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January 14, 2018 at 6:13 pm #7861
God has been doing a fine-tuning work in me, taking things that are deep inside and showing me flaws and imperfections that have been in my thinking of things, showing me things that are deep in my subconscious. During the last 2 1/2 years when I was going through a very long time of illness, over-time I was shaken in my faith because I was not immediately healed of this illness and so much suffering was involved. I considered myself a strong Christian and one who was strong in faith as well, so I was perplexed why I was not healed right away of this tormenting illness. At one point, God spoke to me and told me not to have faith in the strength of my faith, but to have faith in Jesus (or something along that line) and I did not understand what He meant at first because I thought the strength of my faith was in Jesus, and so did not understand His cautionary warning. It IS good to be strong in Christ and strong in faith, but sometimes we can inadvertently start relying on our own strength in Christ, knowing we are strong. Let me give you a biblical example. Samson was anointed by God and we know how strong he was. He was under a very powerful annointing, but inadvertently, he may have started to rely on the strength he had as if it were his own strength, because when his hair was cut (which was connected to his annointing), he still expected to take on the enemy in the power of his own strength. He still expected he would win by his strength. Sometimes when we become strong in Christ, we inadvertently put our faith in the strength of our faith (or in the faith of our own spiritual muscles) and the focus on Christ gets off focus. It is God’s grace that saves us and heals us, but sometimes we can get off of that focus and forget it is God’s grace. So part of my perplexity was the fact that I was not healed right away and I thought I was “strong in the Lord and in the power of His might”. And the longer the sickness lasted, I started doubting my strength in the Lord, thinking that if I was just “stronger in the Lord”, surely then I would have power over this sickness and over the enemy. And the longer the sickness lasted, the weaker I became in body and it started affecting my spirit, because the weakness I felt in my body was translating to my soul that I must be weak in Christ if I had no power over this sickness, and so self-condemnation then came and affected my spirit. So even when healing started to come to my body, healing also had to come to my spirit and soul which had been affected by this storm in my life that was unlike any other storm. And God is teaching me about grace and His strength which is perfected in weakness.
I have always tried to be a “good girl” all my life and that somehow affected my thought life toward Christ during this sickness, that grace was demonstrated to me depending on my stature in Christ (which somehow got based on my strength in Christ) which was not very high in my own eyes during this time. Now “stature in Christ” is NOT based on “strength” in Christ in the sense that a child of God may be either a new Christian just learning things of God or a mature Christian well-seasoned in things of God, but both are children of God. But during this time, my thinking, which took a beating along with my body, started seeing my “lack of strength” during the current circumstance as “lack of stature” (as if I had been demoted in Christ or something, that was my thinking). So the holy Spirit had to reteach me some things and show me areas in my thinking that had fractures in them. A huge teaching right now that the Holy Spirit is healing my soul is in the area of grace. During the time of sickness, I became aware of how truly frail mankind is and how undeserving of the goodness of God. (Ironically condemnation truly shows you all your faults and tells you the whole world is deserving of hell, and you start seeing how “human” the whole world is and it fills you with dismay, but it denies what Christ has done through the grace of God through you and for you!) And the Holy Spirit through this time started showing me that sometimes even though a Christian is righteous in God’s eyes through the blood of Christ, we end up in trying to be a “good and righteous person through effort”, and we inadvertently can substitute our own “trying to be good” as “righteousness”, and can induce self-righteousness which is as filthy rags. We do not realize that we are trying to substitute our own righteousness as His righteousness, but it comes out of our subconscious when we start thinking “why is this happening to me when I have tried to be a good Christian?”…as if our works merited God’s grace, or as if His grace was a reward for our obedience. The Holy Spirit kept reminding me that I did not nor could ever earn God’s grace, but that He freely bestowed it upon me. (To the answer of “why is this happening?”…the Holy Spirit did answer that particular question for this occurrence and let me know when soldiers are conscripted or drafted into war, sometimes they are injured during the warfare, it is the very nature of war and we are in spiritual warfare, and He let me know God appreciates the soldiers in the war! It was very moving when He showed me this!) Anyway, grace is freely given, but sometimes we receive it as if it is a reward for our obedience, so we hinder our faith in receiving it that way. All that grace has purchased for us is free to receive, but if we start to think that we “deserve” it, we start to go into self-righteousness. So in my thinking, I did not think I “deserved” to be so sick, so I was puzzled why I was not healed right away. And even after God showed me that, I still felt condemnation that I was weak and still did not realize the grace of God that He had for me as a child of God. So recently, the Holy Spirit has been showing me the scripture, “My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
