A Note on Strength:


In describing the virtue of meekness, Pastor Todd tells the following story (I think he said it was a true story):

    Chuck Norris walks into a bar (seriously, this is a true story haha), sits down at the bar and orders some food. As he is eating this big burly biker guy comes in and mosies on up to Chuck saying,
    “Hey, that’s mah seat.”
    Chuck looks at the guy, stands up and moves down the bar. Some time later the big guy comes up to Chuck and says,
    “Hey,” says Chuck.
    “You’re Chuck Norris right?”
    “You could tan my hide right?”
    And the guy, realizing how close he was to danger, puts out his hand and introduces himself.

The moral of the story is that Chuck Norris, in forgoing his right to his seat and exhibiting meekness, not only avoided a fight, but found a new friend. In the same way, the word tells us that Jesus, while he was on the cross, could have called legions of angels to his aid, but in meekness, decided against it, and died for our salvation.

    Now, what would change about the story if, say, Chuck Norris wasn’t crazy at martial arts? If Jesus wasn’t the Son of God? Well then Chuck would be wise to avoid the fight, not meek. And Jesus, well he did the only thing he could, hung on the cross. Do you see the point? There is a difference between meekness and weakness, a difference between choosing against using violent force and being helpless against it.

Our Strength

    Brothers, the Lord is our Strength and in him we are strong. The Gospel naturally appeals more to those of us who are weak, who are broken and sick. Healthy people don’t need to be healed. And so, when we came, we were tired, we were hungry, poor, broken, in need of a drink. But brothers he gave us rest and nourishment, he healed us and gave us life. We have them now. In Christ we are a new creation, the old has gone and new has come. Do you know what Paul means when he says “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”? I suspect he means what he says. I don’t want to say the word ‘potential’ because it brings to mind a host of images and relations to the self. But guys, if God is with us who can be against us?

Our lack of faith does not make us weak, we were already weak, our lack of faith keeps us from being strong. We should be the most patient, the most grounded, the most kind, the most thoughtful, the most confident, the best teachers, the best poets, the best brothers, the best friends, the best lovers, the best. The best because the best is the ‘most good’. Because the one who loved us first, the Rock of our salvation, is our strength, our hope, our Love.

The Rock

Think of that game show “Survivor”. If life is “Survivor” we have immunity in every round. Or if our lives are one big game of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”, we start out at the million dollar bracket. Our strength comes from having built our house on solid ground. Can you imagine if we entered relationships, unafraid and able to pour out our very hearts because we knew, knew, that no matter how much rejection or hurt we suffered, we would always be considered Sons of God. That we would never be rejected by the one who’s love matters most? Or if we entered our work, working hard at it, not because our identities and well-being depended on it, but because we’d been gifted for it and because we know that work is good? What does the abundant life look like?

The world has fooled us into thinking that there are no more battles to be fought. Just because we no longer have to kill for our food, defend our families from the constant threat of robbery or death from exposure, we believe that we don’t have to fight for anything. But like I said before, our walks are wars. We have to fight for our lives. If we choose not to, we will lose them. We’ve come to a point where all the world expects of men is for them to not screw up. We are no longer be called to be good men. You don’t have to be good, just don’t be angry, drunk, abusive, hateful, poor. The world looks at men who have done these things (“Lord these commands I have kept since I was a child”) and wonders why there is no life left in them, and pities them for what it has made them.

We were made for more than that, brothers. For more than keeping ourselves from drowning, we were made to walk on water.

All men die, but few men ever truly live.

I know in writing on this topic, I’m in way over my head. But we are all working out our faith, and I think it would be foolish to not even have a direction in which to head. Notice I haven’t dared to give any specific steps, far be it from me to be able to tell any of you what to do. But that’s it, that’s what this is, only a direction. I feel confident that God wouldn’t object with men who are humble, because they know where they came from, strong, because they know in whom they are rooted, persevering in faith and love, because they know their old nature, and lovers of goodness, because their God is good.


~ by justinhong on November 27, 2007.

7 Responses to “A Note on Strength:”

  1. Yeah man, thanks for your thoughts on fighting a good fight.I also want to know what it means now that we’re built up and given all authority and equipped with spiritual offensive and defensive weaponry. Where do we stand and where do we go?

  2. Dude honestly justin. i think my head is constantly spinning but yours is too. Mine is spinning on other subjects about god, but whao man are u like reading 20 books on god right now.  I swear man. Amazing. THanks for sharing this.  I like that chuck norris story. i dont believe it is true. hahah it is just too funny.

  3. The Chuck Norris story reminds me of a story from a long time ago.There was this guy who was tough. He went around mountain towns trying to find the toughest guy around and he would fight him. He always won.One day he came into a small mountain town and walked into a bar. He asked the bartender, “Who is the toughest guy in this town?” The bartender said, “I reckon that’s got to be Big Otis.” The guy said, “Well, I want to challenge Big Otis.” The bartender said, “Nope, you don’t want nothing to do with Big Otis.” The guy said, “No, I do this. I fight tough guys and I want to fight Big Otis.” The bartender said, “Your funeral.”So the challenge went out. A little while later, a man came running down the street yelling, “Big Otis is coming to town!” and everyone started leaving. A little while later this BIG BIG man walked down the middle of the street, walked into the bar, sat down and said, “Gimme a drink.”Our hero started edging for the door, but just as he got there, a big, meaty hand attached to a bigger, meatier arm reached out and grabbed him by the shoulder. “Where you goin?” asked the big man. “Heh, heh, I was thinking about getting out of town,” said our hero. The big man said, “Hey, can I go with you? I hear Big Otis is coming to town!”

  4. i like everything you wrote…especially the last sentence, which is simply amazing and totally reflective of God. just reading this made me write a few more sentences of my personal statement =D

  5. i dont get it.

  6. thanks, justin. i needed that 🙂

  7. justin, i think God is doing a pretty crazy work in your heart/brain.  it’s really good for my soul to read your posts.  😀

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