Don’t be! One of the qualifications for being a servant of the Most High God is found, not in your strength, but in your weakness. God will not have His servants seeking success in advancing His kingdom in their own strength; when we head out into service in our own strength, defeat looms in our future.
He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
The apostle Paul was not worried about his weakness, in spite of the “thorn” (some unidentified source of great discomfort) God had given him. Far from it! Paul boasted all the more gladly in his weakness, because he knew he would only advance in the service of his Savior to the extent that he advanced in the power of God.
Kingdom servants must serve the kingdom in His strength, not their own, or God will not receive the fruit of their labor. Make no mistake; Omnipotence does not rely on our feeble efforts to accomplish His purposes in this world. To be sure, God uses our efforts, but our efforts advance and accomplish only in His strength that He imparts to us.
You see, the apostle Paul knew who very well who he was before Jesus showed up: his name was Saul, the vicious persecutor of the early Christian church. Saul held the coats of those who stoned Stephen, the first Christian martyr, and personally dragged Christian believers off to prison (Acts 8:3).
But Jesus stepped in on the road to Damascus, and Saul was forever changed. Saul was renamed Paul and commissioned by God to pen nearly two-thirds of the New Testament under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Paul went from persecutor to preacher, but he knew that none of that happened in his own strength. As a student of Old Testament Scriptures, Paul knew the truth of Zechariah 4:6—“‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.”
Paul was not worried about his weakness because he knew that where he was weak, God would be strong. He knew that his weaknesses were simply opportunities for God to demonstrate his power: accomplishing His purposes, through His apostle, in His strength.
So . . . what weakness has you worried? Perhaps God has called you to do something for Him that doesn’t seem to play to your strengths? Fear not! If God is calling you to do it, He will provide you all the strength you need to get it done. God’s strength will make you sufficient for any task He has set before you.
Remember, God is not surprised by your weaknesses. He created you with those weaknesses so that you will rely on Him and not on yourself. The years have taught me that weakness has a tendency to keep us on our knees, and it is only from that position that we will ever advance in the Christian life.
One final point: weakness is never an excuse for not doing what God has called us to do, regardless of how we feel about it. In the fourth chapter of Exodus, we read how Moses tried to make an excuse before God when he was called to be the deliverer of the Israelites. God would have none of it, and He sent Moses off to do His work—not in the strength of Moses, but in the strength of the Master.
We want to walk in the faith of Abraham. Paul lifts him us as a model to us in Romans 4:20-21, saying, “[Abraham] did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.”
Whatever God is calling you to do, do it with the confident assurance that the One who called is able to complete the task through you, working through your weakness as a witness to His strength and the power of His promise.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!