I’m not sure if it is the fever that has accompanied this flu epidemic which has hit our household this winter season that has me so fired up, or if it is just past time to act and move on to fully embrace what God has brought me here and called me to.
Confession time. I’ve been silent for several months. I told myself long ago that if it isn’t from Him, I don’t have anything to say. There are many things that have changed over the past two years that have made me a different person. I found that I had truly put my identity and measure of success in what I could achieve and excel at in my career and station in life. The work itself was important but not life changing. It paid very well. Self righteous thoughts came so fast and great in number that I never gave a minute or glance to… or had I? Self righteousness has a funny habit of erasing our memories of our failures and less than stellar moments. Who would want to remember those anyway? I finally realized, I did. I finally realized that those were the moments I could catapult off of instead of shoving them in a closet. I had to get OVER being scared of failing and realize that failure can sometimes be the best teacher. If you let it. That was a hard lesson for me to learn. I wanted to quit. Give up, this is obviously not for me because I am BAD at it. I rejected it.
But there’s another response. Let the pain make me better. How? Examine it. Get to the root of it with nothing but God’s Word and my questions and honest prayer asking for wisdom in this area. I love this clip from Student Takeover last year at Elevation Church. I encourage you to listen to the lyrics of the song and especially the beginning dialogue:
I always saw this passage in 2 Corinthians that Paul preached and to be honest, I never truly understood it.
“And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9, NKJV)
Honestly, it felt like it was written for a much more mature Christian than myself and I always sort of glossed over it. I always thought boasting about failures was crazy and maybe it was because I was a bit envious that I never felt the power of Christ resting upon me. Maybe that was because I had told my stories of failure in humor to hide the pain and frustration I felt. I have a real fear of failure and yet I will self sabotage myself to that point and for what? Why? I did understand Paul’s scripture in Romans much more clearly because he could have been describing me.
Romans 7:15-20 New International Version (NIV)
15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.”
This, I understand and can identify with. My flesh must become less. It can’t be about me. That’s an impossible task to complete while operating in the flesh. So how do I switch mindsets to activate God’s power in my weakness? I opened up my inbox to this graphic from Steven Furtick’s Waking Faith Devotionals.
This is a terrifying thought to me because I always assumed the definition of calling with successful, happy, living with purpose, knowing why I was created, etc. I guess I always thought my ability and capability would be the things that were central to fulfilling my potential. But Weakness? What?
Maybe God’s calling is different than the calling I heard and tried to filter with the “well, He must have meant this when an opportunity would arise that seemed to match.” Hmmmm. Man, pride is never six degrees away from sin in my life, it seems like. Pretty sure I remember how God feels about that sin…
So what can I do about this?
My steps are to ask the Lord to search my heart and reveal any wayward belief in me, especially the ones that revolve around pride. I then need to ask Him to show me how His power is made perfect in my weakness. I want to be able to boast like Paul did in all my weaknesses instead of trying to hide them or compensate for them. But how? I am asking for wisdom and I found an article John Piper wrote that changed the way I thought about this verse forever. Please take the time to read it below.
“The deepest need that you and I have in weakness and adversity is not quick relief, but the well-grounded confidence that what is happening to us is part of the greatest purpose of God in the universe — the glorification of the grace and power of his Son — the grace and power that bore him to the cross and kept him there until the work of love was done. That’s what God is building into our lives. That is the meaning of weakness, insults, hardships, persecution, and calamity.” – John Piper
He is creating in us the ability to STAY. Develop grit. This is good news for wanderers like me. There is hope in my situation if I don’t walk away, give up, burn out or quit. The work of love is never done for us as long as there are souls who need to hear it. ❤️🔥 Nicky