My Weakness – His Strength

Much, Much better today! Thanks so much for all the prayers as you read. This cold/flu stuff is not nice. I cannot remember ever hurting as much for such. Now that I am doing much better, it is time to get on with matters at hand. There is always more than I can do in a day, if I open my eyes. So I lean on our Lord within me to accomplish what is before me. He is good and strengthens my weakness.

In fact, Paul said his weakness was what he would brag about, not any supposed strength of his own. In 2 Corinthians 12, after Paul had talked about his visions etc, he said this, “Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited I was given a thorn in my flesh, a mesasenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with The Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Now this is definitely not putting your best foot forward. (Side note: the teachings of the world are never useful in regard to the government of the Kingdom of God. His ways are very different than any form or self-exaltation). He stood head-and-shoulders above any other apostles in visions and revelations. Yet, this was not what he chose to brag about. He was instead willing to brag about his weaknesses.

I do not believe Paul's “thorn” was any form of illness, simply because the use of that term in the Scripture is always associated with irritation, temptations, testings, etc…. So I believe he was given a constant reminder of some sort of the fact that he was a very weak and easily tested human being. That being so, it becomes even more amazing that he was who he was.

Accepting our weakness is the first real step in understanding the strength of our Savior. He is strong and I can simply trust Him for the strength needed to accomplish for my day. I need not be undone because I find myself week. Neither do I need to give weakness its intended result – making my reslove weak in Him. Instead, leaning into His strength, I am strengthened in ways I never thought possible and led to accomplish matters too difficult for me.

I have my limitations; He has none. Glory. Now that is truly awesome. That means, me released in Him and He released in me is able – whatever. His goodness is amazing.

What about 1 Peter? Oh I will probably get back there soon. Just have a few items on my heart to share, so am taking the space to do just that.

I am typing this on my iPad Mini, and learning to use the program designed for blogging. I have done some with it before, but find I use my iPad much more than my computer, and it is usually with me. So there you are. Blessings on all who read.


Into Obedience

1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ:

To the temporary residents dispersed in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father and set apart by the Spirit for obedience and for sprinkling with the blood of Jesus Christ.

May grace and peace be multiplied to you. 1 Peter 1:1-3 HCSB

(This translation does this verse quite well. With most English translations, although they were a bit more literal, the “theology” understanding of “foreknowledge,” “sanctifying,” etc., was getting in the way of understanding just what the Holy Spirit is telling us. My Greek text sent me hunting for something clearer). 

We are so loved and included by our Father! He has, through what He knows, provided all that is needful for us to be fully His. “Set apart by the Holy Spirit into obedience,” would even be better. As we “choose to be chosen” we are instantly set apart (true meaning of “to sanctify”) by the action of the Holy Spirit in our lives into obedience. Obedience is our natural-spiritual delight. This is in and because of the cleansing of the blood! Yes!

When obedience is hard, we need to re-do our thinking about that action. When I see what the Father see’s about that action, I begin to understand I have been placed “into” that action. It all comes down to how we think and what we are choosing to see. As we begin to allow the Scripture to determine what we think, say and feel – we are not eliminated. We are enriched. This is our true destiny – to be as He is in this world. (1 John 4:17c)

“His kindness (goodness) leads us to change our mind.” That is the meaning of 2 Corinthians 7:10. When we begin to eliminate our arguments and allow His goodness to overtake us in all things, we begin to choose what He has chosen. We find ourselves being placed “into” obedience. He has done what is needed. As we choose to believe that, even in our seeming lack, our agreement in Him begins to align our faith with His Word, and we begin to embrace His supply. It first comes about in our mind/heart. Then it becomes something we are able to rest in. All is of faith. 

The last phrase of this greeting is “May grace and peace by multiplied to you.” Literally, may grace (the total favor and provision of God) and peace (total rest and ceasing from stress and strive) be increased to you. Peter is extending to them and at the same time reminding them of the normal state of existence for the believer – wherever they live. We have the total favor in our Father, because of the work of Jesus on our behalf, so we relax and know He is delighted to be a part of our lives and there is no need that is not answered. Then we are empowered to rest without stress and anxiousness because of the peace He has brought. 

My heart longs for some “how-to” to make this easier to understand and to allow. The reality in Jesus is that it is all relational. He has known us long before the foundation of the world, created us to be who we really are, and provided every avenue possible to discover His love and power. He invites each of us to rest in Him a bit more today and allow our confidence in Him to rise and empower our lives. May we stop a few minutes and allow Him to rise in us and cover all we are called to do and be.  

These are the ways of the Kingdom. These are the ways of Heaven. Now, “may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We choose for that to be true today in us – in you, Precious Lord Jesus!