When I Am Weak, Then I Am Strong

When I am weak, then I am strong, because God’s power is made perfect in weakness. The problem is that I often think I am strong and capable in fighting for myself. I think that by asserting myself and forcing my will upon the world, that I can achieve success in life. But in the driving seat of my own life, I have generally done a terrible job.

The Lord says that He will fight for us, and that we need only to be still. This is submitting to God’s will, just as Jesus submits to the will of the Father in all things.

Often I want to achieve things through my own willpower, but God calls us to instead depend upon him. The flesh is weak, but the Spirit is strong. We need to stop depending on our flesh or our human strength and instead wait upon the Spirit of the Lord to fight for us.

This can often involve enduring unpleasant feelings. For example, recently in a group conversation, I felt I was being talked over and not listened to or included. This felt unpleasant, and I was tempted to try and force my way in, by overtalking others in turn or speaking louder.

But instead I remembered the Lord promised he will fight for me, and that I didn’t need to fight for myself. So I decided to endure the unpleasant feeling and wait faithfully for the Lord. As it is said, “suffering produces endurance, which produces character.”

And sure enough, the conversation began to turn. I was acknowledged and honoured, and I felt the peace of the Lord’s presence upon me. I was still and gave up the space for God to move in. Just as they began to quiet down to allow room for me to speak, I quietened down my controlling self to allow the Lord to move instead.

Hearing the Spirit of Truth

I’m finding when it comes to being a good learner, there are two main pitfalls that rest at opposite extremes. There’s being so gullible that you believe everything you are told at one extreme, and then being hyper critical at the other extreme, where you quickly find fault in what you are told.

This might happen if you belong to one particular school of thought, and you accept without question what is said from your own school, but are quick to criticize anything contrary from outside your school.

I’m thinking the best approach is to be humble and a good listener, to speak less and listen more.

Sometimes out of pride or fear, we want to strongly force a current opinion, but this can be a dangerous position to remain in, as it means you can no longer be corrected along your journey in life.

I don’t know about you, but I terribly need correcting sometimes. That’s why I think it’s so important to stay humble, and like a child always wanting to understand others and learn from them.

I do really think that most of the time when we are deceived, it’s because we are too proud. But we don’t need to be afraid, because the truth is the truth and stands on its own.

As Jesus said, “they did not understand [because] … their hearts were hardened.” (Mark 6:52)

But we do really need to turn to God if we want to be led into truth. If we really open our hearts, I think God will teach us the truth. It’s only when we close our hearts in pride and won’t budge that we fall into deception. As long as we are always humble and listening obediently to the voice of the Lord, I think we will be okay.

As Jesus also said, the Holy Spirit will “guide us into all truth”. (John 16:13) So we just need to put our trust in the Lord and he will guide us.

Even if we do go down a wrong path, as long as we keep our heart open and keep listening, that gentle whisper of truth will always call us back.