When we’re up against challenges bigger than ourselves, we need spiritual relationships.
If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.
Proverbs 24: 10 (Amp)
Don’t give up and be helpless
in times of trouble.
Proverbs 24: 10 (CEV)
Every friend that I have is facing some kind of adversity and some kind of challenge. Many of the challenges are just life, and many of the challenges are there because we are trying to do something great and significant with our lives—to make a difference. To make disciples and to change lives, we need strength.
Spiritual relationships give you strength. Are you getting strength from your relationships?
As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been.
1 Kings 11: 4
What makes us weak? Relationships that influence us away from God. We choose who we will allow to influence us, so we must take responsibility for our our relationships—and the weakness we may have allowed into our lives.
While David was at Horesh in the Desert of Ziph, he learned that Saul had come out to take his life. And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God.
1 Samuel 23: 15-16
What makes us strong? Relationships that are spiritual and point us to God. God is the one who gives us strength to handle any obstacle. Do you have relationships like that? Think through your top 5 friends… Are they spiritually drawing you to God and focusing you on God?
God gives us strength, faith, character, and conviction. When we allow people to influence us who do not have God as a priority, we become weaker. But when we allow people to influence us who have God as their priority and their conviction, we find strength.
What Makes Us Weak
Saul did only half of what God told him to do. Then his friend Samuel asked him: “Why didn’t you obey the God? The whole thing, not just half…” And this was his reply:
“But I did obey the Lord,” Saul said. “I went on the mission the Lord assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. 21 The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the Lord your God at Gilgal.”
1 Samuel 15: 20-21
Saul argued with Samuel: “But I did obey God”! The truth was that he didn’t obey God completely, but instead he lied. First Saul lied to himself. Then he lied to Samuel. What truths are you lying to yourself about? What lies are you telling your friends?
In verse 21, Saul blamed his soldiers. He was king, but didn’t want to take responsibility. Again, he lied.
Lying, hiding, exaggerating truth, minimizing… these are all deceit, and deceit makes us weak.
We lie when we want to give a false impression of who we are. Lying leads to empty, superficial relationships. Did you have any interactions this week where you chose to be deceitful? Did you tell a bold-faced lie or half of a truth? Deceit separates spiritual relationships and destroys intimacy.
It takes trust to be completely honest with your friends, your spouse, your kids. Trust allows us to share openly with each other and help each other be strong.
Did you have any interactions this week where you chose to be deceitful? Does your spouse know your sin and the true condition of your marriage?
I defy the armies of Israel today! Send me a man who will fight me!” 11 When Saul and the Israelites heard this, they were terrified and deeply shaken.
1 Samuel 17: 10-11 (NLT)
When we have a Goliath (fear) that we won’t face, it leave us terrified and deeply shaken.
We need to pray specifically about our fears and believe that God can take them on. Or else, we will become like Saul, instead of David. Friends help us identify those fears and become strong.
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
Philippians 2: 12-13
If we don’t workout physically, we get weak! The same happens spiritually when we stop working out our spiritual muscles… we become weaker and weaker, more discouraged and more apathetic.
How are you doing working out spiritually? What spiritual muscles are you targeting? If love is a weak spiritual muscle, what are you doing to make it stronger? Serving, being interested in someone, helping someone in a way that won’t give you any attention… these are spiritual workouts for love!
What Makes Us Strong
Hear me, Lord, my plea is just; listen to my cry. Hear my prayer—it does not rise from deceitful lips.
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.
What have you repented of this week? What are you working on changing this week?
As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.
1 Samuel 17: 48-49
How do you know you’re strong? You run to the battle line! You don’t cower and shrink back! What Goliath is God calling you to take on? When we believe that God is working behind the scenes, it gives us courage.
Are you strong?
Spiritual relationships make you strong!
Work out spiritually with honest prayers and repentance!