My Weakness, His Strength
Dear Friend, Have you ever hit the wall? Bumped up against the absolute limit of your own resources and strength? If your answer is yes to those questions, you are in good company. Coming to the end of ourselves can be a regular, if not daily experience for us. In this letter, I want to speak from personal experience, sharing some thoughts on why the Lord allows us to reach our limits. What is He teaching us at such times? That our weakness opens the way to His strength.
It Was a Bad Day
Friday had been a bad day. (I don’t know whether you can relate to that, but we all occasionally have those days we would prefer to forget.) The next morning was no better. I awoke in a very dark mood—residue from the bad day before. As I was driving into the office early on that Saturday morning, I assessed my emotional condition, arriving at the following conclusion: “Today I am not fit for interaction with man nor beast.” My plan for the day was to isolate myself as best I could, avoiding contact with anyone who might be scorched by my foul mood. On the drive to work, however, as is my custom, I carried on a conversation with the Lord—somewhat more reluctant than usual. Hesitantly, I let Him know how I felt (as if He didn’t already know). Then, I simply prayed: “Lord, I put myself in Your hands today.” Immediately, a phrase popped into my mind: “Be strong in the power of His might.” That unbidden impression was so far outside of my thought pattern right then that I felt certain it had to be a word from the Lord.
Power and Might
When an impression comes to me in this way, even though I may recognize it as a Bible verse, rarely do I know its exact address in the Word. So, my first step on arrival was to consult the concordance, followed by a time of study of the passage and its context. I found the unbidden phrase quickly: Ephesians 6:10. “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” Two aspects of the ensuing study helped me immensely in my understanding of the passage. First was its context. Significantly, the verses following Ephesians 6:10 talk about putting on the armor of God “to stand against the wiles of the devil,” doing battle with the spiritual forces arrayed against us. Could it be that the bad days we experience are somehow rooted in the schemes of the enemy? Isn’t he the one who is constantly working against us to discourage us and wear us down? The second point from the concordance was a related reference to Micah 3:8. “But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the LORD….” When we are at our weakest and worst, where can we turn to find the strength we so desperately need? To the Spirit of the Lord.
Strength in Weakness
I need to make something clear at this point. I am writing this letter fresh from my study of these verses, right in the wake of the bad day that so discouraged me. Why is that important for you to know? Because, truthfully, this is probably the worst possible time for me to share anything about the Lord’s power and victory. I am still slogging through the issues that upset me. Even so, I am trying to write my way out of the heaviness I am facing—deliberately “putting it on paper” while still wrestling with the foul mood described at the beginning of this letter. I am trusting that even in these worst moments—the times when my weakness and failure are most glaring—God can display His strength most clearly. If you are deriving any encouragement from this letter right now, chalk it up to that truth. It is exactly how the Lord comforted Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect [complete, evident] in weakness.” That is why Paul could respond in verse 10 by saying: “For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
The Greatest Display
Undoubtedly, the greatest display of power released through weakness and vulnerability took place on a cross at Calvary nearly 2000 years ago. At the very moment when Satan was exulting in apparent victory, having engineered the death of the Messiah on a Roman gibbet, immeasurable might was being generated. Unbeknownst to the adversary, the lifeblood flowing out of Jesus was unleashing power that would consign the enemy and his hordes to eternal defeat and disgrace. The power of the cross! In Derek Prince’s 60 years of teaching the Word of God, this was one of his constant themes. In fact, from the abundant archives of Derek’s teaching on this subject, we have just released a new book entitled, What’s So Important about the Cross? One of the transcripts at the core of this new book is Derek’s powerful message, “The Cross at the Center,” from which we have taken the following excerpt.
I want to say something that’s very easy to say but not always easy to live. The purpose of the cross is to bring us to the end of all our wisdom and all our strength—to show us that they are totally of no avail whatever. We can only begin to enter into the grace of God when we have come to the end of ourselves. At the present time, you may be going through problems and pressures in your life. You may be asking, “What is God doing?” The answer is: God is gently but firmly bringing you to the end of yourself— where the best you can do doesn’t even begin to be good enough. You have to come to the end of all that and release something that is totally from God. When do we find Christ as the power of God and the wisdom of God? Only when we have come to the end of our own power and our own wisdom. It’s hard for most of us to let go our strength and to let go our wisdom. We want to cling to it. But what God said to Paul is really true: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Why is that so true? Because when we have our own strength, how can people identify God’s strength? They can’t see it. But when we have come to the end of our own strength and then we have strength, then we know it is God. God’s strength is made perfect in my weakness. Would you like to say that? “God’s strength is made perfect in my weakness.”
If you can relate to the matter of sometimes facing the kind of bad days described earlier, let’s push back against it together. Would you be willing to join me in a prayer to that end? Let’s do it now, beginning with the concept Derek asked us to repeat.
I thank You Lord, that Your strength is made perfect in my weakness. Father, I confess that I’m not in a good place right now. I’m discouraged by circumstances around me, and it appears the enemy is having a heyday with my life at the moment. The only step I can take is to place myself in Your hands. Even though I am weak, I know that Your power in me can be the strongest when I am at my weakest. I choose now, Lord, to be strong in the power of Your might. I bring my present situation to You. I trust You to show Yourself strong in the midst of every negative circumstance facing me. I will rely upon Your power and might, taking a step toward the words Paul spoke in Ephesians 6:10. By faith, I proclaim that I will be strong in You—in the power of Your might. Amen.
Standing in His Strength
You and I have just started to pull ourselves out of the hole the enemy has dug for us. We have affirmed the godly principle set forth by Paul: “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” It will take persistence in faith to move fully into the outworking of that declaration. But you and I have started the process today. Whenever you take a step like this, it’s a good idea to reinforce it with the Word of God. One of the best sources for that kind of foundation is the Bible teaching of Derek Prince—and we want to stand with you by supplying those materials to you. A good start would be the message from which we took Derek’s excerpt earlier in this letter: “The Cross at the Center.” Please use the link below to download a free MP3, with our blessings. It is just one small way for us to express our thanks for your faithful partnership with us. We simply can’t thank you enough for your prayers for us and for your timely financial support. You are playing a wonderful part in the extension of Derek Prince’s teaching to so many others throughout the world. Thank you again. We wish we could also offer you a free copy of the new book, What’s So Important about the Cross? Unfortunately, we’re not able to do that. But the book is available from DPM, and we would recommend it highly for your further study on this important theme. We know it will reinforce your understanding in a very helpful way.
Releasing the Power
If the Lord has used this letter to strengthen you today, I am very grateful. It would encourage me greatly to know that the tough time I just experienced has helped to bring a ray of inspiration and hope to your life. To me, that would make it all worthwhile. What you and I have declared together today is a powerful step. It is not a once-for-all experience, either. Let’s file it away for future reference for those days when we hit the doldrums again. (Hopefully that will happen less and less as time goes on.) But when those down times hit—as they inevitably may—you and I know what to do. When we face problems that darken our mood, we will actively turn to the Lord. By faith, we will make the declaration that in our weakness we will see His strength.