She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms. Proverbs 31:17 NKJV
To gird means to put on, to wrap up, or to cover up. As strength is not something tangible like a coast, how does she gird herself with strength?
By reviewing the verses we have already studied Proverbs 31:10-17, we might gain some insight. Let’s look together how the Proverbs 31 woman puts on strength:
Verse 11 – She is strong because she is a trustworthy wife.
Verse 11 – She is strong through helping her husband as God intended.
Verse 12 – She is strong from continuing to do good without growing weary.
Verse 13 – She is strong through her willingness to work.
Verse 14 – She is strong as she loves her neighbor as herself and provides for them.
Verse 15 – She is strong by meeting the needs of others rather than her own.
Verse 16 – She is strong due to her wise decisions and thoughts toward the future.
Did you notice everything on the list above was action oriented? It makes perfect sense, because to strengthen a muscle, for example, one must exercise it. Let’s say you want to strengthen your stomach muscles. In that case, you will need to perform a series of tummy crunches, sit-ups and other exercises targeted at the specific area. It is only when those exercises are done on a regular basis that strength is developed in the muscles. Sadly, you can’t “think” your way to a firm tummy. It takes effort and lots of it.
This woman strengthens her spiritual muscles through the things she does. There is strength, confidence and peace knowing we do what is right and pleasing to God. The thoughts recorded here are not promoting self-reliance, self-motivation, or think-your-way-to-a-better-whatever kinds of attitudes, though. Behind the scenes this woman has put on the armor of God and draws her strength from Him. She would not be able to accomplish all she does by her own effort else she would be exhausted and overwhelmed. No, all this can only be done for the glory of God by the power of God working through her.
How do we tap the power of God hidden within us?
- By renewing our mind with God’s Word (Romans 12:2).
- By letting Christ dwell richly within us (Colossians 3:16).
- By focusing our thoughts on what is pure, right, just, honorable and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8).
- By fixing our eyes on the eternal things rather than the temporary things (2 Corinthians 4:18).
When we learn these and apply them in our lives, the fruit of the Spirit will be evident just as it is in Proverbs 31 woman.
Lord Jesus, thank you for giving us everything we need to live a godly life until you return. Help us tap into your power within us. Teach to live by your Spirit rather than by our strength so we may bless others as you have blessed us. In your name we pray. Amen.
© Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word. For more devotions, bible studies and a recommended book store, visit http://www.ThinkOnItDevotions.com today.