When I am Weak, Then I am Strong

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When I am Weak, Then I am Strong

Post  fennywest on Mon 08 Oct 2012, 5:49 pm

Strength from weakness
8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.
9 And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.1Cor12:8-10

The Potter and the Clay
There is a great difference between a pot already formed and a clay that is soft and in the hands of the potter(God).
God has more need of our weakness than our strength. He wants us to be malleable flexible, amenable; workable; when we are already formed we are useless -too strong, too set in our ways.
How easier is it to make a pot from clay or from an already made pot which is not fit for purpose?

1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying:
2 "Arise and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause you to hear My words."
3 Then I went down to the potter's house, and there he was, making something at the wheel.
4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.
5 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying:
6 "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?" says the LORD. "Look, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel! Jer18:

Paul before and after salvation
1 Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest
2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven.
4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?"
5 And he said, "Who are You, Lord?" Then the Lord said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads."
6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, "Lord, what do You want me to do?" Then the Lord said to him, "Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."

Acts 9, 2Cor11:33-2Cor12:10,
When Paul preached powerfully in Philippi al that happened was commotion, persecution, vilification, opposition which led to the humiliation of being flogged to the point of bleeding . But in their helplessness and weakness all they did was sing and pray and the power of God fell and their chains fell off, and the jailor was convicted by their behaviour that He wanted to be saved. And he was not only saved but his house hold too. The Strength of God came from their weakness.

9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us."
10 Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.
11 Therefore, sailing from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and the next day came to Neapolis,
12 and from there to Philippi, which is the foremost city of that part of Macedonia, a colony. And we were staying in that city for some days.
22 Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods.
23 And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely.
24 Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
25 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.
26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were loosed.
27 And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself.
28 But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, "Do yourself no harm, for we are all here."
29 Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas.
30 And he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
31 So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household."
32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.
33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized.
34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.
Peter before he denied Jesus and after the day of Pentecost

He was mightily use d of the Lord after his natural strength and arrogance was gone.
Acts 2
Illustration of one that is drowning. You don’t fight with them. Leave them until all their strength is gone then you can help them else you may both go down in the struggle. God lets you exhaust your strength.

Moses could not be used until all his strength was gone at 80, shepherding in Midian.
Ex2, 3
When you are at the back of the desert. You have given up on your strength and how you can make things work about your ministry. All you can speak is ‘sheepineese’ you are stripped of all your education in the Eaton and Cambridge of your time. You know that unless God intervenes you’re finished, you have no hope.

Moses came to a place where all his strength as gone and he prayed: If you do not go with me do not send me. Show me your glory if I have found favour in your sight.

Whilst fight with the Amalekites, although he knew they needed to do the practical he also knew that without God they stood no chance of winning so he stood on the hill with his hands raised you. And as long as the hands were raised Joshua was winning the battle below. he his hands become tired and he lowered them they started losing , o Aaron and Hur were deployed upstairs to uphold his hands and they began to win again. This was a picture of ‘ without Him you can do nothing.
When go in our strength we birth Ishmaels children of the flesh that become thorn in our flesh. Abraham and Sarah discovered that to their pain and the pain goes on till today between the Arabs and the Israelites- constantly at daggers drawn.

Jonah: before and after he was swallowed by the Big Fish until he was broken.
Jonah 1,2,3
Jehoshaphat we into an unholy alliance to strengthen himself then a tripartite, overwhelming confederacy came upon him that he could do nothing about came; he feared and ran to God in prayer and fasting and of became his strength.

Gideon’s 32000 strong army had to be whittled down to 300
to show that it is not by might nor by power but by the Spirit of God.

David floored and Goliath by the strength of God
, because he relied on God, to show that when you are strong in yourself you are vulnerable, weak, but when your strength is in the Lord, He will use the weak to confound the strong, the foolish to confound the wise.
1Cor1:28-30 , 1Sam17

When Saul was little in His eyes God could use him but when his legs became too big for his boots he was booted out of office. 1Sam13. He died on mount Gilbour( exalted, pride)
Jacob, as long as he was strong in himself, in his scheming, wheeling and dealing, limited God. He came to himself and was fed up of running from his brother and threw himself on God, prayed a passionate prayer and was turned into a Prince with God.
Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity’
God turns our difficulties into His opportunity; we are forced to make room for Him put Him first lok fir His intervention and encounter with Him.
Prayer: I will not leave you until you bless me and was transformed from a schemer, t, con man to a
Prince with God.
Joseph was also broken after the grandiose dream he had. God used the pit, the false accusation, imprisonment to break him down and prepare him for the greatness that was ahead. His character was shaped so that God would take glory in his life: Pride, Pit, Palace, Prison Prophetic, power, Purity, Patience , purpose, pardon test etc

