Tag Archives: power for living

Confessions of a Weakling

Sometimes I get so down on myself that I think God must be really disappointed. My human limitations and weaknesses are just overwhelming to the point I can’t imagine he would be anything but upset with me. Yet, this is not what scripture tells me. Hebrews 4:15 tells me that Jesus understands our weaknesses. In 2 Cor. 12, Paul talks about delighting in his weaknesses, because when he is weak, then he is strong. It doesn’t seem to make any sense in human terms, but it seems that our human limitations are part of God’s way of keeping us humble and dependent on him. The Lord delights in us, and rewards the humble with his salvation and deliverance (Ps. 149:4). I think it would be a lot harder to be humble if I were strong on my own.

So as I sit here day by day moaning and groaning about my shortcomings, I realize should be glorying in them instead, knowing that they are part of his good plan to teach me to cling to him. These weaknesses only become become a problem when 1) I don’t recognize them, or 2) when I make them bigger than God. My tendency is to do the latter, so I have to learn to stop the self-condemnation and use them as motivation to run to him. I need to remember that scripture is filled with flawed people who were used mightily by God. They didn’t suddenly become strong one day, and move into ministry. Instead, their weaknesses were evident even in the midst of their their service. When called by God, Moses argued that he was too flawed, as did Gideon. Elijah panicked and ran off in fear after calling down fire from heaven and defeating the prophets of Baal. David committed adultery and murder, yet repented, and was called a man after God’s own heart. Paul spoke of a thorn in the flesh that God would not take away so that he would not become conceited about the revelations he had received. When he asked God to take away that thorn, God’s response was “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9). Paul went on to say that he would boast in his weaknesses, because they were part of God’s good plan.

I have to admit I haven’t learned to boast in my weaknesses yet. Even worse, I imagine that’s probably a pride issue. As much as I’d like to think I’ve overcome all vestiges of ego, I don’t think it will ever leave me completely on this side of heaven. As I sit here contemplating my frailties, and my tendency to beat myself up, I recognize that it’s because I realize that I am not enough. I am not a spiritual giant. When people look to you for guidance, it’s easy to see yourself as some sort of authority or fount of wisdom. The truth is that without him we are nothing, and can do nothing (Jn. 15:5), and that is the reason weaknesses are good. They remind us that it is his strength, and not our own, that is as necessary as breath. I can glory in my weakness, because I realize it drives me to depend on the One who made and loves me.

It really is a wonderful thing that I am not enough! It is wonderful, because if I can receive that truth humbly, it drives me to complete and utter dependence on him. When I am weak, then I am strong, but when I abide in him nothing is impossible (Jn. 15:7). It unleashes his power, and miracles begin to happen. So today, I choose to glory in my limitations and frailties. I will move my focus from self to God, and I know that there I will find the power to overcome all obstacles.

 Oh dear Lord, thank you so much for being faithful even when I fail. Thank you for using my weakness to drive me to my knees in desperation. I need you more than anything! I was created to cling to you (Jer. 33:11). Help me to see that dependence as a good thing, and do not to let me pride tell me otherwise. Lord I truly do “need Thee every hour!” Bless me now as I come to you. Amen

Tapping the Power Source

Lord, I am just a mess. It seems like I have developed technology-induced ADD in my old age. My mind won’t stop wandering, and too much of that is tied to worry. I know better! There is no excuse for allowing myself to entertain worry. I know the answer, and though the spirit is willing, the flesh is surely weak. I need your help! It seemed so much easier to turn to You in my moments of need when I was a younger Believer, or even during times of major crisis. Right now it’s just a matter of dealing with the challenge of stepping out on faith and feeling like maybe I missed You. I find myself doubting my calling. I know the answer is to stop and spend time in your presence, but the concerns of this world just seem to be screaming at me. They can be all consuming. However, I don’t want them to be! I want to be consumed with You!!!! And I believe that if I could quiet my anxious soul long enough, and enter your presence more regularly; You would guide my footsteps to handle earthly concerns better. I need to stop allowing them to hold me down.

It’s so hard living in this world! It’s a constant struggle. I imagine You allow these struggles to keep me dependent on You, and I know I need to stop looking at other people wishing I could have the ease and blessings they seem to have. Forgive me for that. I only want what You have for me. I have this vision I thought You put in my heart, but with all the responsibilities weighing on me I can’t see it happening. Sometimes I think that maybe I am just going in the wrong direction altogether.  Show me Lord! I am willing to walk away from my endeavors. I don’t want to be wasting time! It is too precious! I want to walk in what You have for me, not some pipe dream I manufactured. Everything is so difficult right now. Nothing is falling into place, so all I can say is that I need for You to show me if I am working against You. I’m really clueless as to what other direction I could take. So Father, I ask You to help me to make the most of my time. Help me to dwell in your presence, and to be directed by your Spirit. Only You can direct my steps so that I’m not spinning my wheels. Teach me Lord, and in spite of me, use me! Don’t let me get so caught up in worldly responsibilities that I fail to live each moment for your kingdom purposes. Help me to find the balance I need! Lord, I am desperate! Please come and overcome me with your Spirit! I give You permission, I invite You. Please don’t leave this to me. I am so stuck without divine intervention! Come now Lord Jesus! Amen

Dear child, striving in your own power will only keep you trapped. It is not by your might or power, but by my Spirit that this mountain will be overcome (Zec. 4:6). You can not muster it up. When the disciples received the Holy Spirit they were waiting on Me. Can you wait one hour with Me? You live in a society that thrives on instant gratification, but that is not my way. I have promised that if you seek Me, you will find Me– when you seek Me with all of your heart (Jer. 29:13). This means that though you have to live in and toil in this world, you must not allow any of your worldly pursuits steal your affections from Me. Empty yourself daily before Me, and see what I will do. I can only fill vessels that have been emptied. Release your desires to Me. Surrender them all to Me dear child. I am able to use all you entrust to Me for your good. I will release my power in your life when you release everything to Me– every care, every concern, and every desire. Let them all go dear child, and I will meet you there. I will empower you with my Spirit. In your weakness, run to my loving arms and rest in the warmth of my embrace. That is where you will find the strength you need. There is immeasurable power in my love.

Let go of the things the world sees as important, and realize I treasure you, not what you have to offer. Abide in my love, because that is what is most important. Yes, I know you share my values, but still the world has more influence than you realize. You have not completely overcome the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and the pride of life (1 Jn. 2:16). These refining fires are intended to help you see that. Trust in my loving plan dear one. I will not disappoint you. You have a glorious inheritance in Me, and I have made the immeasurable greatness of my power available to you. It is the same power that raised Christ from the dead (Ep. 1:19-20). Surely, it it sufficient to overcome these temporary problems. I will never leave or forsake you, so trust in Me, abide in Me, and let Me carry those burdens. In finding that place of quietness and trust, you will find your strength (Is. 30:15). 

“It is not for you to know times or periods that the Father has set by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses…” (Acts1:7-8).Who will you compare Me to, or who is My equal?” asks the Holy One. Look up and see: who created these? He brings out the starry host by number; He calls all of them by name. Because of His great power and strength, not one of them is missing. Why do you say, and why do you assert: “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my claim is ignored by my God”? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the whole earth. He never grows faint or weary; there is no limit to His understanding. He gives strength to the weary and strengthens the powerless. Youths may faint and grow weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint. (Is. 40:26-31)

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (Jn. 15:4-5)

 Ascribe strength to God; His majesty is over Israel and His strength is in the skies. O God, You are awesome from Your sanctuary. The God of Israel Himself gives strength and power to the people. Blessed be God! (Ps. 68:34-35)