Monday, September 5, 2011

When I am Weak - Part 2

Since writing my last post (“When I am Weak”), I’ve continued to try to understand the passage in II Corinthians 12:9-10 which says, “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 calamites.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  I’ve been wondering why, if it’s God’s power that is made perfect in weakness, did Paul say, “When ‘I’ am weak, then ‘I’ am strong.”

I’ve been reading Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray, but I had put it down for a couple of weeks.  Today I read a chapter titled “Impossible With Man, Possible With God,” and that passage is becoming more clear to me.  Murray’s basis for this chapter is Luke 18:27.  Jesus had finished a conversation with the rich young ruler who did not want to do as Jesus said, and sell all that he had and give the money to the poor.  Seeing his reluctance, Jesus said, “How difficult it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”  But then He says in verse 27, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”

You may remember when you first accepted Christ how excited you were to live your life for Him.  You may have experienced an immediate change in your life, but as time passed, you realized how difficult it is to live a life without sin.  With each stumble, you may have confessed your sin to God and determined to not sin again, only to sin again.  You may have prayed for God to help you not sin, but then you failed again.  Even Paul experienced this, evidenced by his statements in Romans chapter 7.  God knows that our humanity will cause us to fail.  It is impossible, despite our best efforts, even if we ask for God’s “help” to live a life without sin.  Why is this?  Because when we ask for help, we continue rely on our own power, and not solely on the power of God.

But God gives us grace.  And when we reach the point where we realize that only God’s omnipotence can conquer our sin, and we give it to Him without reservation, without saying “I’m going to try to do better,” but instead asking Him to completely fill us with His power, He can and will win the battle for us.  That is why Paul said, “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses.”  He surrendered his weaknesses to God’s omnipotence, and through God’s omnipotence, he was made strong.

When I am weak, then I am strong!

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