But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ. ~Acts 9:22
When we think of the term “inner strength,” we immediately think of the incredible fortitude and ability to achieve a deed that might have required more people or when someone accomplishes a great come-from-behind finish. This morning, we want to consider how the Apostle Paul “increased the more in strength” and the impact that he made.
We see the secret of inner strength.
Inner strength of the spiritual life comes from much time in the presence of God. This includes the study and meditation of the Scriptures and in-depth time in prayer. It is the systematic study of the Scriptures and being able to grasp and articulate the doctrines of the Bible. In short, it is getting know the Lord Jesus Christ in such a personal way that you speak of Him as someone who has been in His presence. Inner strength is building up your soul life. Inner strength is the developing of the fruit of the Spirit in your life. It is power that you are building up from within. It is the spiritual exercises of the soul. Little exercise: little strength! Much exercise: much strength!
We see the surprise in inner strength.
We are told that Paul confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus. He surprised them by how well he knew his Bible and his doctrine. He spoke with them as one who had been intimately in God’s presence. Skeptics, scorners, and sinful men are always surprised when a man of inner strength is challenged. They are surprised that he answers them from the Scriptures. They are surprised at how thorough the Bible is in its answers and application. They are surprised that the Scriptures speak for itself. They are surprised that a man with real inner strength is always ready to give an answer for the hope that is within him and readily accepts any challenge concerning his Savior.
We see the standing through inner strength.
As Paul increased in strength, he stood his ground and proved the veracity of Christ. He proved without any shadow of doubt that God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, and received up into glory. He spoke with certainty and conviction, convincing men of the deity of Christ. He gave a thorough and indisputable case for the resurrection of Christ from the dead. He did not flinch when scorned, reviled, or rebuked. He proved to those he spoke with that Jesus is the Christ. Those who lack inner strength shy away from confrontation. Those with inner strength take the challenge of showing Who Jesus is with courage.
We see the sustainability through inner strength.
Inner strength enables its possessor to have a sustainability that the opposition does not have. Paul went from city to city proving that this is very Christ. He reasoned from the Scriptures everywhere he went. When souls were saved, he was strengthened. When his audience put him off for a more convenient season, he was strengthened. His conviction concerning Christ increased to the point where his life statement was, “Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!”
Do you possess that kind of inner strength? Do you long to have that kind of inner strength? Take some time today and determine to increase the more in strength.
Have a strengthened God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 1 Timothy 4-6