In our weakness!
by Carol Yasin
Do you fear that you are weak? Do you have a thought that God cannot use a broken vessel like you?
Hold on…. I have a good news for you.
I am a broken vessel who once has thought “I am of no usage. I am no good. I am a useless washout. ” But God took me and used me as I am. He made me a new person. He changed me. God can use us wherever we are irrelevant of our qualifications. He simply needs us, our availability and obedience.
I love this lyric from the song ‘He Never sleeps’ of Don Moen:
“When we are weak He becomes stronger.
So rest in His love and cast all of your cares on Him.”
Yes. The Bible says, “He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength (Isaiah 40:29)”.
He can’t give the strength to the person who hold on to the effectiveness of his/her own. It doesn’t matter who you are? Where you are from? What is your qualification? What is your financial strength? Are you wise enough? Do you know how to drive? Do you know how to read?…. Nothing. Nothing matters. What counts is who you are in Christ. Your obedience. Your Humility. Your availability. Faith. Surrenderance…
He modifies us what we are. The Bible says that,
“Therefore, behold I will again do a marvelous work among this people, a marvelous work and a wonder; for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent man shall be hidden (Isaiah 29:14)”
Paul says that, God chose the weaker things to confound the strong ones (I Corinthians 1:25-28). When we are weak, when we fail, He reveals His wisdom. When we experience that there is no hope, He displays His power. His strength is truly made perfect in our weakness.
Let us examine some people in the Bible:
After the death of Joshua, the Israelites started doing evil in the sight of the Lord (Judges 1:11). And then the nation started falling as prey to other people because of their disobedience and inequity. But whenever they call to God to save them, He is gracious enough to raise a leader (judges) to rescue them.
One such a person was Gideon.
When He was called by the Almighty to rescue His people, Gideon replied that he came from the weakest clan among Israelites. When He was chosen by God to deliver Israel from the hands of the Midianites, God asks Gideon to go with his strength. “Then the Lord turned to him and said, Go in this might of yours… (Judges 6:14)”. In the following verse, Gideon says that he is the least in his entire family (Judges 6:15). Observe that, only when Gideon admits his weakness, God acknowledges him in the next verse, “I will be with you.”
Yes, dear friends, do you feel so weak at this moment? Do not worry anymore. The Lord says, “I am with you; Go with your strength (our weakness).” Gideon was weak as we are. He was afraid as we. He had doubts and excuses as we have today. But once we give up all that we have and commit ourselves and surrender to Him, He will take care of the rest.
We all knew about Moses in the Bible. Moses was bought up by the pharaoh’s daughter. Then Imagine, then, how should he have grown up? He would have learnt everything from wisdom to martial arts. But when God used him? Not when he was a prince of Egypt. Not when he had might and financial power.
God used Moses only when he was weak, when he felt that he cannot speak, when he felt he cannot fight, when he was afraid.
When the strength of Moses was gone and empty, God filled him with His wisdom, His Word and His strength. How Moses was used? We all know that.
Moses too had excuses as we have. I always wonder, what would have happened, if Moses has surrendered immediately without excuses?
The most common excuse we often give is our fear. If you are afraid, I wanted to share the story of Elisabeth Elliot. I wanted to share the story of Elisabeth Elliot (wife of missionary Jim Elliot). Once, I heard this song, “Do it afraid”by Elisabeth south. (Lyrics)
I couldn’t interpret the meaning of the song until I realized what it is. I am the most fearful person. This song and the narration behind the song really helped me. Fear was her weakness but still she went into the field with her weakness to proclaim His Word.
”Elisabeth Elliot, whose husband was killed along with four other missionaries in Ecuador, says that her life was completely controlled by fear. Every time she started to step out to minister, fear stopped her. Then a friend told her something that set her free. Her friend said, “Why don’t you do it afraid?” Elisabeth listened and took that advice. Together with Rachel Saint, the sister of one of the murdered missionaries, they went on to evangelize the Indian tribes of Ecuador, including the very people who had killed their loved ones.
