials and tests, and needless to say none of us enjoy those times.
All ofus will suffer the attack of the enemy upon our lives, and there are times when those attacks are severe, and we become tired of having to constantly battle some of the things that the devil brings against us.
If you are suffering such an attack, I’m here to tell you that the words of the Lord to the children of Israel is relevant to God’s people today also. You do not have to be afraid of what the enemy may attack you with. Look at what the Lord said in my text to Israel, Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed (that is, don’t be anxious, upset, disillusioned, or discouraged), for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, “Fear not, I will help you.” Fear not…Jacob, you men of Israel! I will help you, your Redeemver, the Holy One of Israel.
These verses are plain in their meaning, and a source of consolation to God’s people. They are addressed primarily to the exiled Jews during their long and painful captivity in Babylon; and the idea is, that they who had been selected by God to be His special people had nothing to fear. Three times here in my text, God told Israel, “fear not.” The promise, here in these verses, is one that may be regarded as addressed to all His people in similar circumstances, and not just Israel. It is true now as it was then, that those whom God chosen have nothing to fear.
Although we are living in very perilous times, still we have nothing to fear. Jesus is describing these last days that we live in, said there would be “distress of nations, with perplexity.” And because of this He said, “The love of many shall wax cold.” Only those who have spiritual strength will be able to maintain spiritual victory, and survive in this awful day of apostacy within which we live until the day that He comes in the clouds of glory. But where will we get that spiritual strength?
From the inward presence of the Lord in our lives.
The natural man is no match for the enemies of our soul. Whether we realize it or not, there is an army of demons loose in this world, who are followers of Satan, who are committed to the destruction of the saints of God. Paul said, “He is the prince and power of the air.” And as such he leads a demonic host to destroy those of us who are saved. In order to keep from being overcome by our archenemy, the devil, we must have spiritual strength.
Again, where shall this spiritual power come from? It will come from the presence of the Lord within us.
1 John 4:4 – Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.
But who is the Hethat is in us? It is the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ in the form of the Holy Spirit.
When we get saved an unexplainable, mysterious work takes place. As we are forgiven of our sins we become born again, and the Spirit of Christ in the form of the Holy Spirit comes representing the presence of Christ within our lives.
Romans 8:9 – Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. Paul is not talking about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit here, but again it is talking about the Holy Spirit representing Christ is our lives here in this passage. And brother and sister, the Spirit of Christ in us is greater than he that is in the world. It is in Christ that our spiritual strength originates from. So I would say to you, get more of the Lord Jesus Christ in your life, the more of Christ that you have in your life, the greater will be your spiritual strength.
Next, get filled with the Holy Spirit, for additional strength and power comes from the infilling of the Spirit.
We have spiritual strength when the presence of the Lord is abiding within our lives, but we have additional power and strength when we are filled in the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Over and over again in Scripture, we see where average, normal men were able to do phenomenal things as they were empowered and strengthed by the Holy Spirit. In fact, the promise of the Lord is….You shall receive power after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you.
After Pentecost, the Apostles lives were revolutionized. Before Pentecost they were hiding behind locked doors afraid to show there faces for fear that they might be crucified as their Lord was. But after Pentecost they possessed a holy boldness that was not there before Pentecost. And that holy boldness came as a result of the power and strength of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Acts 4:33 – And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.
But where did that power come from? It came from the power of the Holy Spirit that caused the very earth to shake beneath the apostle’s feet as Peter prayed that God would give them boldness to preach His word.
Isaiah 59:19 – When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him. We often quote this Scripture without understanding what that standard is. Adam Clarke in his commentary refers to it as, “the breath and wind of the Spirit of Almighty God.” One writer says, “when the enemy comes against us like a flood tide, that the breath, or the wind of the Spirit of God will drive back the enemy like the waters of the Red Sea were divided.”
Spiritual strength and power comes as a result of the infilling of the Spirit,and from continually abiding in the presence of the Lord.
Finally, spiritual strength and power also comes through the strength of our commitment and dedication to the Lord.
Friend, you will never finish the race unless you are totally committed, dedicated, and surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ. For there are times when you are going to feel as Paul described in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9. You’re going to feel like you are hard pressed on every side. At times, you are going to feel perplexed, persecuted, and struck down. And duringn times like that you’ll never make it unless you have made up your mind that your going through to the finish.
We need committments like those in Hebrews 11. Who, though tortured, mocked, scourged, bound with chains and imprisoned, stayed true to their God. They endured temptation, some were slain with the sword, while others wondered about it sheepskins and goatskins, and were destitiute, afflicted, and tormented. Yet they stayed the course until the race was over with.
But how could they endure such hardships? The answer is they were spiritually strong because they had a strong dedication and commitment to the Lord. They were totally surrendered to Him. Proverbs 23:26 – My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways. Brother, that is an admonishment to give yourself totally unto the Lord.
Romans 12:1 – I beseech you therefore,brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
2 Timothy 2:21 – If you keep yourself pure, you will be a utensil God can use for His purpose. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.
So friend, commit yourself totally to Him, and live a proper life and you will be someone that God can use. If you will do this, you will have the strength to carry you onward to accomplish His purposes for your life.