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego: had no strength of their own but God’s ; moved from faith to trust ‘But if not ‘ were not taken out but taken through the fire as we to will face from time to time; They relied solely on the Lord and He vindicated them in the end. Their seeming humiliation brought promotion, God’s glorification and their vindication. The same happened to Daniel. His enemies were Jealous and conspired to incriminate him. They wanted him to compromise but he refused and maintained his loyalty to God. And God protected him when they threw him into the lion’s den.
Dan3, 6
In their weakness they became strong; their seeming humiliation being tied up and bundled and thrown into fire birth their promotion and God’s glorification and their vindication. You too will go through trial that will humiliate but as you look to God they will be turned into your strength, promotion and God’s glorification. What do you but trust in the wisdom of God? You know unless God shows up you‘re going down. When I am weak then I am strong!

God does not always take us out of difficulties. He often takes us through them; yea though I walk through... as the go through the Valley of Bacca... they make it a place of spring. when you go through the fire you will not burn....go through the river... you will not drown.

Calamity, penury, tribulation- even humiliation- befell aman advanced in age; a man greatly endowed with over 100 songs like David of old. He could play the guitar, write poetry, had advanced computer skills including video making and accounting skills etc.yet he could not find a way out because it’s not by mighty nor by power but by the Spirit of God. People who do not have a fraction his skills and qualification are streets ahead, miles ahead in their finances, ministry, positions of authority and influence but he was still marking time struggling to pay his rent, not talking of mortgage. He knew that unless God came through for him his accolades amounted to nothing.
However, this great test has a potential to be turned into a great testimony. This bitter water will be turned into a sweet water by the tree on which the Saviour hung and died to pay the price for us.

We shall not go under for going over.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. God is with be and working behind the scene. I will come forth like Gold. When He has tried me I will come forth like gold. I will wait until my change comes.

James was executed, Peter was taken out, Acts12, Stephen was stoned to death; Moses and David were spared.

1 Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church.
2 Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword.
3 And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread.
4 So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover.
5 Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.
6 And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison.
7 Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, "Arise quickly!" And his chains fell off his hands.
8 Then the angel said to him, "Gird yourself and tie on your sandals"; and so he did. And he said to him, "Put on your garment and follow me."
9 So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision.
10 When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.

Paul was stoned, flogged with rods, beaten battered , broken unlike other disciples; eventually He was executed. Peter was also executed in the end. Poly carp was also thrown in to an inferno; others were fed to lions
When the disciples were threatened to stop preaching in the name of Jesus, they kept on preaching despite the persecution; in facts the gospel spread all the more when the persecution caused them to flee to various nooks and crannies spreading the gospel far and wide as they were pushed and pursued. They garner strength from weakness; their boldness increased as they refused to budge and those who opposed them took notice that they had been with Jesus. Their weakness became their strength Acts4

And when they had been threatened on one occasion they went to their company and they prayed and the house in which they prayed was shaken to its core. This was strength in weakness. It did not happen when the going was good with them, when there was no opposition or persecution. So welcome your opposition and persecution. Welcome your suffering. There is gold and silver in it. There is a boon and booty in it. Don’t waste your sorrows. Glean all the goodies buried in the treasure of darkness.
13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.
After Jesus had fasted for forty days and night, although he was weak physically , He was strong spiritually, ‘ He came out in the power of the Spirit.
14 Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region.

19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge.
20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard."
29 Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word,
30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus."
31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. Acts4

Mat17:21 certain feats nor exploits can only come when you have waited on God, stripped of yourself of your physical and mental strength and filled with the strength and wisdom of God.

Jesus looked helpless and broken on the cross but through His brokenness He was mending humanity. Through His emptying Himself He was giving us fullness. He made Himself weak of no reputation, therefore God gave Him power, a name above every other name...

When I am weak then I am strong!
When your back is on the ground, guess what? You can only look up.

As long as Samson was strong in himself he fooled around and was meat for his enemies despite his earlier incredible feats. Eventually they defeated him as he played a fool on the lap of Delilah. When his hair was gone and his eyes were gorged out hi=e knew that only god would make a difference . and as he prayed fervently between the pillars for God to give him a second chance, God did and
He killed more people on that occasion than on any other when he was his strongest.