Today, the pastor spoke of the 4 lepers who went out to the Syrians camp (2Kings 7) and the Syrians heard them coming, but God allowed the Syrians to hear it as if a whole host of soldiers were coming to engage them in battle. And as the pastor spoke of this event, God spoke to my own spirit and said, “My strength was made perfect in their weakness.” And as the pastor spoke his sermon, the Holy Spirit was speaking His own sermon to my heart. These lepers were the lowest of the low, they were outcasts from society because of their disease, they were weak probably from the disease but also from famine from the battle going against the town, they were weak in every sense, yet God used these very men because His strength is made perfect when men are weak! And that so spoke to my heart! I don’t need to be a spiritual strongman for God to use me mightily. I was convinced in my (wrong) thinking that in my weak, ineffectual state, God could not use me mightily, so I saw myself as puny. But in the grace that God is teaching me, my very weakness is a means for God to use me mightily. Now that does not mean I shall not grow strong in His grace and power and in fact, the very knowledge that He can use me in my weakness is allowing me to see His strength towards me and through me by GRACE!! And today I was praying for a person and the words came out of my mouth, “My grace is sufficient for you.” And as I spoke it, a revelation from God came to me. I have always seen that verse in a less than attractive way partly because the word “sufficient” to me means “just enough”: the verse is in response from God to Paul when Paul was having an attack from the enemy. I had always seen the verse as if God were saying to Paul, “Buck up and be a man”. Or in other words, “some things you just have to put up with, but you’re going to heaven as a Christian and that should be enough for you!” Okay, that is a really bad translation but I did not really like that verse because I did not understand the grace of God. But today, that verse came out of my mouth involuntarily and I understood a revelation concerning it. When God says His grace is “sufficient”, another definition is “ample” (or ‘I have got it covered’). The revelation from the Holy Spirit was that God’s grace was so-encompassing – everything that we would ever need, that whatever the need, His grace, freely given in Christ through the cross, caused us to be co-heirs with Christ so that we inherit and possess everything that Christ possesses, so that His “grace” is enough for ANY need; it will cover any demand, it will fulfill any godly desire, it is enough to pay any debt, it encompasses everything! His grace is enough/it is thorough complete with regard to every detail! And when I looked up the verse (for sometimes we quote just a part of a verse), this is what the other part says: 2Cor. 12:9
My grace is sufficient for thee: for my power is made perfect in weakness.
So I think God was telling Paul that whatever attack the enemy had planned for Paul that God was enough to match it (and more), meet it and beat it!! His grace would cover the demand!
So, if you know you are strong in the power and might of Christ- glory to God, that is awesome! And I know we are not to go by feelings, but there are times in the human soul, and we see it over and over in the Psalms where David cries out to God in his weakness and where we, similarly, feel we have no strength, and we wonder how can God use us in such a state, but when we are weak, then He is strong and His strength is made perfect in weakness! (He gets a chance to show off His own strength and He gets the glory for it!!)
…9But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me. 10That is why, for the sake of Christ, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.January 14, 2018 at 8:25 pm #7863
Thank-you for posting this. It encouraged and blessed me.
God bless you.
Your Brother In Christ,
Gene GarciaJanuary 14, 2018 at 8:44 pm #7864
I was hoping someone would be blessed as I was blessed by it. Sometimes we have grown up with teachings that we think we know or understand until God starts showing how our mindset does not quite “get it” yet, so His teaching has been a revelation to my spirit, and while I do not realize the whole scope of it (and we may not until heaven), God is feeding me piece by piece and encouraging my heart in Him and I can feel my strength being encouraged by Him.
Also, I am reminded of the picture of the bride leaning on her Beloved as she comes out of the desert. During my time of intense sickness, I could see that picture as a Bride almost war-torn leaning on the Bridegroom in weariness after the battle, but I am realizing now in my healing that I am the bride leaning on her Beloved, because He is My Strength, and the leaning into Him is resting on His strength, letting His strength be My strength! And in the leaning and resting into Him and on Him is a drawing of strength!January 15, 2018 at 3:31 pm #7867
Awesome! Thanks for posting Kimberly; His GRACE is sufficient for us! Amen! God is GOOD!
God bless you!
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