Sunday, November 27, 2016

Weakness or reality?

Boasting in our weakness (2 Cor 12:9,10) and called to walk in it (i.e in humility) is a paradox. As if boasting and humility are opposites; a seeming contradiction e.g. "to live you must die"... "to find your life you must lose it." Normally we boast in our strengths not our weakness. 

So what does this mean? In a sense it is a play on words.

Weakness is really nothing more than simply recognizing the reality of our dependence i.e seeing ourselves according to the truth that we are dependent creatures. It is not really weakness in the truest sense. It is operating according to the reality of who we are. This is another way of saying we are not our own god (the opposite of the lie Adam and Eve bought into). The necessary recognition of this reality is the basis for our true strength and flourishing.  

It only **looks like weakness if and when we are committed to being our "own god" ...(which in truth is not actually possible because it ultimately leads to eternal death and separation from God).

"Weakness" is only being who we were designed to be and really are; finite creatures created in God's image, totally dependent on our Creator and his love to operate fully as God intended and designed us to. 

This is not alien to who we really are (who we were created to be) but only to who we choose to be i.e. our own god. This is why we are actually strong (in God) only when we are weak (in ourselves). 

abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing... As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love..." Jesus in the upper room shortly before his betrayal and upcoming crucifixion (the completion of his own humiliation and ultimate experience of weakness on our behalf) John 15:5b and 9

It is recognizing all life, love, meaning and purpose is from God alone, not ourselves, and living accordingly. 

We were never made to be our own god; to operate independent of God and his infinite boundless love. To attempt doing so leads to death, just as God warned

To live in this way only gives the appearance of power. But it is power just for a season because it is not power rooted in the realty that from God, through him and to him are all things. It is short term power rooted in the deception that we can be our own god.  

To live according to truth, the way we were designed to live, is to live fully and truly. It is not weakness, it is fullness of life; abundant life. It is being loved with nothing less than the infinite, eternal love and joy that flows between the Father and the Son, via his Spirit; which is the very essence of the life of God.

We are only to be weak "in the flesh" i.e. in attempts to garner the approval of God and man by our efforts. 

However we are to be strong "in the Spirit" i.e. in actions driven by the Spirit. In so doing we bear much fruit for his glory. 

Joh 17:3  And this is eternal life, that they *know you (the Father) the only true God, and (I) Jesus Christ whom you have sent. - Jesus talking to his Father right before he was betrayed by Judas Iscariot.

* know: ginōskō - Thayer Definition:

1) to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of perceive, feel
1a) to become known
2) to know, understand, perceive, have knowledge of
2a) to understand
2b) to know
3) Jewish idiom for sexual intercourse (i.e. intimate knowledge through first hand experience- my comment) between a man and a woman
4) to become acquainted with, to know

**looks like weakness... I would add it also feels like weakness. Whenever we are required to depend on someone this feels weak. The real issue however is it requires trust and distrust is the heart of our problem. We don't want or like to trust. We like being our own god. The is bound up in the very core of our being. However when you consider we are dependent creatures, it is in reality simply acting as we were created to act i.e. as dependent creatures

The above was inspired by "Way of the Dragon or The Way of the Lamb" page 13. by Jamin Goggin and Kyle Stroble. Soon to be released.

To download the intro and chapter 1 from the book click here and go to "get a free chapter" on the bottom right. 

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Grace to you
Jim Deal