The topic on my mind today is weakness and lack. I will combine these because when we lack anything we see it as a weakness that limits us and we see weakness as the result of lacking power or security.
Most of us have been trained by the world system to hate weakness, especially our own. We spend our lives either hiding our weaknesses, ignoring them or compensating for them.
The problem with hiding and ignoring weaknesses is that it is deception.
The problem with compensating for our weaknesses is that we almost always address them in our flesh, seeking to satisfy our lack ourselves, in our own strength – which we wouldn’t have to do if we were strong in the first place.
In short, these reactions to weakness are all a trap, cunningly provided by the very same enemy that built those weaknesses into our ancestors, Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden.
Yes, satan is responsible for the wounds, weaknesses, shortcomings and pain that have come into our lives and that very same fallen archangel has controlled most of mankind (even Christians) for years and years and years.
How has he done this?
Just as he has orchestrated a personalized plan for destruction in each of our souls he has delivered thoughts on how we can manage the very damage he put there. The ways he tempts us to manage that pain are all ways of the flesh and he does this because he knows what God teaches in the Bible about a human mind focused on the flesh.
“For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:5-8)
The devil knows he can use our weaknesses against us and that he can inspire us to compensate for them by encouraging us to not trust God. Rather, satan can get us to trust our own selves, other people and the various systems of the earth to try to compensate for the weakness he put into us.
He enjoys this because he knows “the mind set on the flesh is death” and he enjoys death.
Satan ENJOYS that sensation we get in our souls when we do all we can do and still fail. He enjoys that we feel dead inside because then, maybe then, he can drag us down into despair. Oh! How satan loves the despair humans feel. This is entertainment for him.
I write this today to encourage us. I write it to inspire us to rise up – a different way – and cheat our enemy of his entertainment. Perhaps, if this becomes a habit for us, we will never fall for this tactic of his ever again.
The different way God presents to us is to embrace our weaknesses. (Doesn’t that sound crazy???)
When the STRONG Apostle Paul came face to face with his own weaknesses and lack he cried out to Jesus for Jesus to take them away from him.
He shares how our loving Lord Jesus addressed his cry:
“And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
We see here that Paul embraced his weaknesses instead of hating them because he now could see that every one of his weaknesses was an opportunity for the power of Jesus to be perfected (fulfilled) through his weaknesses.
He embraced his weaknesses because he believed Jesus. He believed Jesus when He said, “My grace is sufficient for you.”
Please, let’s not miss the change in dynamics here. Instead of lying about our weaknesses by hiding or ignoring them and instead of using the impotent “power” of our own flesh we can turn to Jesus and allow HIS real power to flow through us….through our weaknesses.
This is an entirely different way of living than is the one in which we were trained by the world and by satan through the world.
It’s a way that cheats the devil of his delight in harming humans. It is…an everlasting way.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)
I will end this piece with a word of caution.
Many times we do cry out to God for help and suddenly there appears to us, like magic, the answers to all our problems. It’s like the antidote to all our weaknesses and lacks is presented to us on a silver platter.
I suppose God does do this at times; yet, it strikes me that Jesus does not remove all of Paul’s weaknesses.
I want to urge us all to be discerning. By this I mean, ASK the Lord to verify that what is presented IS from Him.
Now, I know that the Bible says this about good things:
“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” (James 1:17)
God gives truly good things to us.
What concerns me, though, is that our problems started with two people in the original garden looking at something that seemed to be good.
“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.” (Genesis 3:6)
It looked good but it was NOT good.
Before James tells us that every good thing given comes from above, he says this:
“Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.” (James 1:16)
The word “be deceived” means to “not be caused to roam or go astray.”
Satan will never tempt us to utterly depend upon the Lord Jesus – which is exactly what the term “walk in the Spirit” means in Galatians 5:
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16)
Let us commit to depending upon the Lord Jesus.
Let us commit to asking Him to make us aware of our weaknesses so that if someone comes along, inspired by the enemy, to appear to meet all our needs so they might benefit from our weaknesses….we will hear the Lord warn us to decline that “help”.
Let us do so graciously, yet firmly.
Let us commit to asking Him, more and more consistently, what He thinks about our ideas and our efforts to address the things and qualities we lack in our lives.
And, should we inadvertently go astray by following satan’s plan to “meet our needs” let us commit to returning to the Lord through a lifestyle of repentance.
Jesus loves us. He wants to meet our needs.
“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
If Jesus is your Lord He is your God too.
Will you let Him address your lack today?
I find that especially encouraging today and hope you do too.