“Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the [soaring] eagle.”
(Psalm 103:5 AMP)
REFRESHED: NOT EXCLUSIVE TO HOLIDAYS
I recently came home from a lovely four-week UK/European summer trip. It was so nice to leave my desk for a few weeks, explore and eat my way around one of my favourite parts of the world, all while escaping the Aussie winter (not that it is that harsh but I’m a beach baby at heart so bear with me).
I love travel because of all its benefits. It gives me time to think, pray, relax and rest my body. When I’m away God always speaks to me, directs me and encourages me.
When I got home I felt refreshed and energised. I was approaching my work, my friends, my church and my exercise with a new level of excitement and a renewed sense of purpose. The care factor was off the rector (in the good direction).
I loved this energetic and fresh version of myself.
It got me thinking…surely this frame of mind, body and spirit is not exclusive to travel or that brief post-holiday euphoria.
Could this level of energy and drive be achieved without needing to fly 30+ hours around the world?
Surely my geographic location has no impact on God’s ability to refresh and renew me.
So, I turned to the Word of God (The Bible) to see what it has to say on the topic. It is our greatest source of truth after all.
EUREKA! STRENGTH IS ON SUPERNATURAL TAP!
And guess what I learned – God’s intent is for us to operate in constant renewal, strength and energy!
He has designed us to operate out of His strengthening!
Need proof? Look at what the scriptures have to say:
Psalm 103:1-5 (MEV) – “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits…who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
Isaiah 40:31 (MEV) – “…but those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint.”
Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things because of Christ who strengthens me.”
Colossians 1:10-11 (MEV) – “…that you may walk in a manner…strengthened with all might according to His glorious power…”
Colossians 1:29 – “In this I labour, striving according to His power, which effectively works in me.”
2 Corinthians 4:16 – “For this reason we do not lose heart: Even though our outward man is perishing, yet our inward man is being renewed day by day.”
I quickly found the answer to my question, and it is a very loud and clear YES!
Yes, we can live in a constant state of supernatural renewal, strength and energy.
How? THROUGH relationship with Jesus and His Holy Spirit which He has made freely available to us!
DID YOU NOTE THE ‘BUT’?
Some of these scriptures may be very familiar to you. Isiah 40:31, for example, is widely quoted in Christian contexts, featured on bumper stickers, phone covers, Instagram pics and Facebook cover photos alike.
But did you notice the big “but” in that scripture?
I never had before. I had always thought that once we grow tired and weary, then we come to God and He renews our energy and strength like the eagle’s.
But there’s a “but” in this scripture that makes a big difference to its meaning for you and me.
I like big “buts”!
The scripture says, “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength…”
Not, “Those who are completely exhausted and wiped out are to come to God and He’ll renew their strength.”
Not, “Take a big holiday and God will renew your strength.”
It says, “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength…”
When we live life in such a way that we are in the constant spiritual posture of waiting on the Lord, He will renew our strength EVERYDAY!
When we look to Him as our source of infinite strength rather than trying to operate out of our own finite strength, we get to run and not grow weary. We get to walk and not faint!
WHAT DOES WAITING ON HIM LOOK LIKE?
How do we tap into this supernatural strength provision?
Isaiah 40:31 says that when we wait on the Lord, he renews our strength.
Here is the verb (doing word) definition of wait: to remain in readiness for a purpose.
When God asks us to wait on Him he is asking us to REMAIN in Him.
Reading the Amplified version of this scripture, it tells us that those who wait on the Lord are those who expect, look for and hope in Him.
I’m learning, as I dig into what the Word says on waiting, that this is a discipline! It’s something that we need to ask the Holy Spirit to train us in because it’s not always our fleshly inclination.
Our flesh wants to rush ahead, skip to the end, do it in our own strength, our own way and on our own time.
But that’s not what God tells us to do. He tells us to WAIT ON HIM [expect, look for and hope in Him] as our source. When we do, He renews our strength and gives us the energy to soar like an eagle.
I preface this by saying this posture of faithful waiting and drawing our strength from God isn’t always easy. It’s actually in opposition to our fleshly nature. This is why the bible refers to it as a “narrow” way of living.
Matthew 7:13-14 (TPT) says – “Come to God through the narrow gate, because the wide gate and broad path is the way that leads to destruction – nearly everyone chooses that crowded road! The narrow gate and the difficult way leads to eternal life – so few even find it!”
