Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Weak Strength

2 Corinthians 12:7-9
“To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

I think my anxiousness, frustration, and fear are pretty clear signs that I am not on the same tracks as God.

After spending some time repenting this morning, I realized just how weak I am. But God, being the wise and merciful teacher he is, showed me that I am just like he wants me to be: weak, and conscious of my weakness.

I know many people are the first part (weak), but finishing up the second part is where we can so easily miss it, as I have so many times.

A person who is not conscious of their weakness believes that the outcomes of life are based on their abilities and actions, not on God. They might be aware of God, and even give thanks to God for their blessings, but in their mind they think it was because of their hard work and determination, will power, etc… It always comes back to how hard they worked. I believe a person that is not conscious of their weakness asks many questions about how hard one is really trying with things in life, and makes more suggestions for them to do than they make offers to pray for them.

So many times I get so frustrated and discouraged, and the reason is that I have lost sight of the importance of my weakness and total dependence on God. And perhaps that’s why I have been going through it so much. God wants me to get this down, and this is what it takes to get it.

A real Christian should be weak and conscious of their weakness. I’m beginning to understand why Paul says, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

The weaker we are, the more glory the Lord receives. It doesn’t seem to make sense, does it? But it’s true. The Lord even says that weakness is what gives God the chance to show us not just power, but perfect power.

2 Corinthians 12:9
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

A person who understands their weakness will walk in more freedom than the wisest and strongest people in the world, because they won’t feel the weight of believing that everything in their life depends on their actions. They realize it is up to the work and grace of God to bring about anything good in their lives.

James 1:17
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Now I’m not saying this is a call to sit around the rest of your life and do nothing; you don’t know you are weak until you actually try to lift something or do something else. Make efforts. Do stuff. But remember your weakness as a human, and remember your strength as a child of God. We’ve got to learn to see both at the same time. Maybe that’s why God gave us two eyes.

God is some kind of chemist, isn’t he? Always mixing things, like weakness and strength, but somehow it just works.

2 Corinthians 12:10
“For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

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