Friday, July 16, 2010

Power in Weakness

2 Corinthians 12:9 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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

9 καὶ εἴρηκέν μοι· ἀρκεῖ σοι ἡ χάρις μου, ἡ γὰρ δύναμις ἐν ἀσθενείᾳ τελεῖται. ἥδιστα οὖν μᾶλλον καυχήσομαι ἐν ταῖς ἀσθενείαις μου, ἵνα ἐπισκηνώσῃ ἐπ᾽ ἐμὲ ἡ δύναμις τοῦ Χριστοῦ.

This comes at the end of Paul talking about how he has a "thorn in the flesh" that he asked God to remove.  He asked three times and this was God's response.  I think any of us who have struggled with besetting sin have used this verse as a crutch.  I eat a lot and that is my "thorn in the flesh."  Or I look at porn because it is my "thorn in the flesh."  Although I am free from porn I still find myself getting too close to it sometimes. That happened last night, which was frustrating to me.  While I didn't see anything that you couldn't see on broadcast TV I knew where my heart was.  That frustrates me.

So while I do not use this verse as an excuse, it does encourage me a little bit.  It seems every time I get a little too far away from the cross I start to move closer to porn.  And when that happens I think of this verse.  I am reminded that it is only by grace that I can walk in freedom.  And I am also reminded that I cannot do this on my own.  I need God's grace for my daily life.  The cross is not a "one and done" experience.

I have been set free from some things and that is the basis of my testimony.  This way I can καυχήσομαι ἐν ταῖς ἀσθενείαις μου.  Why do I do this?  ἵνα ἐπισκηνώσῃ ἐπ᾽ ἐμὲ ἡ δύναμις τοῦ Χριστοῦ.  There is no mystery in the Greek here.  It means what it looks like in English.

Such a simple, beautiful truth.  I want nothing more than to see Christ magnified and exalted in my life.  I do not want to sin to make this happen (may it never be!) but when I am tempted I want to turn that into a way to bring Him glory.  The fact that I am not who I was just amazes me.

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