God’s strength is something like concrete when it is first poured. It must “solidify” before it is firm and strong enough to be of use. This was Paul’s desire for the Christians in Corinth: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1Cor 15:58).
God wants to so solidify His work in our lives that we will stay strong in our faith and service to Him. This was also the great desire in David’s heart for his own life and the lives of his people. Therefore, he prays: “Strengthen [make solid, firm and steadfast] what You have done for us!”
Divine Prevailing Power
We have seen that the Hebrew word azaz in Psalm 68 means “strengthen” or “solidify”. It has another meaning, however, that brings further insight to this verse in David’s Psalm. Azaz also means “to prevail”. “Prevail, O God…” is David’s plea. We find the same idea in these words of Jesus: “And on this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of Hades [hell] shall not prevail against it” (Matt 16:18). Jesus is saying, in fact, that it is the Church, rather than hell, which will prevail!
The word “prevail” means “win one’s way by force of words or action”. We gain our goals by overcoming all that would oppose us. Sometimes it seems that hell is prevailing against the Church. However, God assures us that in the end the Church will surely win. Through the strength which God has commanded, we shall overcome!
We can never say we failed because God’s strength was not sufficient or available. It is always there for us, and it is always enough. We can only say we failed in faith to receive that which God had already given.
Paul expected God’s power to prevail in the life of His people: “Being confident of this very thing, that He Who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:6).
God never begins a work which He will not complete. He always backs up His work by the prevailing power of His Word. “Prevail, O God, in what You have done for us!”
GOD STRENGTHENS HIS WORK, NOT OURS
The strengthening work which we have studied is totally related to God’s work – not ours. We see this in David’s own words, “Strengthen then . . . what You have done for us” (Ps 68:28).
So many times we beg and plead for God to strengthen something that He never began in the first place. Somehow we feel that if we can just touch God in prayer, He will strengthen anything that relates to our work for Him. We sit for hours making our plans for God, and then in the end ask for His blessing. Actually, we only have a right to ask God to strengthen that work which He has begun – and desires to carry on. God is not interested in the work of our hands, or the plans of our minds, or the pride of our hearts. He has promised only to strengthen what He is doing through us!