The world has it all
backwards. Most seem to think that we can accomplish great things when
we become the strongest, wisest, smartest, and most beautiful. Worldly
achievement may well depend on some of these things to some degree. Even
there, however, there is room for using the principles that we will
Our work for the Lord is
not in the same category and the approach that we take in that work is
altogether different from what many would commend in worldly pursuits.
Here, the principle might be stated something like this: Recognize that
you are weak and unable to do it alone, trust God, and set out to do it.
The notion that we ought
to wait until we, ourselves, are wise enough or strong enough before we
set out to obey God is simply unbiblical. Although it is right and
reasonable to obtain training and to prepare ourselves as best we can,
it is also true that the time to begin doing the will of God is the
moment we learn what that will is regarding any matter. God will guide,
strengthen, and comfort us by His word, assist us by His providence, and
bless our efforts with success. He will give the increase.
When God told Moses leave
the desert to go back to Egypt and lead the children of Israel out,
Moses protested that he was not equal to the task. God did not argue
with that point. Instead, He promised to go with him and assured him of
success. In effect He said, "I will meet you back here with My people!"
But Moses said to God,
"Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the
children of Israel out of Egypt?'' So He said, "I will certainly be with
you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have
brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain''
(Exodus 3:11, 12).
Joshua, as great a man as
he no doubt was in his person, was not equal to the task of conquering
the land when that assignment was given to him. God seems to have
suggested that inherent in the command to act is the promise of aid.
not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor
be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go
Jeremiah could not get away with declaring that his personal weakness
said I: "Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.'' But
the Lord said to me: "Do not say, `I am a youth,' for you shall go to
all to whom I send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do
not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you,'' says
the Lord. Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the
Lord said to me: "Behold, I have put My words in your mouth
relied upon God's guidance, and so looked beyond passing difficulties
that he could declare that his work was actually God's work being done
through his willing hands.
the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in
vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the
grace of God which was with me
that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from
ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God
(2 Corinthians 3:5).
gave a command and a principle that will hold true for all time and
under every covenant. Are we listening?
Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those
who are fearful-hearted, "Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will
come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save
you'' (Isaiah 35:3,
gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases
strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men
shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their
strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and
not be weary, they shall walk and not faint
actually reached the point at which he was able to see that he could
only be strong when he was weak.
lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the
revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan
to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I
pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He
said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made
perfect in weakness.'' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my
infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take
pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in
distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong
about you? Are you aware of your own weaknesses? Good! You have reason
to be genuinely humble. Are you allowing these weaknesses to keep you
out of God's service? If so, then you need to trust God and proceed, in
spite of what you may see as personal inability, to attempt what you
know you cannot do -- by yourself.
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