5 And the lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, "Entice him, and find out where his great strength lies, and by what means we may overpower him, that we may bind him to afflict him; and every one of us will give you eleven hundred pieces of silver."
6 So Delilah said to Samson, "Please tell me where your great strength lies, and with what you may be bound to afflict you."
7 And Samson said to her, "If they bind me with seven fresh bowstrings, not yet dried, then I shall become weak, and be like any other man."
8 So the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven fresh bowstrings, not yet dried, and she bound him with them.
9 Now men were lying in wait, staying with her in the room. And she said to him, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" But he broke the bowstrings as a strand of yarn breaks when it touches fire. So the secret of his strength was not known.
10 Then Delilah said to Samson, "Look, you have mocked me and told me lies. Now, please tell me what you may be bound with."
11 So he said to her, "If they bind me securely with new ropes that have never been used, then I shall become weak, and be like any other man."
12 Therefore Delilah took new ropes and bound him with them, and said to him, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" And men were lying in wait, staying in the room. But he broke them off his arms like a thread.
13 Delilah said to Samson, "Until now you have mocked me and told me lies. Tell me what you may be bound with." And he said to her, "If you weave the seven locks of my head into the web of the loom" ---
14 So she wove it tightly with the batten of the loom, and said to him, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" But he awoke from his sleep, and pulled out the batten and the web from the loom.
15 Then she said to him, "How can you say, 'I love you,' when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times, and have not told me where your great strength lies."
16 And it came to pass, when she pestered him daily with her words and pressed him, so that his soul was vexed to death,
17 that he told her all his heart, and said to her, "No razor has ever come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother's womb. If I am shaven, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man."
18 When Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, "Come up once more, for he has told me all his heart." So the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hand.
19 Then she lulled him to sleep on her knees, and called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. Then she began to torment him, and his strength left him.
20 And she said, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" So he awoke from his sleep, and said, "I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!" But he did not know that the LORD had departed from him.
21 Then the Philistines took him and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza. They bound him with bronze fetters, and he became a grinder in the prison.
22 However, the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaven.
23 Now the lords of the Philistines gathered together to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god, and to rejoice. And they said: " Our god has delivered into our hands Samson our enemy!"
24 When the people saw him, they praised their god; for they said: " Our god has delivered into our hands our enemy, The destroyer of our land, And the one who multiplied our dead."
25 So it happened, when their hearts were merry, that they said, "Call for Samson, that he may perform for us." So they called for Samson from the prison, and he performed for them. And they stationed him between the pillars.
26 Then Samson said to the lad who held him by the hand, "Let me feel the pillars which support the temple, so that I can lean on them."
27 Now the temple was full of men and women. All the lords of the Philistines were there --- about three thousand men and women on the roof watching while Samson performed.
28 Then Samson called to the LORD, saying, "O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray! Strengthen me, I pray, just this once, O God, that I may with one blow take vengeance on the Philistines for my two eyes!"
29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars which supported the temple, and he braced himself against them, one on his right and the other on his left.
30 Then Samson said, "Let me die with the Philistines!" And he pushed with all his might, and the temple fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So the dead that he killed at his death were more than he had killed in his life.


6 So he answered and said to me: " This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ' Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' Says the LORD of hosts.

[b]Without me you can do nothing.

God wants you and I to rely on Him totally, all the time, even when we do the practical; do exercises, pray, fast and pray, plan, budget, are careful with our finances, invest, give to the poor, save, tithe, trade with our talent etc
He does not delight in the strength of a horse or the legs of a man
Some trust in riches, some in princes, others in houses, their connections, reputation, experience, accolades etc but we will trust in the name of the Lord.
8 It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man.
9 It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in princes.Ps118:8-9

1 "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
5 "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.
7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.Ps9:10

11 But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You.

2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him.
7 "Here is the man who did not make God his strength, But trusted in the abundance of his riches, And strengthened himself in his wickedness."
2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust."
1 Those who trust in the LORD Are like Mount Zion, Which cannot be moved, but abides forever. Ps125
8 Our help is in the name of the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.Ps124:8
10 He does not delight in the strength of the horse; He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man.
9 Do not trust in oppression, Nor vainly hope in robbery; If riches increase, Do not set your heart on them. Ps62:10
28 He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like foliage.

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©Fenny West2012
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