IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.
TOPIC: FOR BY STRENGTH OF THE FLESH SHALL NO MAN PREVAIL
Rev. Innocent Peace-Udochukwu
President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM
“He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.”
MEN think a great deal of anyone who has power or those who are royalty. If it were said, concerning somebody in this place, “That individual has very great power with the President” there are a great many of you who would turn at once to look at that person. He who has great power with an earthly prince is sure to have many flatterers around him who will pay him homage for the sake of the advantage which they hope to gain through his mediation. But, dear Friends, what a far greater honor it is to have power with the King of kings! Power with men may be an evil thing, but what blessing must come from power with God! How it ennobles the soul of the man who possesses it! This man, Jacob, who has power with God, is called Israel, a prince, for so he is—but princes have no such dignity as his unless they, too, have power with God, for he is “a prince of God.”
FOR BY STRENGTH OF THE FLESH NO MAN CAN PREVAIL
What a comprehensive blessing it must be to have power with God, for he who has power with God must have power with men! Creatures must submit where the Creator, Himself, has yielded. If you can have your way with the Master, you may depend upon it that you can have your way with His servants. The man who has power with God must be safe. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” No weapon that is formed against such a man can prosper and every tongue that rises against him in judgment, he can condemn, for, having power with God, he shall be able to plant his foot upon the neck of his adversaries and to reign over those who rebel against him. Such a man as that cannot be in need. If he has power with God, he will tell Him about his needs and they shall all be supplied. He will confess his sins and they will be forgiven. God will deal well with the man who has power with Him. There is such a wide range of blessing here that I must not stop to enlarge upon it. If you have power with God, you will see that this is a weapon which, like the flaming sword at the gate of the Garden of Eden, turns every way. Or I may say of it what David said of the sword of Goliath, “There is none like that; give it to me.” Human language can never tell a thousandth part of the value of power with
FOR BY STRENGTH SHALL NO MAN PREVAIL!
You scarcely need to be told that it cannot be anything like physical force in opposition to God. It is power with God, not power against God, that is mentioned in our text. No creature, however mighty, can have any power to stand in opposition to Omnipotence. Who are we that we should ever stand up to oppose the Most High? Let the twig contend with the fierce flame, or the wax with the burning heat, but let us not contend with God! If we did so, we should be like the moth in the candle—utterly consumed. The strongest and the proudest men must be but as stubble in the day of God’s anger. In fact, to think of man having any power against God is sheer madness, for we have not any power at all apart from God. We only exist because He wills it.
FOR BY STRENGTH SHALL NO MAN PREVAIL!
The breath in our nostrils is His gift, moment by moment. We should go back to the nothingness from which we sprang if He withdrew, for a single instant, His sustaining hand! Man has no power against God. O you foolish sinners who are resisting Him, give up the unequal battle! I charge you, before God, to count the cost of a contest with your Maker before you begin it! As well might a potsherd strive with him who molds it as for you, a creature, to strive with your Creator! He will break you in pieces, like a potter’s vessels, in the day of His anger. Therefore, be wise and end the fight—and be at peace with Him!
FOR BY STRENGTH SHALL NO MAN PREVAIL!
“Talk no more so very proudly; Let no arrogance come from your mouth, For the LORD is the God of knowledge; And by Him actions are weighed.
4 “The bows of the mighty men are broken, And those who stumbled are girded with strength.
5 Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, And the hungry have ceased to hunger. Even the barren has borne seven, And she who has many children has become feeble.
6 “The LORD kills and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and brings up.
7 The LORD makes poor and makes rich; He brings low and lifts up.
8 He raises the poor from the dust And lifts the beggar from the ash heap, To set them among princes And make them inherit the throne of glory. “For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, And He has set the world upon them.
9 He will guard the feet of His saints, But the wicked shall be silent in darkness. “For by strength no man shall prevail.
10 The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken in pieces; From heaven He will thunder against them. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth. “He will give strength to His king, And exalt the horn of His anointed.”
