The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe...
Part 4 - The Dynamic of the Divine
No less than the Apostle Paul felt great weakness at times as he walked with God and sought to minister the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to people.
"For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life" (II Corinthians 1:8).
Thankfully, Paul did not allow his natural human sensibilities to govern his life and ministry.
"But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that He will yet deliver us" (II Corinthians 1:8-9).
This raises a vital point. The Bible does not command believers to "feel" strong in the Lord, but rather to be strong in Him (Ephesians 6:10). Indeed, we may discover one day that the times when we felt the most battered and downtrodden were actually the times when the power of God most energized faith and faithfulness. "My strength is made perfect in weakness" declared the Lord to Paul (II Corinthians 12:9). The believer who well understands this truth will find the greatest opportunities waiting for us in the greatest extremities of our human frailty. Our "I cannot" prepares us for "I can - through Christ!"
As I wrote yesterday's message regarding this subject, an apparent problem arose that caused me to feel very weak and ill-equipped to respond. Thankfully, I remembered the truth we consider, that such human responses open the door to remember and affirm Divine enabling. I did so, but as is often the case, I continued to feel the sense of weakness. Moreover, thoughts contrary to trusting God's strength continued to seek inroads into my awareness. By God's grace, however, I maintained the affirmation of trust. "This is where I stand, Father, and I choose to believe in your grace to walk with You through this."
Not long thereafter, a thought occurred to me out of the blue (or from Somewhere else!) regarding a solution to the problem. It worked, thankfully, and I rejoiced in God's provision of help for the matter. Even more, I am grateful for His reminding and empowering me to be strong in Him when I did not feel strong. This is life in our present existence wherein a fallen world will continually present conditions, circumstances, and situations that prompt a sense of inadequacy. We are inadequate, in and of ourselves. "Without Me, ye can do nothing" (John 15:5). Through Christ, however, we can endure and even thrive in all things as we remember our privileged responsibility to avail ourselves of His strength. We "live through Him," and thus find strength for the journey that comes from Above, and is revealed within (I John 4:9).
God made us to serve as His spiritual temple, His living and personal dwelling place. Thus, He provides the inward presence and power whereby we find ourselves enabled to live beyond our human means. This is the very heart of the Gospel, which begins with the Lord Jesus doing for us what we could not have done for ourselves, and continues by Him empowering a life only He can generate. "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him" (Colossians 2:6).
"Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might" constitutes our only hope for life both now and evermore. This includes the present moment, whatever our condition, circumstance, or situation may involve. Our Heavenly Father offers His strength. Indeed, the strength is already resident and dynamically active in us through the indwelling Holy Spirit: "the power that worketh in us" (Ephesians 3:20). The choice is ours. We can live in the delusion of human ability, or the dynamic of the Divine.
"God is my strength and power."
(II Samuel 22:31)
"LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am."