Isaiah 53:4-6 (NLT)
Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.
Weakness is ownership of that which makes us weak. It is to take that quality or attribute holding tightly to it. Everyone experiences weakness. The difference comes in what we do with our weakness. Just being human, we possess the natural propensity to sin. It is in our DNA. From birth a person desires personal satisfaction and demands their own way. As the individual grows, develops and mature with proper discipline and guidance these qualities are subject to their own self-control. For example, my quietest child becomes a raging bear when she is hungry. She was almost the perfect baby and toddler as long as she was fed. But should she become hungry, watch out. I would keep snacks hidden away in her diaper bag as not to be caught off guard. She is now a teenager. She eats when she is hungry and still will hide away a snack in her backpack or purse so she doesn’t get “hangry”. The other day – we had a girl’s day with her sister. In the car, I noticed she was getting grumpy and being short. She couldn’t answer a question and got mad if you asked. I knew she was hungry and asked her, “Did you eat something this morning?” In our rush to leave, she admitted she did not. So to save our experience, I immediately fed the emerging beast and true to form it transformed back into my precious child.
Everyone has weakness. Some just hide it better than others. Whatever it is that makes us weak is an opportunity to experience more of Christ in our life. When Jesus went to the Cross, it was with our weaknesses. He carried them to the hill along with every sorrow that hurts our heart. He was tortured for us and every sin that we should have received punishment for to make a way for us to approach our Father, God again. He was beaten so that the sickness and disease associated with our sin would be dealt with as well and that we could be whole again. By His Stripes lashed into His Back, we are healed. I am humbled at the thought and sad that with all of His Sacrifice that I will never be perfect. I am weak. He makes me strong. I must learn to take every single weakness and allow His Grace to cover them. No more carrying that which makes me weak and calling it “my weakness” but surrendering everything that makes me weak to the foot of the Cross.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NLT)
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness. When I am weak, then I am strong. How humbling? Truly. Perfection does not need grace. Weakness needs a pardon. The Power of Christ will only work in me if I am insufficient otherwise why would I relinquish power? But once we accept Jesus Christ into our heart and His Spirit in our life, it is easy to become confused. Some of those things that once kept us from being right and doing right quickly melt away in the Presence of God and the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Human nature is to assume that a little goes a long way but God’s Way is all or nothing. The “good things” happening in our life are always God. If our entire life is recorded before we are born as the Word of God indicates, then none of it is our idea or doing. (Psalm 139:16) The only choice we have is to obey God or continue to disobey Him. Do what God says and have all His Blessings! End of story. Except we have this thing that makes us weak called sin. Everyone sins and falls short of God’s Glorious Standard of Living. (Romans 3:23) Grace is a requirement for all those times we allow that which makes us weak to become our weakness to be covered by His Blood and put back on Christ’s Shoulders and nailed to His Cross.
Comparison is our enemy as we evaluate our strengths and weaknesses through the eyes of man. We look at our friend, neighbor, fellow church member or even a common stranger and immediately judge the book by its cover. We decide how we are doing by comparing our life to their life. What about when they are not on display? What are they like then? Do you know? Can you see their heart – the very thing that God examines each and every day? We cannot but still feel that they are worthy of comparison as we evaluate our life for flaws. To have God’s Glory fill my life requires a comparison to His Standard of Living. Outside of God’s Grace provided by Jesus Christ – I will always fall short. I am weak. He makes me strong. Surrendering my weakness begins by comparing my life to God’s Word and deciding to strive to live like that. This is what it means to truly accept the Grace of God for our life. This openly sacrifices weakness for His Strength and Power. I will always be weak but I do not have to own it.
Hebrews 4:15-16 (NLT)
This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
Our weakness should not keep us from the Presence of God but push us deeper into His Presence to find more grace. When we allow weakness and sin to keep us from drawing near to God is when we take ownership of our weakness and hold on to sin. It can be a pride thing. It can be a trust issue. There can be a number of reasons that people withhold weakness from God. The church of modern society doesn’t like to talk about the Cross or the Blood. It is messy. It makes them uncomfortable. Seeker sensitive congregations keep people from the Grace of God because it is only accessible at the Cross and through the Blood. It is not a feel-good story but a battle to the death. The Good News is that Jesus won. We can live in God’s Glorious Standard but there will always be only ONE WAY to get there.
Jesus is our High Priest. We do not need the help of anyone else to get through life. He is our example to follow and will show us how to do it. He did it – flawlessly. Through His Grace, we have access to the same power that kept the Lord from sinning or falling short during His Life on the earth. “Every high priest is a man chosen to represent other people in their dealings with God. He presents their gifts to God and offers sacrifices for their sins. And he is able to deal gently with ignorant and wayward people because he himself is subject to the same weaknesses.” (Hebrews 5:1-2)
Romans 8:26-27 (NLT)
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.
The Lord has given us His Spirit to help us in our weaknesses. I love the Holy Spirit. I tried Christianity without an active relationship with the Trinity of God including His Spirit and failed miserably time and time again. When I made the Holy Spirit my partner and stopped ignoring His Presence, it all came together just like that. I still sin and make a lot of mistakes but He helps me through each one. To try to live for God without His Son and His Spirit is to not be fully equipped and let’s face it – we need all the help we can get. Love is cold. Sin is rampant. No one is going to condemn you for going with the flow but try to live for God and all hell breaks loose in life.
The Holy Spirit is a gentleman. It’s true. He will not wrestle with you to take your weakness and bless you but waits for you to decide you want His Help. He knows God’s Will for your life. He knows the Way to get there. He knows what the Word of God means and how it incorporates in you to express God’s Blessing through us. He knows what is stopping you. He knows what is hindering your progress. But until you want to know enough to give all your weaknesses to the Lord rather than hiding them or hoarding them – He waits.
2 Corinthians 13:4-5 (NLT)
Although he was crucified in weakness, he now lives by the power of God. We, too, are weak, just as Christ was, but when we deal with you we will be alive with him and will have God’s power. Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith.
Jesus was crucified in weakness. He was covered in our weaknesses that were nailed to the Cross with Him. He now lives by the Power of God. The grace that is offered by way of the Cross through the Blood of Jesus allows us to live by the Power of God, too. It is all about the grace. There is no do over. We all have sinned. Grace doesn’t make us strong in our own right but extends God’s Power to us. Weakness is not a trophy of the Cross but a sacrifice on it. When we say “His Grace is sufficient” and “when I am weak than I am strong” – it is never a personal strength but commitment of ever weakness to the Lord for His Power to take over. All things are permissible but not all things are beneficial. To live with one hand on the Cross submitting some of our life but have the other in the world with those things we just don’t want to give up is to live in mediocrity and compromise that will limit the Power of God in our life. We are all weak. But to live in weakness taking ownership of it is opposition to the Cross and refusal to accept the Power of His Grace. His Grace is enough for me. It is a faith decision that gives Jesus all of our weakness holding nothing back. There is no “I’ll do it myself” in faith or hope. It is totally reliant on the Grace that was enough for me. Each day I must examine my heart and life to see if my faith is genuine. Testing my attitude and actions for complete and total surrender to Christ. If I do, I will have all of God’s Power in my life just for giving up my weakness.
Psalm 136:23 (NLT) He remembered us in our weakness. His faithful love endures forever.