This is like coming back home for me. When I first started everything, it was all about vulnerability. I felt like I wasn’t one of those 'put together' Christians. I didn’t feel like I had the 'right' words in prayer or the 'right' words in Bible Study. I wasn't very poetic in speech.
I wanted to be vulnerable. I just wanted to be myself, and for some reason, It seemed I couldn’t be. When seeking the Lord about it, I felt like He was asking me why I couldn't be? “Who set the standard of how a Christian should act?"
I knew the answer was Christ! It was men that set all the additional rules. That is the heart of where everything started from for me. Getting back to the heart.
OUR BELOVED SOCIALS!
But, then came the beloved Instagram and her curated feeds. We make them all pretty and cohesive. We use the filters and extra stuff. I love it; there is nothing wrong with it... But, there is this temptation of a having a pretty theme and an up-to-date blog. If we are not careful, we can miss the heart.
It’s supposed to be about Christ. My beginning was all about being a hot mess before a sufficient God. It was everybody being themselves before God. We all need Him. We are all weak people in need of a great Savior. He is Christ. Thank God 'weak' is all we have to be. Christ is enough!
So, recently, I was feeling convicted and I started studying up on vulnerability. There are a lot of Scriptures in the Bible that talks about weaknesses. I mean, that is how we come to Christ after all. The definition of vulnerability is basically showing weakness. But, if we were to be real, we don’t like showing weakness these days.
No, we like to show ourselves put together. That’s just what we do. We don’t like to be that odd ‘one’ sticking out. But, I decided to be that one odd one! When you are that ‘one,’ you give other people permission to be the second, the third, and the fourth. So, in 2 Corinthians, Paul talks about boasting in his weakness.
He said that he knew a man who went to the third heavens. He knew a man who went where God was, and he wasn’t allowed to say what he saw. He could tell us, but he decided not to tell us. He decided not to boast in that, but to boast in his weakness.
He decided to tell us that there was something bothering him. And, he had gone to the Father three times to remove it. And the Father said no. Instead, the Father said his grace was sufficient. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
I love this. We share this verse all of the time. We put it on coffee mugs, T-shirts, and journals. But, My grace is sufficient for you came from Paul saying 'this thorn is bothering me, can you take it away from me!' And…God said no My grace is sufficient!
MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR YOU!
I think that if we could somehow keep the context with these verses, they would be a lot more impactful. His grace is sufficient, even when there is tomorrow. When there are more problems. I don’t know if you guys have ever gotten a rose bush and have been affected by that thorn. But it hurts!
And, it’s like every single time something hits it, every single time it gets bothered, it’s a reminder that God‘s grace is sufficient for that pain or that situation.
THE FINISH LINE!
Paul said I can boast in so many things but I am going to both in that weakness. That is not popular on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or our blogs. We love to talk about the aftermath. We love to talk about the finish line. But, we don’t like to talk about 'during the pain.'
Paul had that pain during his ministry, and he decided to boast then. Not after he ‘arrived.’ This is one of the things the Lord has really been encouraging me with. I am weak and needy. I still have a lot of stuff to get through, and I am to boast in that.
POWER MADE PERFECT!
Why boast this way? Paul said, “Because his power is made perfect in our weakness.” (2 Corinthians 2:9) We pray prayers like, “Lord, I want your power in my life. I want the strength of Christ to be made perfect in my life, I want You to be my refuge.” Okay. His power comes, His strength comes, and rescue comes, when there is something that we need to be rescued from.
Many of us want His power, but we don’t want the emptiness first. We want all of this strength, but we are so full of ourselves. We refuse to let go of the pride: to empty and to surrender. What do we want Him to fill, if we refuse to be humble?
I would prefer to take the route of Paul and say “I will show you my weakness Lord if your power will be made perfect here.” “I will show you, Lord, fill and use me for your glory! Hey, weakness is here, I’m needy. I’m here for you.”
THE NEED FOR HUMILITY!
