PJ’s Daily Devotional for Sunday, January 22, 2017
I don’t like being weak! In fact, it is probably honest of me to say that I don’t like anything about it—the inability to do something myself, the dependency on someone else, the implications that I am not sufficient of myself to accomplish the task. Before I write another word, I must confess that I find rebellion in my soulish desires against this teaching: “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).
Telling me that when I am weak, then I am strong is so confusing… I often find myself misquoting this, saying wrongly, “When I am weak, then He is strong” like God’s strength is dependent on my weakening myself. That is a crazy and foolish thought. That is me trying to wrestle with this whole teaching and make sense of it.
I prefer to quote John 3:30, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” That makes more sense to me because what John the Baptist is teaching here is that as he actively works to build up Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, we decrease in importance—His Story is the one that is told through our story, not vice versa! But at least John is working on something…He is actively building the Kingdom of God, proclaiming Jesus Christ, fulfilling God’s will for His life. That gives me something to sink my teeth into.
UGHHH!!! It is at this point, that I want to throw up my arms and say that Scripture is confusing. But, it is not! I am complicating things because my soulish desire is to be self-sufficient and powerful; this is what is causing the confusion in my mind and heart. My own rebellion is distorting the very straight forward teaching of God’s Word.
The principles of the Kingdom of God are counter-intuitive to our corrupted desires for autonomy and power. We want to live as independent powerful beings, but God has hard-wired us to be dependent creatures—dependent on God and one another! We mistakenly think freedom in Christ equals independence from God and one another! How foolish! And how exasperating that must be to God…
In our weakness… In my inability to live this life alone, then I am strong! For it is only then that I begin to live according to the design of God’s creation and in harmony with why Jesus came to show us the way and to die for our true freedom. Jesus redeemed me from sin and my selfish desires through His atoning all-sufficient blood upon the Cross of Calvary—the greatest sign of God’s Kingdom. It was in that moment of Jesus’ weakness that He was strongest!
Only in weakness can we be strong!