When God wants to use us, does he weaken us?
That is a tough question and one that brings a knee jerk reaction, especially depending upon how you view God in your life. Is God really the center of the universe...or are we? Can He really still be good and sometimes allow us to experience weakening? It is hard to read something like 2 Corinthians 12 without realizing the deeply difficult experience this can be. With impact on how we live and who we understand God to be, each of us must work out this question.
With so many everyday impacts, this is a an important question to answer. And not just with a nice theological or Sunday School answer, but with the conviction and belief that goes to the very heart.
In an intriguing post on "Are You Weak Enough for God to Use You?", J. D. Greear notes:
Sadly, our obsession with strength blinds us to a key biblical truth: God uses the weak. It’s so pervasive that you’d be hard-pressed to find a book of the Bible that can’t be summarized this way. And yet despite being hard-wired into the very DNA of Scripture, we don’t really believe it. We still clamor after strength. But God doesn’t need our strength to deliver us. In fact, our strength is actually more of a liability than an asset.
I’ll go a step further: God is so single-minded in his preference for weakness, that when he wants to use us, he often begins by weakening us.
Read more at Greear's original post above. There is something God works only in the frailness of this world. Something that is not done any other way. Where His glory and good come in a way we least expect.
But we can miss something essential on this. He is the example, embodying this in His own work...of Christ's coming from heaven to dwell in flesh, His approach of kingship through suffering and death, rather than sword. He knows what He is doing and, in His love, shows you He is not far away. And it is with Him that we regain a sense of the promise in His words to Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:8-9:
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
May you find hope in His promise of grace in weakness.