By Kathi Pelton
In a world of constant exposure to social media with perfect family pictures in “house beautiful” backdrops, even the healthiest people can begin wondering what is wrong with their family or their home. They may find themselves asking why their family isn’t as perfect as that family they saw on social media in matching pj’s sitting peacefully in front of a fireplace? Why isn’t their house always clean and sparkling while decorated perfectly? But let’s be honest, who wants to see a picture of someone’s kid having a fit or their kitchen sink full of dirty dishes or any of the chaos that all too often accompanies real life?
I am one of those people who love to post photos of my family having beautiful moments and I love to take pictures of beautiful things— especially my home and sunrises. But what you don’t see is my real life struggle between the beautiful moments. They happen! My beautifully polished hardwood floors get dirty every week, my kitchen table becomes a “catch all” way too often and I would never show you a 5 am wake up picture of myself! I invite the social media world into my seemingly “all is beautiful” life and spare my viewers of the mess and moments of weakness.
The messy parts of life are often when we feel weak, incompetent, chaotic, guilty or like a fraud. Quite frankly, for many, the mess may be more frequent than the moments of strength or beauty. So what are we to do during the the weak times or amid the mess? What are we to do when there is a spiritual battle all around us and all we feel that we have is weakness and tools that merely maintain the mess?
Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weakling say, “I am strong!” Joel 3:10
Spiritually you may feel that all you possess are coping tools rather than weapons that can win the battle that rages around you. But you can use those tools to be forged into weapons of war and stand up (even in the midst of weakness) and say, “I am strong in the Lord!” God had me take my coping tool of journaling and turn my pen into a weapon of war to defeat discouragement, lies and defeat. My pen has become a sharpened sword of truth in my hand. What is your tool that can be beaten into a weapon of war against the enemy?
As for weakness, the Apostle Paul boasts in his weakness— even claiming to be the weakest of all men. Why? So that his life could declare the strength of God amid mortal weakness and mess.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. 2 Corinthians 12:9-11
Behind the veil of social medial posts and pictures exists the weakness of every man, woman and child. The photos of frail people fighting sickness and adversity may be more accurate of the state of mankind, especially without God. Yet— God calls to us to take what is in our hand and “beat it into a sword.” You may feel like a useless tool, only useful for cleaning up messes or calming chaos, but it is time for you to know that in the hands of the Lord, you can become a sharp sword that is fit for battle— you can stand up and say, “I am a strong warrior.” Of a matter of fact, it is time for you to do this. Begin by boasting in your weakness and acknowledging the strength of our Almighty God. Then allow His strength to renew and strengthen you. Don’t settle for the mess or for defeat— you were made to overcome, to change the atmosphere and to be victorious! Offer him your seemingly common tools (gifts) and watch as He makes you a sword that is fit to tear down strongholds, defeat giants and overcome great armies.
“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
Stop running from the Lord because of our weakness and begin to wait on the Lord until you receive “strength from on high!” He gives strength to the weary and power to those who feel like fainting (Isaiah 40:29). He did not choose you because of your strength or even because of the gift in your hand. He knows your weakness but he looks for you to posture yourself in waiting and yielding to receive his strength. He receives your offering of what seems useless and transforms you a great warrior with sharpened swords and spears. He is the one who turns useless vessels into victorious warriors.
One thing that I have discovered in my journey with the Lord is that often when I feel my weakest— beaten down by pressure and the poundings that this life brings— it is actually then that I am being formed from a plow into a sword. The perseverance and endurance of plowing through turmoil and adversity will turn my plowing shovel into a sharpened sword or spear. Declare this, “I am strong in the Lord! I am a sword in the hand of the Lord! I am being sharpened into a spear that pierces the darkness. I am a mighty warrior!”
If you feel faint, weak, or beaten down— don’t give into defeat! You are about to become a shining double edged sword that is mighty in the hand of God! It is time for the weak to declare, “I AM A STRONG WARRIOR!”
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:31-37
You are more than a conqueror through him who loves you!
SOW INTO 2023
Begin your new year by planting a seed offering into the soil of expectancy!
Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” Luke 6:38
To sow your seed into this ministry, go to: https://www.inscribeministries.com/partner-with-us.html
Or, send your gift to: Inscribe Ministries/ 149 NE Ocean Loop/ Hillsboro, Oregon 97124