Weak and yet strong
But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:7-11
From our text, Paul was not bragging about his abilities and qualities as the source of his effectiveness. On the contrary, he felt that his accomplishments before he came to know Christ made him inadequate to do what God has called him to do. In Philippians 4:13, he expressed that his adequacy only comes from trusting God; “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” It is not a sin to feel insufficient, but you can commit sin when you start to doubt that God can fill you and work through you. In fact, as soon as you realized that you do not have the sufficiency to do the task this can become a blessing if you decide to bring this to God in prayer. Even the apostle Paul felt unqualified when he was called by God to share the gospel. “Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God” (2 Corinthians 3:5). He overcame his limitations by drawing strength from God. His inadequacy brought him closer to God. God is not after on what we can accomplish for Him but on how much we are allowing Him to work through us. He is about the transformation of our lives where we stop relying on our strength and grow relying on Him. As you move out from trusting your own strength, you become motivated to work in the power of the Holy Spirit. Through your inadequacy God will demonstrate the great things He can do through you. When God called Gideon to lead the Israelites against the Midianites, he realized his limitations that he even went further to claim that the weakness was born out of his family background. “But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family! (Judges 6:15)” All the more that God commanded Him to trust Him for He will be with him (Judges 6:16). Your honest acceptance of your own limitations combined with willingness to be dependent upon God’s strength can result in God’s marvelous working. Paul’s attitude should be our resolve. “Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).
Noel De Guzman
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