Weakness isn’t something that is embraced, rather it is something we avoid, strive to outgrow, or even cover up if necessary. At best we are taught to grow spiritually in Christ which will make us strong and at worst we are encouraged to fake it until we make it. In fact, the body of Christ has bought into the lie too, filling Sunday morning pulpits and bookshelves across America with the self-help gospel. Read the bible and apply it to your life and you will become strong, like a tree planted with deep roots… unshakable.
If that is true, if we can read His word and apply it as some sort of fix to our human condition, why isn’t it working better? Why is the world full of tired and overwhelmed Christians generally defeated before their feet hit the floor?
It’s because we run FROM weakness rather than TO it.
We would rather have the drive through Gospel than come face to face with our own frailty. We would rather pull up in our own comfortable spot, request from the menu what we crave, and get a fast fix for our ailments- at least for the moment. No matter that in 20 minutes we will be starving again – famished for actual nutrition – and need to make another pit stop, where most likely true satisfaction and fulfillment will not be offered because those aren’t offered on the dollar menu of faith.
So we find ourselves on the constant quest to out run our weaknesses, to “ARRIVE” in some form or fashion. We formulate plans, and have quiet times, and join yet another bible study group all in the hope of fixing what ails us. And when once again we are face to face with the reality of our lack, our inability to produce anything beautiful, we put on a smile and hope to God no one notices what a fraud we really are.
Self help in true relationship with Christ doesn’t even exist, it can’t because we all, like sheep have gone astray, each of us to OUR OWN WAY. Sheep can’t help themselves. Even at our best attempt, our works, the best most spiritual ones, are like filthy rags. There is not one righteous, not. even. one.
So where does that leave us?
It leaves us hopeless and in need of a Savior. But not just a savior who can save us from hell, but one that can save us from ourselves.
Our weakness is HIS strength, it’s His opening, His invitation, and our good. If He fixed us and we became better, stronger, more able to live apart from Him, we would do just that, live apart from Him. But that is the point, we are looking for fixing so we can “get on with OUR life” and He is looking for relationship. We want a means to self sufficiency and He, He just wants us.
Our weakness, when we welcome it, can be the very thing that gives us God. It can be the daily, moment by moment reminder of our deep and desperate need for Him. It can be the one thing that we thank God for, because it is the one thing that keeps us needy, dependent, and His.
I wish as a body we celebrated it more. Celebrated our complete lack like Paul did with the believers at Corinth when he said, “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.” 1 Cor 2:2-5
It is not in our weakness He makes US strong, NO! It is in our weakness HE IS MADE STRONG!
When will we realize that the only good in our life will ALWAYS come from Him? It is not that I can gain wisdom and knowledge and become stronger and better and more able to stand on my own two feet. That, in fact, is a false gospel. Because truly the more wisdom I gain, the more I know my Savior, the more I see truth, the more I see how sinful I am and the greater my need of Him becomes.
The gospel of truth is my daily dependance on Him for EVERYTHING, and then in return, my glorification of Him at every victory in my life! That I would boast in nothing but the cross and Him crucified!
So can we welcome our weaknesses and stop hiding them? Can we welcome them as our door of dependance and the key to our daddy’s heart? Can we celebrate the fact that we are all equally broken and our only victory will be in direct proportion to our reliance on Him? Can we stop the quest for self help that will lead to self sufficiency? Because self-help will only take us down the path of pride and destruction.
Let us not deceive ourselves into thinking that we should aim to “have it all together” or that anyone we know has such a life, because in truth only the One who makes it all, can and has the power to, hold it all together. Let’s stop competing for the title of the best charade and let us encourage one another in our weakness. Let us not be afriad to live in the truth of our brokenness and deep need. Because that is what makes us His! Our broken need opens the door for our dependance on Him and that should be our goal and aim…More of Him.
“So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but ONLY God, who makes all things grow.” 1 Cor 3:7
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