Upon sampling the key NT passages about relying on God’s strength (Php. 4, Eph. 6, 2 Cor. 12), we have seen that living in God’s strength involves contentment in every circumstance, fighting against spiritual temptation and being given hardships so that we must rely upon God and not boast in ourselves.
Now, let’s bring this biblically informed perspective about God providing his strength to his people back to 1 Pet. 4:11.  Serving in the strength that God supplies is serving in dependence of God’s power through cultivating contentment in the gifts that we have been given, fighting against using our gifts in a self-exalting way and realizing that any limitations in the effectiveness of our gifts is potentially the means God is using to make us dependent upon Him.  Just to clarify the last part–We are not saying that God brings limitations so that we may be lazy.  What we are saying, is that he brings limitations to the fruit of our labors so that we would rely upon him for everything.
This goes right along with what we have been seeing the last few weeks, because the emphasis of the apostles regarding spiritual gifts is not only consistent usage, but a Christ-exalting manner of using the gifts as well.  And it almost goes without saying that this is going to require consistent prayer and careful thought about how we use our gifts.  Furthermore, it requires trusting in God’s wisdom in how he wants to distribute his own gifts and trusting that he is pleased, even when we think what we are doing in his strength isn’t accomplishing very much.