Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Strength Out of Weakness

For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.  1 Corinthians 1:26-29 NASB
The powerful preacher Charles H. Spurgeon said, “It is not our littleness that hinders Christ; but our bigness.  It is not our weakness that hinders Christ; it is our strength.  It is not our darkness that hinders Christ; it is our supposed light that holds back His hand."
Some years back, theologian Francis Schaeffer wrote a book entitle No Little People.  You can quickly derive from the theme of the book was how it is not our capabilities or resources that determine our effectiveness in Kingdom work.
Scripture teaches us that God uses the simple people of this world to do amazing things.  When you think about all the great things that God has done throughout man’s history, you’ve got to be impressed with how He used the least expected resources.  Take the nation of Israel.  Compared to other nations, it never was really much at all, yet God used Israel to bring the Messiah into the world.
Getting more specific, who would have picked an isolated shepherd, keeping a flock out in the middle of nowhere, to be the guy to lead God’s people out of Egypt?  Yet, that’s exactly what Moses was at the time he was called.  King David was just a young man, probably rather small, yet he took on the giant Goliath when Israel’s army shook in fear of him.  And, who really, expected a handful of Galileans–former tax collectors, ex-revolutionaries, and fishermen–to change the world? No, you just have to stand back and be amazed at how God has chosen to do things.  He picks the weaknesses in humans and turns those weaknesses into great accomplishments, all to display His own power and might.
The trouble is that we sometimes get the idea that God can’t get along very well without us. We develop the attitude that it is through our strength, our ingenuity, our talents and effort that great things are done.  Charles Spurgeon understood something about God’s greatness. It works best when we don’t hamper it by getting our puny little selves in God’s way.  In fact, we end up accomplishing more and better things when we allow God to work in and through us.
The question for us, though, is how to get out of God’s way.  It’s not always clear. God certainly can and will use us for His purposes.  When we realize that it’s not our strength that matters, but God’s, then we’re ready to become as useful as possible in God’s hands. It doesn’t mean we should sit down and refuse to act. It means that we act with the knowledge that God will use us.
That, by the way, is really the only way you’ll ever take on things that look bigger than you, and sooner or later, you’ll run into a few of those. When you do, let God make you strong.
Scripture to Claim:
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.  Philippians 4:13 NASB

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