Thursday, March 8, 2012

Boasting in Weakness Pt. 4

Every moment and every area of our life is an opportunity to boast in our weakness--to cry out for God's strength. After all, the Lord sustains every heart beat and every breath. We have nothing that he doesn't provide. Sadly, most of our moments are spent assuming our self-sufficiency. However, in his kindness he often peels back our typical blindness and reveals our weakness in particular areas--and when he does we do well to respond with renewed boasting in his strength. We were made to boast in the Lord's strength alone in all areas of our life. But when we see and feel our weakness we should seize this renewed sense of need as a particular gift to motivate our boasting in Him. What weak creatures we are! We even need help to see our need for help. We need grace to see our need for grace. Thankfully, God is gracious enough to help us enjoy his strength--indeed He is the God of grace upon grace.

I was made to live in dependance on him--this is the greatest glory of my life--that all of my life is dependent on him. Knowing this dependent identity leads me to a few challenging implications:

1. I should be far more uncomfortable than I normally am when I feel "strong". This perception of strength--of sufficiency in myself-- is an indication of blindness to the sustaining grace of God. The "sense" of self-strength should concern me, and lead me to desperate prayers for God's sustaining grace and protection against the destructive pride of self-sufficiency.

2. I should be far less disappointed when I "sense" weaknesses or insufficiency in myself. Rather than thinking of this "sense of weakness" exclusively as a burden, or trial, or "unusual experience" in contrast with the "norm" of self-sufficiency--I should see this "sense" as an invitation from God to boast in his strength with greater urgency and passion.

3. I need to be more surprised that God sustains me even when I don't ask--than I am when he reveals my need for him by exposing my weakness.

4. I need to be more worried about the trap of trusting myself than the trials that will cause me to trust in the Lord. Trusting myself can lead to spiritual destruction. Trusting God will bring a peace that exceeds understanding--even if my earthly circumstances are painful.

5. I need to ask myself where I have neglected risk for God's glory because of a fear of feeling insufficient in myself.

6. I need to ask whether I have greater confidence in praying for God to help others than I do in helping them through my counsel.

7. I need to consider how much of my counsel to others centers around pointing them to God in prayer and the Word, rather than in following my advice in practical matters.

8. I need to meditate on how much of the Scripture centers around God's eagerness to sustain and bless those who entrust themselves to him.

9. I need to meditate on the eternal choice of God--on how God chose me because of his own love and grace and without any reason to be found in me. My whole history has been a trophy case of God's strength working in the context of my need.

10. I need to meditate on the gospel--on how I have already crucified all confidence in myself to the cross of Christ and risen with him so that all I have is Christ.

Lord, make my boast in your strength. Be my glory and my one and only hope.

Other entries on Boasting in Weakness found here:
Boasting in Weakness pt. 1
Boasting in Weakness pt. 2
Boasting in Weakness pt. 3