Faith Like Birds - Part V
Somebody… somewhere… needs to hear those words today.
Yes, you can.
Whatever you are facing… Whatever you are going through… Whatever needs to be overcome…
You can do it.
I am in no way suggesting that it’ll be done or accomplished in your own strength. In fact, what we do in our own efforts must be maintained by our own efforts as well.
I tell people this simple truth everywhere I go: “The Christian life is not lived out of your own strength. It’s lived out of your surrender.”
There’s nothing He started in my life that I’m going to finish.
Likewise, there’s nothing I’m going to overcome without the strength of His might and grace. It’s designed to be that way so that I have no reason to brag or boast or steal what ultimately doesn’t belong to me — His glory.
Self-reliance will always get us in trouble. Whenever fear motivates us to take matters into our own hands, our lack of trust is revealed. We are ultimately declaring that we believe in ourselves and our abilities more than God’s. Or perhaps we
are revealing that we are afraid of being hurt and disappointed if God doesn’t come through. In an effort to avoid such discouragement, we grit our teeth and do it ourselves. We think we’re protecting our hearts, but we are ultimately withholding them from the One who fashions them.
Make no mistake, the clay always yields to the potter.
Allow what you are facing, walking through, and dealing with to take you deeper into His embrace and further into your surrender.
Paul learned this lesson after praying three times for what afflicted him to leave.
Paul was a man who received many awe-inspiring revelations from God — revelations that could have resulted in temptations to think more highly of himself than he should… revelations that could have resulted in pride. As a result, he writes that a messenger of Satan was given to him to keep him from exalting himself. He goes on to say that this very thing became the thorn in his flesh.
I’ve come to understand that thorns can work in our favor. After all, God is for us and not against us.
Paul’s thorn was the constant persecution and sufferins he faced as a minister of the Gospel. Rather than removing from his life what God said Paul would ultimately face (see Acts 9:16), the Lord tells him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”
Immediately, Paul’s outlook changed. What was a hindrance became something he gloried in. What weakened him became a source of strength. What he tried to eliminate through prayer he now boasted in.
Because Paul discovered the secret that what humbles us and causes us to rely on God is the greatest blessing of all (see 2 Corinthians 12:7-10).
If I allow it, my weakness results in His strength.
Brian Johnson, founder of Bethel Music in Redding California, says this, “Consider it a privilege when God becomes all that you have.”
It’s OK to be weak.
If you weren’t weak, you wouldn’t rely on Him.
The older I get in the Lord, the more aware I become of my weakness.
What I used to avoid or what I was once ashamed of, I’m learning to be thankful for.
Everything I walk through can be an opportunity for God to be for me what He’s never been before.
Why can you do it?
Why can you overcome what faces you?
Why can you get through what you’re going through?
Because what you can’t do in your own weakness has the ability to draw on the strength of the One who has overcome the world (see John 16:33).
Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you (see James 4:8).
-BRIAN CONNOLLY - Author & Itinerant Minister