Random Thought 20

God has a different way of looking at things.We look at our strengths, He looks at our weaknesses. We look to where we are skilled and knowledgable and He often looks elsewhere – to where we are weak. Paul wrote, “when (and where) we are weak then He is strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

Saul the Pharisee has a life-changing encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-9). He is trained in the Jewish faith – but Jesus tells him that he is being called to minister to the Gentiles. Seems strange. Peter who seems comfortable with the common folk, the people in the market place, the working class regardless of their faith … is called to minister to the Jews including the leaders of his former religion. Seems like God delights in using us in the areas of our weaknesses and not in areas where we are strong and confident. Then we are relying on His strength and direction and not on our own ability, education, skills, and personality.

For this to work we must be “broken.” Don’t shut down. I know this is not a topic that sells hundreds and thousands of CDs or breaks the all-time podcast download record. But, like it or not, it is an important concept. This principle needs to be embraced.

If a person is broken he is no longer depending on his own strength, skill set, education, wisdom, or abilities. He realizes deep inside that he is inadequate for the tasks the Lord is asking him to do and that the Holy Spirit is empowering him to accomplish. He is no longer relying upon himself but is relying on God’s direction, empowerment, strength, and Godly wisdom.

2 Corinthians 12:8-10 states, “Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave 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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Catch that last part in this familiar passage: “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Not exactly what we see in most churches where people play to their strengths and staff to their weaknesses. We tend to hide our weaknesses and flaws; not wanting others to see where we don’t have it all together. We want people to see the good side of us and so we wear various masks to thinly cover the real us so that people will see what we want them to see and think well of us. It is basically wrong because then people see “us” – not the real us but the us we want them to know and see – and never really see Jesus in us.

Again, Paul writes (and the Holy Spirit speaks): 2 Corinthians 11:30 “If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.”

Because then people will see the power, strength, and wisdom of the Lord working in and through us. They will not look to us as if we are amazing and the strongly anointed man of God. But will see Jesus in all His wisdom and strength and bring Him glory and honour. Then we will walk in power and accomplish, by God’s power,  the tasks He has given to us. We will no longer live and minister in the flesh but walk in the Spirit.

Brokenness is recognizing that “…the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians 1:25). And no longer relying on our strength and wisdom. It is seeking Him every day and living in His presence and by His power.

To do this you must first come to the end of yourself and recognize deep in your heart your absolute and utter need for Him. For this to become a reality in our lives we most often have to go through a season of serious trials and testing that stretch us beyond what we think we are able to endue so that we then rely totally and utterly upon Him and not our own strengths and weaknesses.

A thought: why not ask the Lord to bring this “brokenness” into your life.

 

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