Remember this: “Perfect love casts out all fear” (1 Jn. 4:18)—and Perfect Love lives in you.
In the great passage on spiritual warfare from Ephesians 6, Paul begins his thoughts, “Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might” (6:10). His point being: Our confidence must not be in the church, our pastor, a ministry organization, our spouse, our Bible-study group, or the godly person who mentored us in matters of faith. We are strong—not in these—but in the Lord’s strength!
You don’t necessarily feel God’s strength come over you. You don’t gain God’s strength. You don’t get it like a reward. You have it. Your strength is Christ in you. Notice the Scripture doesn’t say you become strong. It says, “…be strong.” In other words, strong is something you are, not something you become!
It is when you are least aware of God’s strength that you need His strength most. When everything is degenerating around you and life’s warning lights are flashing, you need the surging strength of the Spirit. You need to hear the comforting, encouraging voice of God while He directs fire down on the enemy bastion.
These you have. But, there are consistently two, opposing opinions offered.
If you listen to the enemy, he will confidently intone that God is elsewhere: “Indeed, God’s strength is great! But it appears He’s stopped just short of where you are. I’m certain He cares, but I gather He’s letting the answering machine screen His calls. Doggone. It is reminiscent of hide-and-seek, isn’t it?”
On the other hand, if you listen to God, you might not hear much at all. There isn’t really anything to discuss from His vantage point. No need left unmet, no concern unattended, no inherent weakness, no crisis necessitating an emergency declaration from heaven’s throne. Nothing.
What more do you need?
It isn’t that God is distant or indifferent. When He says “be strong,” it isn’t the same as being told as a child, “Be strong. Big boys don’t cry.” It is a loving reminder—an exhortation, really—of the facts: “Be strong—which you are—in My strength.”
When it appears you are caught in a game of hide-and-seek with God, first, check to see if you are the one hiding or trying to cram God into a box of your own making. If so, you know what to do. Second, if you aren’t hiding from God, then look close by. He is consistently in the same place: in you!
What more do you need?