Strength in Weakness (guest post by Abbie Upton)

Often I find what stops me from acting for God – evangelising, stepping out and serving in a non-familiar area, reaching out to those in need (basically stepping out of my comfort zone) – is thinking I can’t do it. Resting on my weaknesses. I know that God is the strong, all-powerful creator, that He can do anything, nothing is impossible for Him – but for some reason tend to forget that through me He can still work. Maybe it’s because I think I’ll do it wrong, like my weakness will cancel out His strength. But that’s not the case.

One major thing which I think keeps me from this is guilt. In particular, not spending enough time with God. This makes me feel unworthy of Him working through me. I feel like I can’t even try to live for Him because I am nothing without Him. Which is true; I can’t do half the things I can do when I’m in that place where I’m trusting in Him and I feel worthy and clean. So the first thing to do is to just give it up, because as soon as that guilt is taken, nothing can get in the way of your relationship with God. We are made worthy. Jesus made it so we could be in relationship with God and we can serve Him.

Once we have gone past that barrier which has separated us from God we can be secure in the fact He is with us and working through us. Even when we feel weak we can hold onto the truth that “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us,” (Romans 8:37). Through Him we can do all things. Not because we have to prove ourselves, not because of our strengths but because he loves us.

Another passage which is useful is Isaiah 40:29-31 – “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope 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 be faint.”

This shows all we have to do is hope in the Lord; He does the rest. To be majorly cliché here I’d like to link this whole concept back to the song ‘More Than Conquerors’ by Rend Collective, particularly the first verse: “When my hope and strength is gone, You’re the one who calls me on, You are the life, You are the fight that’s in my soul.” When a situation seems too big, when there seems to be no hope left God is the fight in us. When we turn to Him that fight, that ability to fly – to hope – comes with it.

However one key thing is that we must act. And when we do act, trusting in Him, we will find these things above to be true. If we allow His strength and His Spirit to work in us He will not only be our strength but He will use our weaknesses. Paul, when writing a letter to the church in Corinth, said, “I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith may not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power,” (1 Corinthians 2:3-5). God uses our words (for example, in times of evangelism) even if we think they might be messy. His Spirit speaks through us and if we trust in that then through God’s power this will be stronger than resting on our strength or even our weakness. And that goes for other circumstances too, no matter what we are doing which we struggle in trusting God with, we should try to remember that He can work through our weaknesses.

It’s not about us and what we can do, but about God. So when we choose to focus on our weaknesses and let them hold us back we are not only preventing ourselves from living for Him but also preventing God from using us and building us up.

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