1Samuel 2:3-10 (NKJV)
HUMAN strength is of many kinds, but in any form it will spend itself in due time. God can lend to men immense physical force; but though a man had the strength of a lion and an ox combined, he would one day fail. The force of flesh must fade like the grass to which it is likened. Samson sometimes becomes exhausted, and he is like to die of thirst, though he has slain a thousand men; yea more, he must ultimately die and his mighty thews and tremendous muscles must yield to the worm and return to the dust of death. Since even granite and iron yield to constant wear and tear, assuredly man’s frail body cannot long be a thing of strength.
“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.”
— Isaiah 40:31.
Moses was 40 years old when he tried to help God by using physical strength to kill an Egyptian. He learnt the hard way that he could not do anything in his power. He had to go to a training school for 40 years. He learnt there that by strength should no man prevail. When the same Moses came back with the rod of God in his hand, there was nothing in that rod. God just wanted to use it to disgrace the enemy; he took over the whole land of Egypt from Pharaoh.
Mental strength is a noble possession, but it also fails its owner, for at best it is a finite power. The wisest of men by-and-by feel the infirmities of age creeping upon them, and frequently present the sad spectacle of second childhood. Death pays no regard to science or eloquence. The fool dies, and as surely dies the senator, the philosopher, the divine. When you take up the skull of a sage, you find no weight of wisdom there, nor trace of all the curious, movements of a potent brain. Knowledge, genius, imagination, prophetic fire, all depart; even before death they often fail. Baffled by mysteries, balked by prejudice, blinded by pride, the man of great understanding may yet be driven to his wit’s end.
Pharaoh had a very large army and was very comfortable. He had reasoned that with the kind of army he had, pursuing the people of Israel, who had no weapons, would be very easy for him. But he got to the Red Sea to find out that the battle was not for the strong and the race not for the swift and that by strength should no man prevail.
Goliath was a very strong foe. He cursed the people of God for 40 days. He was a formidable foe but there were certain things he did not understand until he landed in hell fire. Gideon’s army started with 32,000. Eventually God pruned them down to 300. Why? The battle is not for the strong, the race is not for the swift, and by strength shall no man prevail.
Every form of human strength must of necessity spend itself, for the world of which it forms a part decays, and by-and-by, like a worn-out vesture, the heavens and the earth shall be rolled up and put away. Some signs of age the creatures show already, but the time will come when their strength shall utterly fail. The reason is that all strength apart from God is derived strength, and is consequently measurable; yea, apart from God it is not strength at all, and consequently must come to an end.
if by an act of faith you that are human can be linked with the divine, what a wondrous thing will happen! Then the sacred words of the text will be fulfilled and your strength will be renewed.
From God, the overflowing spring,
Our souls shall drink a fresh supply;
While those who trust their native strength
Shalt melt away and droop and die.”
David said to Goliath in I Samuel 17:47: “And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you unto our hands.
What was David telling Goliath? He was telling him that the race is not to the swift and the battle is not to the strong and that by strength shall no man prevail.
Promotion does not necessarily go to those that are worthy. They tell us that a lot of people can reap what they did not sow. They tell us that advancement does not necessarily go to those that work the hardest. It is not that we should not work hard. They tell us that natural gifts by themselves are not enough to handle the battles of life. Natural abilities or talents are not enough for a successful life. They are telling us that skill and intelligence do not necessarily give progress; the swiftest and the strongest do not necessarily give progress. The battle is not for the strong and by strength shall no man prevail. There are wise people who are hungry. There are intelligent people who go unprepared. In many contests, the best candidates do not necessarily win. Being smart or talented is not the guarantee that you will succeed. People say heaven helps those who help themselves. Heaven helps those who agree with Jesus that they cannot help themselves and they want Jesus to help them.
Why are you struggling on your own when help is readily available? Stop short-changing yourself. The Creator of the Universe, who created you and the world you are living in, has the ‘Master Plan’ and the ‘User Manual’ of the Universe. He is willing to help if only you will acknowledge Him and seek His help. He created you for a purpose. He has a plan for your life and a path which you must take to fulfil destiny.
Don’t make needless mistakes, get it right. Go for God.
FOR BY THE STRENGTH OF THE FLESH SHALL NO MAN PREVAIL!
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