And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV)
I am weak
I’m not ashamed or embarrassed to admit that I fail the LORD every single day. No, I don’t follow a checklist of dos and don’ts based on a religious dogma, rather, for the follower of Jesus (Christian), God’s Spirit (the Holy Spirit) convicts us when we haven’t been obedient to Christ/His teaching/the Bible.
People close to me might have a high opinion of me but God alone knows what’s in my heart and mind. I am talking about falling short of God’s standards in the basic areas of life, not some super spiritual stuff here.
Every single day, I know I get annoyed with my wife and kids and am unkind to them as a result.
Every single day, I say, do or think things that are inappropriate at best, ungodly at worst.
I could go and on with similar examples from my daily life.
Oh yes, I read by Bible and pray daily (majority of the times), in case someone’s wondering if I’m not being “religious enough”.
The truth is that in my flesh, I’m still weak.
Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
We are all tempted daily (I know I am) and we succumb to sin when we try to resist it (sin) in our own strength.
This shouldn’t be a huge surprise to anyone because Jesus said:
I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
The inescapable fact is that without Jesus, nobody, not me, not you, no one, can do anything right according to God’s standards.
God is my strength
I am a weak person. Not only do I not have a problem admitting that I am weak, I would rather that I always remain weak if my weakness leads me to a strength that isn’t mine, that I cannot ever attain on my own!
Are you scratching your head? Are you wondering if I’ve lost my mind?
In order to make sense of what I’m trying to say, I need to refer you back to the Scriptures/Bible and give context to the verse at the start (2 Corinthians 12:9).
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 He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
The LORD was using Paul (an apostle) in a mighty way but Paul had a serious issue he was dealing with (he refers to it as a messenger of Satan so I doubt it’s a paper cut) and though he cried out to God for deliverance, God’s response is clear: all you need is Me! Paul knew God allowed this “thorn” in his life to keep him humble and dependent on the LORD, all for his own good.
I don’t want to depend on my intellect, education, skills or experience, rather, I want to depend on the LORD alone in everything, at all times. This means that I yield/surrender to God’s Holy Spirit so that He can direct me, in ALL areas of my life, be it relationships, work, business, finances and so on.
This means that I examine my thoughts, words, actions and attitude against God’s standards constantly. This means that Jesus/God has the final say on all matters in my life every single moment.
Being Good isn’t Good Enough
If you’re thinking that it’s impossible to live life this way (absolute surrender to God who has absolute authority over you), you’re right.
Can I do this on my own? In order to answer this question, I’ll have to take you back to the Scriptures (Matthew 19) and look at an encounter Jesus had with a rich young man.
And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
Before I address the main point, it’s very important that I point out something to you in the passage. The young man addresses Jesus as “Good Teacher” and Jesus appears to correct him stressing God alone is good. Those who deny the diety of Christ use this as evidence to support their false claim. What these people (deniers of Jesus diety) don’t understand is that rather than denying His diety, He was reaffirming it by stating that because God alone is good, Jesus is God. Notice Jesus didn’t deny being good, rather, explains to the young man and to all of us that He is good because He is God!
The young man represents most people in the world today, those who believe they are doing alright for themselves and are “good people” who’ll go to heaven.
However, it is very clear from this passage above that God looks at our heart, our motives and intentions. The young man appeared to be doing everything by the book (in his case, the Old Testament) but when Jesus asks him to give his wealth away to the poor and then follow Him, the young man walks away sad because he was unwilling to submit to God.
Are you willing to surrender to Christ?
I am weak because I am like the rich young man. I can’t surrender in my own strength, therefore, I am weak BUT thank God that He doesn’t give up on me.
This is one of my favourite Bible verses.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Because I openly confess my weakness (and God knows I’m being honest), Jesus, through His Spirit gives me the strength to be who I am and to do what I need to do.
What about you?
When will you stop running away, stop trying to be good according to your own standards, stop depending on your own strength and surrender to Christ?
Without Christ, not only will you remain miserable on Earth, you will also be miserable for all eternity.
If you’d like to know more about Jesus, please feel free to ask me.
God bless you.