I have often said about my own journey of faith that its like God has me on a dog lead and I can run and play about; but sooner or later I will hit the end of that lead and its like God pulls me back to him. There is a theme throughout the Scriptures both in the Old and the New of being tethered. And sooner or later those God calls will reach the end of their own tether. And the tethering I am speaking of is the tether of our own strength.
It was through the experience of reaching the bottom of my own strength that I accepted Christ’s strength. Now, you would think that experience would have taught me a lesson or two. But, hey, call me slow! Call me stubborn! Call me stupid! But simply put as a new Christian, I was still doing things in my own strength and thinking I could do great things for God in my own strength and in the process found God allowed me to reach the end of my tether.
Now, I am glad to report, that in this, I am not alone. For I have a great band of witnesses who went before me and did exactly the same thing. Adam and Eve tried to do things in their own strength and stuffed it up for us all. Even the great patriarch Noah, after all the great things he did through the Lord’s strength reached the end of his tether, had a brain snap (I’d say post traumatic stress), became a drunkard to cope and lived in a tent…( Think about it, why was this great carpenter living in a tent and not a house.) Skip forward to Abraham, Moses, Gideon. What about Isaiah who was prophesying judgement left right and centre about everyone around him.. till God gave him a vision of his own sinfulness and for the first time cried out…Woe is me, who will take away my own sin? And then it was after this encounter, Isaiah prophesied about Christ.
Skip forward to the NT. We don’t have to look hard to find God taking people to the extremes end of their own tether, before they bow the knee and cry out Lord, we need you. But even then Peter, James, John and the others still thought they had to do things in their own strength. Carrying swords around when they were told not to. Even Saul who became Paul, he reached the end of his tether, of doing things in his own strength. He was whipped 3 or 4 times, with 39 strokes of the lash. Shipwrecked 3 times, even spending a night and day on a leaky life raft. Was imprisoned, he went hungry and become cold and wet… till finally he said.. I have learnt the true spiritual lesson of life and that is, I can’t do a thing in my own strength, I need Christ and therefore despite what comes my way, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
I want to encourage you, that through Christ, God is for you and not against you. And if you are going through a time of reaching the end of your tether, perhaps its time for you too to say God, I can’t do this any more, I need Jesus and the promise of your Holy Spirit in me, so I too can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.