Strength from Above

Do not grieve, because your strength comes from rejoicing in the Lord.–Nehemiah 8:10b
It was the same ritual before every basketball game: listen to the same song, read my “basketball prayer,” put on my lucky socks, and use my lucky hair tie. If I missed one of these pre-game activities, there was no way I would have a good game. I now find it amusing that my confidence as a high school athlete was so tied to these silly rituals. I thought my athletic strength depended on “good-luck” charms.
I once read that Michael Jordan ate the same meal (steak and potatoes) before every game so as not to break his lucky ritual. Of course he drew strength from the food to fuel his body, but in his mind this was apparently the only food that would bring him luck to win. How many times do athletes touch a “lucky” emblem, say a “lucky” prayer, or wear the same attire for good luck? Instead of turning to the true source of strength, they have contrived a source that has the power to mentally hinder their performance if not tapped into before every event.
I wonder if God chuckles about these silly rituals. He has given us all the strength we need through the power of the Holy Spirit. If we would tap into this strength instead, we would understand the power of God. No pair of socks, song, or meal can match the awesome strength our Heavenly Father wants us to experience. Next time we start to limit our abilities based on whether or not we’ve done our pre-game rituals, we need to turn to the true source of strength and praise Him.

1. Are you tapping into an artificial source before competition?
2. Will you turn to the Savior for the strength you need to endure?


Extra Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:31; Hebrews 13:6

Lord, help me to rely on Your Holy Spirit for strength, not silly rituals that I dream up. Today I choose to tap into Your strength. Amen.