At the beginning of creation, we were made to have dominion over the world. We were made to rule over the creation that God had given to those who bore the divine image of God. Being made in the image of God granted us the rights and authority from God. We were given the task of representing Christ to His glorious creation and loving over it one who cares for it. Sin changed the relationship though.
With the introduction of sin into the equation we were cut off from our source of power and our authority to rule.
I hate death. When someone dies or tragedy strikes, it tends to send me inside my own head. On the one hand, it is something that everyone does. We all will die at some point. But on the other hand, we were never designed to die. Death isn’t natural for any of us according to the design of God for us to live in eternity. More so, it shows me how powerless I truly am. I can cunningly devise scheme and plans to advance my future, get people to do things, or even plan my future and 10 year plan. Yet, ultimately, one day I will die and no amount of cunning or planning will fix that.
Ultimately, I am powerless.
When I was considering whether or not I was called to pastoral ministry, I had to wrestle with my own strength and power. I was walking and praying, asking God “Can I do this?” The answer took me aback. Up until that point everyone had encouraged me and said that I would make a fine pastor and I had never really wrestled with that question. When I asked, I heard the answer clearly “No… But I can.”
On my own and of my own abilities I would not be able to get through any task that God was going to set before me. The truth is that I would need to rely on God for the blessing, for the provision, for the direction, and for the purpose. I would need to rely on God to sustain me during the rough times and praise God during the times of harvest. When people saw my weakness and saw me overcoming it, they would see the hand of God at work through an imperfect people.
“But 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 path to power leads you straight through and emptying that leaves you powerless. You are at the mercy of God. But do not fear, for our God is merciful and full of love. In our powerlessness and when we are emptied of ourselves, God will display His full power. In our weakness, he is made strong.
We submit to God and to His will. Ultimately, we are powerless, but the strength of our God is shown when we are at our weakest. We may not always understand the ways of God or why he decided to do the things that he does, but our God is strong and full of love for His people. Pastor Duane Miller through a viral infection lost his voice. For a pastor who primarily relies on his voice, this is a devastating setback to his career. He entered into a many year stretch of not being able to teach and having to switch career. At the new church he was attending, they needed an emergency substitute for the class. They asked Pastor Duane Miller to teach. The only class they recorded that day was Pastor Miller’s.
We don’t have to know why God does the things that he does. We don’t have to be in control. Ours is to empty ourselves and become powerless. In doing so, we allow the strength of God to flow through us greater than anything we could have imagined. In our weakness, He is made strong. Our powerlessness gives way to Godly power.