No one wants to feel weak because weak equals powerless and powerlessness usually equals fear. It seems we’re bombarded daily with reminders of how powerless we are. We vote one way and the outcome is opposite. What used to be religious freedom, like businesses having the right to refuse services, is being whittled away. We can’t control gas prices, government decisions, pesticides and preservatives in our foods, or what’s being taught in public school classrooms. And just when we think we can control our own health, some new virus or other threat is discovered and we’re all warned to be on the lookout.
But there is a way to have power even when we must deal with weakness. Today’s Infinite Supply newsletter has an encouraging message by author Chip Brogden.
Power Through Weakness
“God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.”
1 CORINTHIANS 1:27 ESV
The Wisdom of God teaches us differently. This Wisdom tells us that the weak things are chosen to overcome the strong things, and power works concurrently with weakness.
God desires to give you power, but that power only comes through weakness. Any power not obtained through weakness is illegitimate, no matter how spiritual it appears. The only legitimate power is granted to those who have been made weak. Power is birthed in weakness. Many exude a certain “power,” but there is not the corresponding weakness. Hence, the power only gives them an occasion for boasting. To remedy this, God has ordained that all who would have His power must first be weakened and made empty – we refer to this as being “broken.” The purpose of weakness and suffering is to open the way for His Power. The instrument God uses to weaken us is the Cross. Therefore, the Cross is power through weakness.
Source: Embrace the Cross by Chip Brogden
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The cross is the one way I think we can imagine and accept weakness because the cross comes with promise instead of powerlessness. We’re told in 1 Corinthians 1:25 (ERV) that God’s strength is dependable because…
Even the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom. Even the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
When we repent and lay ourselves in surrender at the foot of the cross, we have God’s wisdom and strength. Ask those who serve God in love for their testimony, and you’ll likely find it filled with surrenders that begin face-down and end face-up. We often fall beneath the loads of life, but when we land at the cross and in the arms of The Lord, He lifts us up higher than we can imagine. King David, in Psalm 3:3 (AMP) said of God…
But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.
He lifts our heads. He turns our faces toward Him. If you serve Him in love, look back on your own testimonies, and you’ll find these promises to be true. We can trust His strength and that it will come through for us even when we’re battle-weary because He assures us He will never leave or forsake us. And because His strength is so much greater than our own, even when we are weak, if we have The Lord, we can say we are strong.
I’m a fan of the show America’s Got Talent, and the one thing I notice about the majority of acts that get closest to the finish line is their amount of practice. If getting there truly matters, some of these people will drop almost everything else in their lives to become dedicated to the perfection of their talents. The strong men and weightlifters are not my favorite categories, but I have to admire the perseverance they have given to get to where they could lift and support at the levels they demonstrate. Imagine someone coming out in a leotard and demonstrating how strong they are by lifting a toothpick with a gumdrop on each end. Yeah, I wouldn’t be convinced either. 🙂
In today’s reading from Deuteronomy 10:12 through Deuteronomy 11:9, Moses talks to Israel about the value of serving and loving God with everything they’ve got to offer Him. Moses says, “…fear Adonai your God, follow all His ways, love Him and serve Adonai your God with all your heart and all your being.” He then tells them that The Lord asks them to obey these things for their own good.
Moses points out that all the earth and everything on it, plus the sky and the heavens beyond the sky, all belong to God. But God found favor in the ancestors of the current generation, and He chose them and their descendants to love and bless. Moses encourages them that to honor this great love, they should circumcise their hearts and be stiff-necked no longer because they serve the God of gods and the Lord of lords. His love is so great that He helps the widows, the orphans, and the foreigners, and He desires for His people to do the same because they were once foreigners in Egypt.
As Moses continues, he reminds the people that he is talking to them and not to their children because their children have not seen the greatness of God as He delivered them from Egypt. They did not see God open the earth to swallow the grandsons of Reuben when they created an uprising against Him and against Moses. But these people have seen the mighty hand of God, and they know how God has turned only seventy that went down to Egypt into a multitude like the stars in Heaven. And God asks that this multitude would honor and respect Him by following all His laws, so they will be strong enough to go in and posses the Land of Promise and dwell there for a long time.
I notice that Moses keeps referring to the blessings of keeping God’s law. He says that God only gives the law for their own good. He says that keeping the law will make them strong, and living according to God’s law promises a longer life. Sometimes the laws of doing right, can seem heavy. Staying moral and upright when sin comes in to tempt you and tries to tell you that you’re living a boring life (especially when you’re young) can be a battle. Being forgiving when someone has done you wrong can be difficult. Doing things God’s way, especially in faith and without question, can be as hard as swimming against the current when you’re fighting your own fleshly desire to have complete understanding before you move forward.
But just because life is hard and weights are heavy, we cannot quit. We all know that professional weightlifters do not start out lifting the heaviest set. They work up to higher amounts through repetition and practice. What seemed heavy for them at the beginning may seem light to them now. We, too, must continue to push ourselves and to practice until we build spiritual muscle that enables us to lift more and more as we work to become strong in The Lord.
Too much of the world wants to feel sorry for those who have a bit more weight to lift in this life, and they want to take the weight away, but it only creates weaker people. All the helpful do-gooders would be more help and do more good if they would become spotters rather than taking away the weights altogether. When we see someone who has it hard, we can give him a boost, but we should not steal his chance to become a strong person by doing his job for him. We should encourage, pray for, and watch over those in need, and then we will be blessed in helping them become strong in this life and in The Lord.
Yeshua told us to take up our own cross each day because He knew the blessing of spiritual muscle-building, and He knew we would receive help to bear it simply by asking for it. As each of us lifts the weightier matters in life and in things of The Spirit, we will reap the rewards of perseverance and faith. Let me encourage you now. Keep on pressing toward the mark of the high calling in Christ, and may we all rejoice when we cross that finish line with the power and strength God desires for us. It will be worth the weight.
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