Many times we think we should wait to do something until we are no longer afraid, but if we did that, we’d probably accomplish very little for God, for others, or even for ourselves. Both Abram and Joshua had to step out in faith and obedience to God and do what He had commanded them to do—even though they were afraid. “– Extract from the book, ‘Do it Afraid’ by Joyce Meyer.
3. Paul and Peter:
Paul was sent as an apostle to the gentiles. He studied the scriptures under Gamaliel, who was a great master teacher of the Pharisees. Paul knows every scripture in the Pentateuch (the first five books of Moses). He was a Jew who is well-versed in their culture and the Law of Moses.
From our view, he is the best person to share the gospel among the Jews. He knows the scripture well. He was very well educated. He was very talented among them. But God’s plan was different. Where was he sent?
He was not sent to the cultured Jews, but to the ignorant Gentiles. All of Paul’s education, his natural strength, his cleverness has to be put aside. God has to strip it all away that he had, all those things he could have boasted in:
“though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ” (Philippians 3:4-8)
He learned to proclaim about Christ “not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,” (1 Corinthians 2:4)
Now we will proceed on to Peter. Though Peter opened the door of faith to gentiles (Acts 10), he was called to minister among the Jews (Galatians 2:8). What was Peter’s qualification?
He did not have great academic or educational background as Paul had. He was uneducated and untrained (Acts 4:13). He was merely a simple fisherman whom God qualified to work among the people by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Who gives power to the weak and strength to those who have no might? The Lord does.
“He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.” (Isaiah 40:29).
When we experience that we are weak, what should we do?
- Depend on God
Our weakness should push us to totally depend on Him, so that His strength can take the place of our weakness. When we depend on Him, with complete dependence and obedience, we will sweep over our weakness with His strength. When inadequacies and problems arise, it turns as a blessing by making us to press on more on Him.
- Confess the Word
In my article (Words or Words), I shared about the power of the word and how should we use our words wisely. Our words hold so much power than we think. Rather than saying, “I can’t do this”, we should confess that, “I can’t do this, yet I can do this with the help of the One who overcame the world”. We must overcome our discouraged statements by the word of our confession.
The Bible says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
- Have a talk with God
We need to regularly communicate with God. I have a friend whom I will call up and share things when I am in difficulty. That makes me feel much better. Sometimes our trouble may get troubles when sharing with our friends or anyone whom we trust. But trust me, when you pour everything to God, our heart will be of ease. He is our strength and refuge and we not be afraid.
”The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1
- Trade your strength with His
Isaiah 40:30, 31 says, “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint”
When we wait on the Lord, He will replace us with His strength. He will take away our strength and exchange it with His strength. We can’t combine our strengths with His, we have to remove it completely and wait on Him. Waiting is not sitting simply. It is working out on our weakness and removing our self-strength and depend totally on Him. When we manage things with our own strength it will end up is a failure, but when His strength is upon us, He will do mighty things through us.
- Acknowledge that we are weak
To get His strength, we need to admit that we are weak. That is, we have to get out of our self-pride. We have to cry to God that we are nothing without Him as David and Asaph cries,
“This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles.” Psalm 34:6
“I was so foolish and ignorant; I was like a beast before You.” Psalm 73:22
Paul acknowledged His weakness in 2 Corinthians 12:7,8,
“And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.”
And God answered him by stating, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” in the following verse. Thus Paul acknowledged his weakness and found strength in God. The fact that God’s power displayed in our weakness should give us courage and hope. When we recognize our limitations, our weakness, we will depend more on God rather than our own strength. It also strengthens our character in Him. When we admit our weakness, we affirm His strength.
Yes, when we are weak and sense our need of God, it prepares to completely depend on Him. When we spend most time with Him and acknowledge our weakness, He says, “Daughter/Son, My Grace is sufficient for you. You are made strong in your weakness.”
We are made strong in Him. Amen. God Bless!
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