Each and every one of us have a vast variety of different weaknesses that we would prefer to try and cover up with the strengths that we feel we have. We all have had struggles in relationships, we know deep inside our marriage could be better, we are probably not the parents we would like to be and we can even start seeing some of the same weaknesses in our own children. Sometimes a lot of our weaknesses can make us feel defeated and even powerless.
For years we have struggled with impure thoughts and as Christians have tried to pursue holiness with what seems to be little or no progress at all. Often we can be racked by guilt when we find ourselves falling into the grips of gossip, white lies that make us look and sound better to those around us and the worst thing those little white lies we might tell seem to come with ease and no effort at all..
Then we might be noticing that our bodies might be failing with such things as diabetes, heart problems, bad backs, stomach problems, worn out joints all of which eventually weaken us. Often emotionally we seem to become more and more fragile and many times we are tormented with anxieties.
To be honest, weaknesses scare the heck out of us. We want to feel bold as well as powerful. Most people equate weakness with being powerless. Even though this logic seems very clear it’s wrong. Because according to the Bible, being weak does not equal lack of power. In fact, it is our weakness that gives us the opportunity to be witness to the power of God.
The apostle Paul explained this well. “And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 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.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
Think about this for a moment, what if the way to true power, the resurrection power of Jesus in our lives, does not come through us trying harder but it comes by us giving up trying to be powerful? What if true power does not com by us desperately trying harder than ever before to overcome our weaknesses, but true power actually comes when we admit our weaknesses and then stepping out of the way of God so we can let Him demonstrate His power through our very own weaknesses?! Going even further, what if those very weaknesses were the very vehicle through which God has always wanted to reveal His power through?
Well, according to the Bible that is exactly what God does. Over and over again the Bible tries to teach us that God always uses the weaknesses of His children. However, since our world teaches us that we must embrace our strengths and overcome our weaknesses it makes it difficult for us to believe what the Bible is trying to teach us. It is only in the Scriptures that we are encouraged to actually embrace our weaknesses and then through those weaknesses we can experience a power that we would never know otherwise. This is because this power is not our own it is the power of the risen Christ.
If you look closely at the Bible you will discover that a lot of God’s people do not come from the strong and powerful. It is very important for us to have the power of Christ, because we need His power so that we can be effective and powerful witnesses for Him in our world. This means that we are part of the weak things He has chosen and this means that the power of God comes from our weakness and not from our strength.
Consider Paul, he really wanted to experience the power of Christ, to be able to see and to feel God work in his life. He wanted to know that God was working through his weaknesses to accomplish great things for His kingdom, so God alone could get all the credit and all the glory so much so that he was even willing to give up his request to God that his “thorn in the flesh” be removed, because his reward for that would be to experience the power of Christ in his life.
If we feel strong and don’t feel weak and are not aware of our weaknesses then we are not going to even seek the power of Christ. When we do this we are blocking the flow of the power of Christ to work in our lives. As long as we think that we can handle any task on our own in our lives, guess what? God is going to step back and let us have a shot at it.
One of the most important things we need to realize is that God does not see our weaknesses as failures. So if He doesn’t, then why should we? Because weakness is not failure, it’s what it is, weakness. It is a normal and standard experience that we all have as humans. Weakness and power exist side by side in our lives, just as it did in Paul’s. It also existed with Jesus because the cross is the ultimate example of power being perfected through weakness. “Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:8)
Paul tells us to even boast of our weaknesses. It is hard for most of us to admit to them but boast of them and this is probably because we think it is some kind of threat to our self-image. However, Paul reminds us in his letter to the Romans that wisdom starts with thinking right about ourselves. “For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think, but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” (Romans 12:3)
Probably the main reason we hide our weaknesses from others is because we think that it will affect the way others see us and we also may think that God wants us to be and feel strong because after all we are Christians and we must be strong.
This probably stems from a misunderstanding of the following verse “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Where the misunderstanding lies is that a lot of us will focus more on the “I can do all things” part of the verse and not on the “through Him” part of the verse.
What God wants us to do is to realize, admit to and simply accept our weaknesses and then He wants us to ask Him for His power and then watch Him go to work in our lives. This is not an easy thing to do for us because this means we have to unlearn everything that the world around us has taught us all our lives. We have been taught that weakness equals failure and often this will cause us to quit and be constantly focused on our weaknesses and when we do that we will not see His power. We need to learn to turn to God in our weakness and ask Him for His power that is available to all of us.
When seeking God’s power however, we need to be careful of what we are looking for because human ideas of power generally deal with physical strength, physical resources, or demonstrations of explosive potential. Most often human power is power that is used in some way to achieve one’s own desires. Because of this the power of God has often been a misunderstood power. This is because as humans we often think of God’s power as physical power like that of the natural world. But, God is not of the natural world, so how could His power be the same? The true power of God is the fact that He demonstrates His power through the ability to accomplish His will in each and every situation through any means that He chooses to use in order to glorify Himself. This means that His power is centered on His will and His glory and we need to know where to look.
One of the greatest examples of His power at work is the existence of Christianity. After all Christianity did not start off very powerful or was it started by powerful people. In the beginning Christians extremely unpopular, they were persecuted and maligned. But, within just 300 years the official religion of the Roman Empire was indeed Christianity. Now if none of us can see the power of God here, then we might be missing it in one of its greatest forms.
We see how the power of God can enable His people to actually do impossible things. What about Daniel in the lions den? David and Goliath? How did Peter actually walk on water for awhile to try and reach Jesus? He walked on that water until his faith began to falter. Consider this, the New Testament tells us that ALL the apostles of Christ could perform miracles. Ordinary, average men performing miracles.
Probably the greatest display of the power of God is the resurrection. To bring back someone who has taken their last breath and to have been dead for days only to be risen from the dead, such as Lazarus, this is a power beyond our imagination, but it happened. Just as Christ rose from the dead.
In today’s world the way that it is, we might feel as if the power of God is nowhere to be found but His power is shown in a lot of different ways. He still works supernaturally and he still changes lives quite dramatically and permanently and He still influences events in order to accomplish what we would never be able to do on our own. So, the question is, why don’t we seem to see or experience more of His power in our own lives?
One reason could be is that God will only use His power on our behalf to accomplish His perfect will and often we simply are not open to that option. We want it when we want it, it’s not like we can get God’s power in our lives like we can order a sandwich at a sandwich shop.
So, if we want to see the power of God in our lives we need to first understand why He has promised to give His power to us and for what purpose.
- To glorify God.
- To help with our personal transformation and holiness.
- To be powerful witness for Christ.
- To help our faith grow.
- To give us strength in times of difficulty.
- To give us faithfulness to the very end.
In light of all of this, even though you may not believe it, you have experienced the power of God in a lot of ways in your own life. This means even if you are a person who really doesn’t believe in God. However, because God doesn’t sent text or doesn’t leave any voicemail or emails telling us so, we simply often don’t recognize the power when it does come.
There are so many ways that He works that we overlook their importance. He answers prayers, provides provisions, gives us what He knows we desperately need, provides guidance, heals, gives hope to the hopeless and so much more. Once a person realizes that all of their blessings in life truly do come from God, gratitude will be the only response possible.
Finally, we need to accept our weakness because this is where God’s power will be the most visible in our lives. His power is in our weakness so we need to give our weakness to Him and then just wait for Him to show us His power. We need to do it often, even make a habit of it and then learn to rest in His power and then once we have truly experienced His power, we must give Him the glory.