God requires us to set aside our view of ourselves, perhaps even the view other people have of us, and take up His definition of us and His calling on our lives because as our Maker, He is the only one with a right to define us.

By April Motl

Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare a war; rouse the mighty men! Let all the soldiers draw near, let them come up! Beat your plowshares into swords And your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, I am a mighty man” (Joel 3:9-10, NASB).

When we think of strength in weakness from a biblical point of view, our minds probably harken to Paul words in 2 Corinthians 12:10:

Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong (NASB).

This passage from Joel, while it shares a strength and weakness theme, has a very different context for us to consider.


The passage from Joel is a more corporate call than Paul’s scenario. Joel’s proclamation has to do with the End Times and is about God’s kingdom work. Paul’s words are more personal and have an individual, everyday application sitting in plain sight.

While the passage from Joel deals with eschatological mysteries yet to be fully understood, there are some things that have very personal and present applications for each of us to take to heart from the passage.

God Calls Everyone to His Work

It’s sort of amazing to me that God calls all His children to be part of His kingdom plans.

When I was very little, I can remember coming home from Sunday school and asking my mom how someone got to be in the Bible and if I could be in the Bible.

She was surprised at this seemingly heretical request from her preschooler and explained that no one can add any more to the Bible.

But what my little heart didn’t have the words for was the deep call of my soul to be part of His story. How good and gracious of our Father to have a place for each of us in His story, even if His book is finished being written.

This passage from Joel calls on everyone from the weak to the strong, from the soldiers to the farmers to fulfill God’s commission and take their place in His story.

So this passage challenges us to look at our lives and ask ourselves if we are hearing and heeding God’s call on our lives. Or have we been missing out?

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