His Sufficient Grace And Power

When living a Christ-like life and trying to serve the Lord, brokenness is the posture that triggers your elevated usefulness by God (Psalm 51:17). The ultimate example of humility, brokenness and vulnerability is Christ. Philippians 2:6-11 speaks of the awesome incarnation of the Word of God that I believe humanity will never grasp the full sacrifice of - The Creator becoming His creation for its redemption. 

Remaining humble before the Lord displays one's ultimate respect for His sovereignty and pays the believer with "riches and honor and life" (Proverbs 22:4). In addition, wearing humility as a daily garment or mindset and attitude before others will acquire "favor" from God (1 Peter 5:5). And we all need riches, honor, life and favor from God who is a generous giver.

Another wonderful benefit of practicing humility in Christ is something Jesus said to Paul and all Christians through the ages - "'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Paul then takes pride in his many weaknesses because they become opportunities for Christ to be glorified - "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me." (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Notice Paul considers weaknesses a prerequisite for Christ's power to rest on him. Our weaknesses are a magnet and opportunity for Christ's presence to dwell in us and shine through us. Christ's words "
for my power is made perfect in weakness." could be translated from the original Greek/Arabic - "my power is perfectly accomplished in/through your weaknesses." This does not mean we should seek situations of weakness in order to prove God's "grace" and "power". But should circumstances arise that expose our weaknesses, Christians can "boast" and "delight" in and through the difficulty because His grace is sufficient and His power is perfected within the ordeal.

I know and recognize there are some issues and problems I pray that the Lord would just solve in an instant. In the past, He has chosen to operate in that very fashion. However, the mode of operation for many Christians, if not most, is to mature through the experiences of trial and tribulation.

Paul encourages the believers in Corinth and down through the ages - "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." (1 Cor. 10:13)

So, we should not be taken off-guard by our problems. Plus, being a part of the family of God grants you the Lord controlling the degree of difficulty within the problem and supplying a way out. However, believers still have to go through the process. What process you ask? A holy process by God of producing more Christ-like traits within the Christian. Paul says it like this to the believers in Rome - "we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." (Romans 5:3-4)

And many times during this process of Holy development, God uses our weakness, our brokenness to help the hurting to be honest with themselves and God. My pastor recently taught that just as clay pots are cracked so are humans. And just as humans let in the light, God's Light, through those cracks we have to remember to shine that light, The Lord's Provision and Promises, back out through the cracks.

To help with the shinning of our light the older brother in the famous parable of The Prodigal Son had some issues that Christians need to avoid. The older brother held onto his anger and did not process it, frequently complained and did not let go of his offenses. These three items are a starting point for what not to do and where not to be when on the road to vulnerability or brokenness with Christ and others.

“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ (Luke 15:28-30)

Another person in Scripture that believers can track the journey of humility is Paul. Paul's faith journey, his path of brokenness, humility and vulnerability begin from being a legalistic teacher of The Law of Scripture. When the risen Christ meets Paul on the road and blinds him, and eventually has Paul converted - this is but one of many notches on the totem pole that Paul experiences the lesson of humility.

Paul seems to be personally attached for the remainder of his years to something referred to as "a thorn in my flesh" (2 Cor. 12:7). What this is has been debated till today, but what is clear is Paul's transformation from pride to humility is detected throughout his letters to the churches. 

In a recent teaching, my pastor, Pastor Claypool, noted this shift in the following timeline of what has been called by scholars as Paul's Descent to Greatness.
  • A.D. 49 = Galatians 2:6 (14 years after becoming a believer)
  • A.D. 55 = 1 Corinthians 15:9
  • A.D. 60 = Ephesians 3:8 (25 years a Christian)
  • 2 yrs before death = 2 Corinthians 12:10
  • 1 Timothy 1:15
What a journey and walk with The Lord. And the lessons will never stop. Paul and all believers will always be works in progress. Our ship will never come in and be fully developed, only God is perfect, which leads to a hope-filled and wonderous future with Christ in Heaven and beyond.

I love the fact that God calls the whosoevers of this world to belief in Him through Christ. I love that this cracked pot of a vessel can still be used by Him as long as I remain humble before Him and others. I love that He is faithful. My misunderstanding about His plan or His timing will never make Him angry or diminish His faithfulness and I can approach Him about anything. My weaknesses will be a testimony to His Sufficient Grace And Power.