Have you ever looked forward to something, and then when it arrived you were disappointed? I can’t even begin to count the times that I thought “if only I can do or get” (fill in the blank because they have been numerous), then I will be satisfied. But the truth is that earthly pleasures or pursuits will never truly satisfy us.
We were created by the Lord as lesser beings than created angels, and perfectly designed with our weaknesses. Solomon had arrived at the wisdom that we can never be completely satisfied with earthly pleasures and pursuits. “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Eccl 3:11) Our satisfaction won’t come from pursuits here on earth because we are created in God’s image, and therefore, have 1) a spiritual thirst; 2) we have eternal value; and 3) nothing but the eternal God can truly satisfy us. God has built in us a restless yearning for the kind of perfect world that can only be found in His perfect rule.
We were created to need the Lord, and to depend on His power for His glory. “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” (2 Cor. 4:7-10) In our weakness His power shows through us. Knowing that the power is His, not ours, should keep us from pride and motivate us to keep daily contact with God–our power source. Our responsibility as believers is to let people see Jesus through us.
His power is great and is more apparent in our weakness, so Paul boasted about his weakness: “but He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.’ Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me. So I am well pleased with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, and with difficulties, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak [in human strength], then I am strong [truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing from God’s strength]. (2 Cor. 12:9-10 AMP) How often do we rejoice in our personal weaknesses for the Lord’s sake?
David, armed physically with only stones and a slingshot (1 Sam. 17:45-47), went up against giant Goliath (in full armor “with his shield bearer in front of him”) in the Lord’s power so that “the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel”. Why? “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give all of you into our hands.” David, like Paul, rejoiced in his own weakness and depended upon his faith in the Lord Almighty’s power. That’s the kind of faith the Lord wants from all of us.
And because of our belief, we have “His incomparably great power” because Christ lives in us. It is the same power “He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 1:19-20). This morning a couple of questions were asked in my Bible study: 1) What weakness are you struggling to overcome?; and 2) Does God accept our weaknesses as an excuse for our lack of victory over temptation as well as our lack of commitment to live for and serve Him? I certainly had many weaknesses to list, and I’m sure you will as well.
But the answer to the second question is most assuredly a resounding “no” because we have been given the power to live as Christians today, as we are united with Christ in His powerful victory. “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms with Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:6)–the same heavenly realms where the Almighty Father raised our Lord Jesus to sit at His right hand. He gives us His strength (Phil. 4:13) to face all the storms that come our way.
As He has “set eternity in [our] heart”, and given us His strength and power to live for Him and to fulfill His purposes for our lives, I encourage you to think along with me to the day when we gather around God’s throne and sing praises to the Lamb (Rev. 5:13). What testimony of His power will be on your lips? We are told in Revelation 20:12 that we will be judged according to what we have done, even those of us whose names are written in the Book of Life. Have we allowed Him to use our lives for His glory? That, after all, is the reason He created us (Is. 43:7).