Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Power of Christ in our Personal Weakness

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. (Romans 7:18)

Excerpt from “Walking with God in Personal Weakness” – 2011-09-25
Christians still sin. Over and over again, Paul, the mature apostle of God tells us that he still struggled with sin. But the fact that Christians still sin is not the whole story. Many of you may have seen the bumper sticker that says: “Christians are not perfect, they are just forgiven.” It is true that we are not perfect, and it is true that we are forgiven, but that’s not the end of the story either. In verse 15 Paul says: “For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” Christians still sin, but that’s not the end of the story because there is something inside of us that does not want to sin. There is within our souls an ache for God; there is within our hearts a desire to do what pleases God. Christians still sin, but we have within us something more powerful than our desire to sin – we have the indwelling Spirit of Jesus fighting for us! Ephesians 3:16 says in him we have been “strengthened with power through his Spirit” in our “inner being.”

In 2 Corinthians 12 Paul tells us of a time when he was battling “a thorn . . . in the flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:7) – and he pleaded three times that God would give him victory in that war of the flesh. But Jesus himself spoke to Paul and said to him: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Paul’s responded by saying: “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

Brothers and sisters, there are wars going on in the world and there are wars going on inside of each one of us. May God bless us with a supernatural sensitivity to the reality of the battle within our hearts – and may God also empower us to declare the desperate weakness of our sinful nature, so that we might to gain victory in on-going war for our souls – as we bathe in the powerful sufficiency of the grace of Jesus!