God equips His people to fulfill His purposes in many, many ways. As I mentioned in my devotion at P31 today, “God ensures – through the Bible, His followers, and His Spirit within us – that we each have what we need to run our best.” But the list of ways He does this extends beyond these “big three.” And today I'll mention one I'm quite familiar with.
It’s one that often comes as a surprise to me – the means of achievement I most often overlook. It’s also one that we frequently wish to do without: WEAKNESS.
The Bible clearly reveals that God works - and even shines - through our weaknesses. In fact, He accomplishes quite a lot this way. Enabling us to achieve something despite our weakness, enables Him to readily receive the glory.
While I like to imagine myself a strong, Olympic athlete, weakness is something I am intimately familar with. As I strive to show forgiveness despite the hurting areas of my heart … as I sit to write, feeling uninspired … as I strain to turn the other cheek when insulted ... as I stand to face an audience of unbelievers I’m tasked with reaching … or as I kneel to pray over a parenting dilemma that has me perplexed… I must reach the point of realizing and acknowledging: God, I don’t seem to have what it takes to do this. I am too weak ... not prepared … not equipped ... not enough. I need Your empowering Spirit.
It is then that God’s grace, wisdom, and provision begin to flow - from His eternal throne, into me and my situation. My (acknowledged) weakness becomes the point of contact through which God's power breaks forth from there to here, and shines the glory of God in this world.
Let’s face it, friends, the situations we don’t feel weak in, we rarely invite Him into. We make little room in those for a point of empowering contact.
Sometimes that's because He's already equipped us - maybe even hardwired us from birth - for the task. Other times we're treading on the thin ice of self-sufficiency. Sometimes we don't feel weak, but we are.
The situations we encounter our weakness in - and feel it - we usually look to avoid. We'd rather be free of weaknesses. So we deny them, excuse them, hide them, resent them and/or try desperately to overcome them. God, however, wants to use them.
He will equip us to do what we naturally cannot when we’re walking with Him in His will. If there is an obstacle in your path - a hurdle you can’t seem to jump - acknowledge your need for His help, be sure you are following the training manual called the Bible, and trust Him to lift you over it.
PS. I really want to end this post right there - it's a postive, feel-good place to end. But I think I'd be amiss if I didn't add that if - after acknowledgment of weakness, and obedience, persistance and prayer - you still can’t clear the hurdles, double-check with God that you’re on the course and pace He intends for you to run.
I'm giving thanks today that God enables us to run the race He has set before us ... sometimes even with the flair of a Double McTwist 1260.
I’d love to hear how God equipped you for an assignment He gave you. Was it through His Word, through a friend, through prayer, or through collasping in a heap of weakness at His feet? Or perhaps through another way not yet mentioned today. Encourage us with your story in the comments – I’ll read them during the commercial breaks in tonight’s Olympic coverage.