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Devotional: Sapping Your Strength

Do you ever think about what impacts your daily energy and strength? I don’t know about you, but stress and anxiety take much more of a toll on me than physical activity. I could be on my feet all day, but if there’s no stress or worries, I’ll feel good. On the other hand, I could be sitting on the couch, but if I’m worried or anxious about something I’ll be exhausted at the end of the day. My thoughts seem to absorb more of my energy than anything else. Maybe that’s how you are too. I recently read a verse in Hosea that hits right on this topic:

“Worshipping foreign gods has sapped their strength, but they don’t even know it.” Hosea 7:9

The worded sapped means to gradually weaken or destroy. It means to drain someone of strength or power.

As soon as I read that verse, I started to think about all the things I chase after in any given day that gradually take my strength, without me even realizing it. Things like:

worrying about the future
worrying about the past
caring too much about what other people think
believing the enemy’s lies
chasing after superficial, wordly goals
comparing myself to others
worrying about things that don’t matter
carrying burdens that aren’t mine to carry
trying to carry my own burdens instead of giving them to God

I could easily do all of these things in a single day. And the crazy part is I might not even realize I’m doing it, or realize how much of my energy and mental strength is being waisted on these “foreign gods”. Sure, I might not be worshipping the ancient Canaanite god Baal like the Israelites did in the book of Hosea, but we all have our own idols that slowly drain our energy when they become our focus.

What are you chasing after that saps your strength?

This past year God has stripped away so many of things I used to care about. In the valley I walked through, God re-arranged my priorities and now I see Him as my #1. My souls thirsts for the Lord, but I’m still so far from who I really want to be. I’m still prone to the distractions of life that drown out the voice of God. This simple verse in Hosea is a powerful reminder to pay close attention to those idols I’m creating in my life, because they drain me of the life-giving spirit that only comes from the Lord Almighty.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

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The Comments

  • Faith Pedersen
    March 26, 2024

    Wonderful verse to ” go to” when life seems hard. God’s got us in His hands!#thankfulinarizona. Glad you enjoyed your AZ getaway. We live very close to Scottsdale,AZ. By the way….you “influenced” me with your Fiddle Tree…got mine today and I love it! Thank you for your devotional Sarah!

  • Carol D.
    March 26, 2024

    Hi Sarah,

    Thank you for today’s devotional- like you I also carry the same burdens you just mentioned above, but I’m trying to train my brain to think more positive. I’ve been reading The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. You may have heard of it. It has helped me tremendously, along with reading the Bible, and has brought me so much peace. Thank you for all you do – peace be with you.

  • Rachelle
    March 27, 2024

    Thank you for this wonderful devotion, Sarah. A great reminder to let go and my God.