The Paradox of Powerlessness

The kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. (1 Corinthians 4:20)

It has been wisely observed that we have no power from God unless we live in the persuasion that we have none of our own. The Bible provides us with several examples of people who lived out this truth. The apostle Paul, for example, said this about his preaching ministry: “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power” (1 Corinthians 2:4-5).

If anyone could have felt supremely confident about his own strength, ability, and intellect, it was Paul. He had advanced to the top of his field as a religious leader in Judaism, having been trained by Gamaliel, the most respected teacher of the Mosaic Law at that time. Paul’s education and his understanding of the Old Testament scriptures was second to none.

But Paul did not rely on his own ability; rather, he relied solely on the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through him. Remember, it was Paul who was inspired to pen this doxology: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20). Paul understood and lived the truth that the Lord Almighty had declared centuries earlier: “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit” (Zechariah 4:6).

How is it with you? Are you living your life in the power of God? Or are you attempting to live in your own power? Are you relying on the wisdom of God? Or are you looking to the wisdom of the world? When you reach the point of acknowledging your powerlessness, you have arrived at the place where God will give you His Omnipotent power.

God is not in the business of blessing those who are living in their own strength; He blesses those who are totally dependent upon Him and surrender to His will in their lives. Here is the paradox of powerlessness: It is the only place where you will find all the power you need to do all the things God is calling you to do for His glory. “For when I am weak,” Paul explained, “then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

May this truth set us all free to acknowledge our powerlessness and live in the power of God.

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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