This is a narrow way of living. It is a discipline that we learn through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Don’t try to work it out on your own or achieve it in your own strength. That’s futile. Ask the Spirit to instruct and teach you in this way of living.
WHY LIKE THE EAGLE?
I’ve always been fascinated by eagles. Probably because they appear in some of my favourite scriptures and they’re widely used as a symbol of strength and power. So cool!
The way that a number of the scriptures on energy and renewal reference eagles got me thinking…what is it about how an eagle operates that has God regularly citing them as an example of strength?
There’s got to be something in this! A message that God is communicating through His creation of the eagle.
Here’s an interesting eagle fact that I learned: their wings are so heavy that if they were to flap them too much in the sky they would actually die of exhaustion. That is why they soar. In order to soar, they need to tap into the wind currents and work with the wind to stay in the air with minimal exertion (aka flapping).
What a metaphor for how we ought to operate when we look to God as our strength source! He is instructing us to soar, not wildly flap our heavy wings to the point of pure exhaustion.
How do we soar? Just like the eagle! The eagle taps into the wind, they rest their big wings on it which allows them to remain airborne with minimal effort. God’s given us this metaphoric wind through His Holy Spirit.
When we wait on and rest in God, we allow the Holy Spirit that lives in us to supply us with the strength and energy to operate in our God-given purpose with a supernatural strength supply that enables us to soar.
We can’t soar in our own human strength. It is not by our own might or ability that we are energised. Rather it is by God through His Holy Spirit that lives in us!
“And we pray that you would be energised with all His explosive power from the realm of His magnificent glory, filling you with great hope.” (Colossians 1:11 TPT).
EVEN JESUS GOT TIRED.
Now please don’t be insulted if you read this and are physically tired. I get it. Even Jesus got tired. Look at what it says in Matthew 8:23 – “And Jesus, exhausted, fell asleep.”
Our physical bodies get tired. That just means you’re human.
But the strength that comes from God is an inner, supernatural strength that surpasses understanding and enables us to continue running the race with a deep and constant strength supply.
In 2 Corinthians 4:16 Paul says it well when he says, “So no wonder we don’t give up. For even though our outer person gradually wears out, our inner being is renewed every single day.”
So be encouraged! Even though you may feel physically tired, God is graciously extending a supernatural strength supply that runs far deeper than our outer person. It is a strength that transcends the physical and enables us to keep going!
Tap into His infinite strength that rather than your own finite strength.
When I find myself really exhausted, I’m learning to stop and ask, “Am I operating out of my strength or His? What am I putting my strength and energy in to? Is it what God has called me to?”
This little self-check will always reveal the hole in the bucket that’s causing my strength and energy to run out.
More often than not the answer is that I’m trying to operate out of my own strength rather than God’s. But sometimes it is a commitment or something that I have said yes to that God hasn’t called me to.
2 Peter 1:3 (AMP) says, “For His divine power has bestowed on us [absolutely] everything necessary for [a dynamic spiritual] life and godliness, through true and personal knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”
In other words, when we are operating in the areas God has called us to, He equips us with everything we need for that work, including the strength and energy.
So, if you’re finding our energy is running out hard and fast, run your self-check by asking these two questions:
- Am I operating out of my strength or am I trusting on God’s supernatural strength supply?
- Am I operating outside of the areas God has called me to?
THE ART AND DISCIPLINE OF WAITING ON THE LORD.
What all the scriptures and all the metaphors boil down to is this: we have access to a supernatural supply of strength and energy when we live life in the constant posture of waiting on and remaining in God!
Freshness and energy are not exclusive to travel. It’s not something that is fleeting only to be swept away by post-holiday blues.
It’s is a state of mind, spirit and body that God intends us to operate in always!
I don’t know about you, but this was so encouraging for me! God loves me so much that He wants me to live energised and strong!
To unlock this treasure stored up for me in the heavenly realm, I need to focus on living a life that waits on Him and remains in Him. I need to operate out of God’s endless, mighty, super-abundant strength, and not my own.
I’m asking the Holy Spirit to teach me the art of this discipline every day; I can’t do it on my own!
So, here’s what I am committing to do: wait on and remain in Him. Operate out of His strength and not my own.
Feel free to join me. I have it on good [divine] authority that it will work out well for all who do!