However, It takes wanting to be used for Him and not our name, or our platform, or our numbers, or are likes, or our followers. It takes humility. And, that is hard! We don’t like to be weak.
Especially when everybody else seems to be strong. When everybody else seems like they got it together. When everybody else seems like their story is on the other side of perfection.
I’m supposed to be weak? Well you know… It invites other people to come and say “you too?” “Me too!” “I can relate to you because I struggle too.” And that is how the Lord will use us in each other's lives and in the fellowship He desires.
FOR THE SAKE OF CHRIST!
For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. (2 Corinthians 12:10). This is what Paul says. We love Paul! We quote him all the time. “Paul said, Paul, said.”
He said for the sake of Christ I am content with weaknesses and insults. We don’t like insults. We love to clap- back, don’t we? We know how to “clap-back on Instagram and Facebook in a Christian way.
No, Paul said I’m content with the insults, the persecution, the calamity for the sake of Christ. Not for me! This is my becoming less, for more of Christ! This is all for Christ.
Paul said for when I am weak, then He is strong. So the more I am weak the more of His strength is seen. So then I’m going to be content with what makes me weak. That takes a lot of really wanting Christ to be made known to others.
And, it does not come from us trying so hard in our flesh. It is a work of the Holy Spirit. It also comes from continual, daily dying to self and it’s not these huge tasks. It’s like, someone says something to you? Do you want to say something back? No! Die to your flesh (Romans 8:13).
We think it is these huge things happening. No, it is these daily choices to become more like Christ. I am going to choose not to say that word to them. Or I’m going to choose to be brave and say that word because I feel should say that word in this situation. It is daily choices.
Paul said to be content with everything because all of this is going to show my weakness and that means Christ’s strength will be seen in my life. All of this is for Him anyway!
THE WORLD'S WAY!
Sold it out! We want to be sold out for Christ! This is what sold out means. It doesn’t mean a T-shirt. It doesn’t mean a concert. It’s not just a conference. It means true death to self!
It’s the complete opposite of the world. The world says “Show your pride.” Competition. Strive. Strive. Numbers. Award ceremony (which isn’t evil). The world is like, who is better, keep going, I’m going to celebrate you for being better.
It thrives on competition. It thrives on jealousy. It thrives on insecurity. The Bible says. Get low. Bow. Boast in your weakness. Allow grace to be seen as you kneel. It’s the complete opposite (James 4:10).
We as Christians try to use things in the world for Christ. But, we have to keep in mind what the world says and what God says. We have to know God’s opinion. We read His Word, study His character, and pray. We have to know God in order to know His ways.
My mom says all the time, we are just “pots." And, it’s true (2 Corinthians 4:7). We are clay pots made of dust, but we have eternity in us. The treasure is in us, it is not us. It’s not us! It’s Who’s in us.
The power belongs to God, the one who puts it in us. So we praise our Creator! Not the created. We don’t praise ourselves, things or other people. We praise God and, we give all glory back to Him.
This is a world full of people who don’t know Christ. People who are without Him. We were born sinners, we don’t know Christ, we don’t know that we need a Savior from our sins.
That Jesus came and died for sinners. That if we repent and believe in Him, we have eternal life. We have an inheritance with Jesus, Son of God! And, we have an eternal home- Heaven.
THE NEED FOR A VULNERABLE WITNESS!
We don’t know that, and we don’t get that until there is a witness! This world is empty and people are believing what the world tells them and if we, the ambassadors of Heaven, the hands and feet of Christ, are not sharing Christ as the Way, the world is going to keep selling them destruction.
We shouldn’t be saying we have it all together or that we are perfect! That is not the Gospel. We should be saying "I’m not perfect! But, I know a perfect one. I know a perfect Man. And, it is because of His perfections that I am saved."
Being vulnerable is hard. We don’t like it. It requires death to self, but if we love God and if we love people, we want them to know Him and to know eternal life.
It all starts with saying I’m weak. For me, it’s vulnerability. I know I’m weak, but Christ is strong. Christ is strong! Look at Him don’t look at me. Look at Him!
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PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW!