Discovering our strength in Christ through our weakness in flesh
The way up is down. How contradicting? How does that work? Lately I have been reading a lot on prayer, and this song lyric really hit while driving. When we bow our heads, or drop to our knees to pray, we are surrendering, and the act of surrendering is giving ourselves up. This lyric about prayer fits this post because our weakness in flesh drives us into prayer and that is what allows us to discover our strength in Christ.
A passage that used to be so confusing to me and made clear over the past few weeks is 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. If we read this verse it talks about how God’s power is “made perfect in weakness” and how “when I am weak, I am strong”. This is difficult for us to grasp in today’s society with everyone preaching independence and being strong. Yet, we don’t fully know how to be independent because we weren’t made to function that way, and our own strength will never be enough to handle the difficulties that are sure to abound our lives. We are just told.
A life of independence is actually just the opposite of what God calls us to. He calls us to an abiding life in John 15:4:
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me”.
Abiding means to continue without fading or being lost, so we are being called to this relationship with our Heavenly Father, not to act on our own, but to continue remaining in Him without being lost. This isn’t to say that we won’t have trials in our lives, He tells us we will, John 16:33 “in this world you will have trouble”. Now that part of the verse may sound disheartening, but the next part is comforting, He says “take heart for I have overcome the world”. That is why our dependency can be found in Him. He knew we couldn’t handle it on our own, and that is why He affirms us, so that we can take heart in our dependence on Him.
How are we made strong when we are weak? What does this even mean? How can something that is weak be made perfect? Our inability to be perfect is what allows God to move in us. Weakness causes us to feel helpless, and that is where God comes in.
Matthew 11:28: “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest”. We meet Jesus face to face when we are real, when we are weak, when we are helpless. This helplessness drives us to look for dependency, and who better to look towards than God? Our dependency drives us into a regular conversation with Him, in essence, we are bringing our weaknesses to God. Dependency is the Christian lifestyle and the heart of prayer.
We realize we can’t do this on our own anymore, and we turn to God for help. Many of us realize this step, but once God has intervened and helped us, we toss Him to the wayside. Maybe because we feel like we are bothering God, or maybe because we just look at Him as a life support. Like we only come to Him when we need help and once the help has come it’s over until the next time. I am here to tell you, that life is not satisfying, it is the bare minimum – a glimpse of what God wants to do in your life. God tells us that He is with us wherever we go, through the highs through the lows, He is right next to us. I had this outlook of not wanting to bring my problems unless they were urgent, other than that I figured I could handle it on my own, and that was exhausting. I realized I wasn’t treating my relationship with God like a son would his father, and eventually that is what broke me.
Now after we have realized we can’t do this on our own anymore, and God intervenes, that shouldn’t then just result in us going back to our normal lives waiting on the next time we need to call on Him. That should actually affirm that we need Him in our lives! Our relationship with Jesus shouldn’t change, how we receive Him is how we follow Him, Paul says in Colassians 2:6 “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him”. We are to continually walk in our helplessness because that is the only way God’s grace works, it is how we came to Him – weary and heavy-laden.
When you feel angry, pray. When you feel anxious, pray. When you feel excited, pray. When things are going right, pray. When things are going wrong, pray. Every aspect of our lives is meant to be included with God, He wants it all. God is not to be compartmentalized. Give up your kingdom for His kingdom, there can’t be both. Be like a little child and be dependent on God for your every need, admit your weaknesses and ask that He fill those gaps. When prayer becomes our lifestyle we lose control and independence. Allow prayer to take over your life, in this you abide in Him, and in this His power will be made perfect in your weakness.
Chance Huff, a Niceville, Florida native, is a Junior at Georgia Tech where he plays baseball. A huge fan of The Office and all things food, you can find him enjoying time with friends, family (including brother Christian and sister-in-law, Sadie), and encouraging people toward Jesus.
Follow Chance on Instagram @chance.huff