I am fragile. I am slow. I float from flower to flower. The currents carry me along and the sun heats my wings so I can fly. I follow the fragrances that capture my senses. My beauty lies in the strength of my Creator who gives me life.
Strength in weakness? How can I be strong in weakness? That’s nonsense.
Weakness can be defined as flawed, lacking, inadequate.
With people we tend to hide our weaknesses and display our strengths, don’t we? However, counterintuitively, acknowledging and accepting our weaknesses (Ps. 51:6) allows God to meet us there in His power.
Why do we hide our weaknesses?
How does that benefit us?
Does it feel like a form of protection from people?
Unlike them, God sees every weakness we have ever concealed and loves each one. Why? Because weaknesses are a part of what makes us who we are. They are part of our lives. They are part of our stories. They are a part of our hearts. And He is all about the heart (1 Sam. 16:7).
Did you ever imagine that you could be walking more in agreement with God if you acknowledged and surrendered your weaknesses to Him? If you do, your relationship with Him will definitely feel closer and more trusting.
As unpopular as it may be, helping someone to become stronger in self is in direct contradiction to the Word of God. Faith teaches us that we are to come to a place where we acknowledge and embrace our inability to live out God’s directives (Rom. 7). Weakness is intended to drive us to the point where we learn to live out of God’s strength, not our own.
At Pentecost, God sent the Holy Spirit to empower the disciples (Acts 1:8). This is still our directive today to receive that power and live in it. The problem is that we can’t…when flesh stubbornly sits in the way.
What does weakness mean to you? What is the Holy Spirit’s role in your life?
Are you too strong or too weak? There are two ends to the bell curve of fallen flesh, the codependent/independent and the codependent/dependent.
The codependent/independent sees himself as extremely capable and strong, and relies only on himself. He says, “Hello! Ask me anything. I have all the answers.” He needs no one.
The codependent/dependent sees himself as weak and incapable, and relies only on others to get through life. He says, “I can’t do it.” Like an infant, he lives continually in learned helplessness.
Neither of these types does any good for the kingdom of God. Relying only on oneself is just as imbalanced a life as one relying only on others. What each of these codependents needs is to move closer to the center of the bell curve where he will find interdependence; that is, relying on himself some of the time and relying on others some of the time.
Interdependence is illustrated beautifully within God’s intended design in the body of Christ as the members each use their gifts in turn helping one another and filling in the gaps all around. We are interdependent one on another as a whole.
Codependent/dependents often have an easier time learning to rely on God than the codependent/independents because they know well that they are weak. Contrarily, codependent/independents often live barricaded from weakness until God extends His merciful hand leading them to a place of brokenness.
So God says the way up is down. His economy operates in contrast to the world system.
What are we to do with His seemingly oxymoronic ways?
- The religious, boasting, murdering zealot, Paul, experienced brokenness on the Damascus road.
- At Peniel Jacob was broken.
- God first spoke to Moses as he walked in brokenness at his lowest point in the desert after losing his power and kingly lifestyle.
- Peter fell broken when they took Christ prisoner.
- David encountered brokenness after his sin entanglement with Bathsheba and Uriah.
- God exalted Joseph only after he was broken.
These faith heroes, and many others, were used mightily by God. But only after they experienced brokenness.
Is it time for you to give up “trying to live the Christian life?”
When we reach an out-of-control place in our lives, God desires for us to give up on living the Christian life and trying to fix ourselves. That “giving up” is called brokenness.
Brokenness is a requisite for being used in God’s kingdom. Why? Because God has no interest in the flesh.
Do not fear the valley of brokenness. The LORD will carry you through it. And out of the valley you will emerge with a supernatural spirit to overcome.
Brokenness is the spiritual crucifixion of the flesh.
Brokenness opens the cage door to flying on wings as eagles.
Brokenness is a fractured pot with God’s light beaming brightly through the cracks.
Brokenness is a fragile butterfly resting in the strength of the breeze.
Brokenness is exchanging your very life and desires for Christ’s.
Brokenness brings freedom.
Brokenness is Godliness.
Brokenness brings strength in weakness.
