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Power in Weakness

“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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV)


Two Standards


Power in the kingdom of God requires weakness in the power of the world, for power in one kingdom is weakness in the other. The crucifixion in the Roman Empire was a death sentence of humiliation, pain, and scorn; yet, the intersecting wood beams on which Jesus gave up His life became His throne. To see the King enthroned in glory, one must look at the suffering-servant nature of Jesus--a nature that is contrary to all standards of our world.

To be sure, the truth of God’s power in weakness that Jesus is the paradoxical pinnacle of is the reality that we must address if we are to see Him as Savior. God is not looking for people who can do it all on their own--He is looking for faith, which means an utter reliance upon Him. Christ died and rose again for all people, but God’s gift of salvation requires that we die to ourselves and live for Him. What does it mean to die to ourselves? It means you and I acknowledge that we aren’t enough on our own. It means we humble ourselves, and proclaim to God that we can’t walk through this life alone and that His way is better than ours. This is one and the same as repentance, which, by acknowledging our shortcomings, we are saying, “Jesus, You are God and I am not. I will trust in You and what You say.”

It is once our hands have opened in this way, and we let go of the pen of our lives, that God is able to pick it up and begin writing His story in us. To live for God means He is writing the story of Jesus in you. And if God is writing Christ’s story in you, that means you are walking in the power of God. But, what does God’s power look like? In many ways, according to the world’s standards, it looks like weakness: Jesus showed love to His enemies; Jesus forgave those who did wrong against Him; Jesus didn’t strive after money, fame, or power; Jesus was a simple carpenter before He started His ministry; Jesus held no earthly political or religious positions of authority; Jesus was a regular, unbecoming looking dude (Isaiah 53:2); Jesus spoke the truth, was honest, and made Himself vulnerable; Jesus served others.