A.K.A. Mighty God, Part 3 of a 5-part series on Isaiah 9:6
New Year’s resolutions. Can you think of one you made last year that you were successful at keeping? Usually we resolve to be a better person in some way: to take better care of our health, to stop an annoying or addictive habit, or to start a good habit like dieting or exercising.
The problem with resolutions is that they are based on our resolve. And the problem with our resolve is that it’s dependent on our level of determination at the time we have to make a choice…and that level of determination fluctuates based on our own desires and circumstances.
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
Mighty God – El Gibbor in Hebrew – means strong or powerful, one of great strength or authority, one who is victorious, and one who fights for his people. This term is used to describe the coming Savior in Isaiah 9:6; it is also used in another of my favorite verses, Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV):
The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.
Jesus is Mighty God, a mighty warrior who fights for his people and saves us. Jesus is the one who is victorious over the things that need to change in my life. My human efforts will fail every time. But he doesn’t rebuke me in my failings; he delights in me while asking me to die to myself and surrender my desires to him. As beloved pastor and teacher Wayne Barber often said,
Victory is not me overcoming sin, but Jesus overcoming me.
And the thing is, His mercies are new every morning, not just at the beginning of the year (Lamentations 3:22-23). We make a fresh start every day, a fresh opportunity to resolve to know Christ and surrender to his power day by day, moment by moment as he works in us to transform us.
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. (1 Cor. 4:20, NIV)
- The power of the gospel (Romans 1:16)
- The power of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 3:16)
- The power of hope, joy, and peace (Romans 15:13)
- The power of effective prayer (James 5:16)
- The power of patience and endurance (Colossians 1:11)
- The power of love and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7)
- The power to grasp God’s love for us (Ephesians. 3:18)
So what is the only New Year’s resolution that matters? First Corinthians 2:2 (NIV):
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
Surrender to him and let his power fight your battles – he is El Gibbor, the Mighty God, the Victorious One.