Please help me to trust you enough to bring as a living sacrifice all of my weaknesses so that you may work mightily through them bringing glory to yourself and to Your kingdom.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
1 Samuel 16:7 the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.
1 Corinthians 1:27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you;
James 4:10 Humble yourselves [with an attitude of repentance and insignificance] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up, He will give you purpose].
John 19:30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and [voluntarily] gave up His spirit.
Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard this, He said to them, “Those who are healthy have no need of a physician, but [only] those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners [who recognize their sin and humbly seek forgiveness].”
Zechariah 4:6 Then he said to me, “This [continuous supply of oil] is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel [prince of Judah], saying, ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit [of whom the oil is a symbol],’ says the Lord of hosts.
Psalm 103:14 For He knows our [mortal] frame; He remembers that we are [merely] dust.
Romans 7:24-25a Wretched and miserable man that I am! Who will [rescue me and] set me free from this body of death [this corrupt, mortal existence]? 25 Thanks be to God [for my deliverance] through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Matthew 5:3-4 “Blessed [spiritually prosperous, happy, to be admired] are the poor in spirit[those devoid of spiritual arrogance, those who regard themselves as insignificant], for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [both now and forever].
4 “Blessed [forgiven, refreshed by God’s grace] are those who mourn [over their sins and repent], for they will be comforted [when the burden of sin is lifted].
John 6:63a It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing
Psalm 51:6 Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.
2 Corinthians 12:8-10 Concerning this I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might leave me; 9 but He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for[My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.” Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me. 10 So I am well pleased with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, and with difficulties, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak [in human strength], then I am strong [truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing from God’s strength].
Philippians 2:13 For it is [not your strength, but it is] God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure.
Isaiah 53:10 Yet the Lord was willing To crush Him, causing Him to suffer;
James 4:6 But He gives us more and more grace [through the power of the Holy Spirit to defy sin and live an obedient life that reflects both our faith and our gratitude for our salvation]. Therefore, it says, “God is opposed to the proud and haughty, but[continually] gives [the gift of] grace to the humble [who turn away from self-righteousness].”
Ephesians 3:16 May He grant you out of the riches of His glory, to be strengthened and spiritually energized with power through His Spirit in your inner self, [indwelling your innermost being and personality],
John 12:24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
Isaiah 53 Who has believed [confidently trusted in, relied on, and adhered to] our message [of salvation]?
And to whom [if not us] has the arm and infinite power of the Lord been revealed?
For He [the Servant of God] grew up before Him like a tender shoot (plant),
And like a root out of dry ground;
He has no stately form or majestic splendor
That we would look at Him,
Nor [handsome] appearance that we would [a]be attracted to Him.
He was despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and pain and acquainted with grief;
And like One from whom men hide their faces
He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth or esteem Him.
But [in fact] He has borne our griefs,
And He has carried our sorrows and pains;
Yet we [ignorantly] assumed that He was stricken,
Struck down by God and degraded and humiliated [by Him].
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our wickedness [our sin, our injustice, our wrongdoing];
The punishment [required] for our well-being fell on Him,
And by His stripes (wounds) we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
We have turned, each one, to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the wickedness of us all [our sin, our injustice, our wrongdoing]
To fall on Him [instead of us].
He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth [to complain or defend Himself];
Like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before her shearers,
So He did not open His mouth.
After oppression and judgment He was taken away;
And as for His generation [His contemporaries], who [among them] concerned himself with the fact
That He was cut off from the land of the living [by His death]
For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke [of death] was due?
His grave was assigned with the wicked,
But He was with a rich man in His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.
Yet the Lord was willing
To crush Him, causing Him to suffer;
If He would give Himself as a guilt offering [an atonement for sin],
He shall see His [spiritual] offspring,
He shall prolong His days,
And the will (good pleasure) of the Lord shall succeed and prosper in His hand.
As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He shall see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge [of what He has accomplished] the Righteous One,
My Servant, shall justify the many [making them righteous—upright before God, in right standing with Him],
For He shall bear [the responsibility for] their sins.
Therefore, I will divide and give Him a portion with the great [kings and rulers],
And He shall divide the spoils with the mighty,
Because He [willingly] poured out His life to death,
And was counted among the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore and took away the sin of many,
And interceded [with the Father] for the transgressors.
Excerpts taken from Ending the War with Myself, Loving Myself as God Does by Micky Land (Amazon).