God gives his power to the weak and willing.
FOR THE SPIRIT GOD GAVE US DOES NOT MAKE US TIMID, BUT GIVES US POWER, LOVE AND SELD-DISCIPLINE. -2 TIMOTHY 1:7
Holy Spirit power.
Last time we met here, we talked about how God’s Spirit lives in us. (read last week’s post here) And I still simply cannot fathom it. But let’s assume that’s all easy-peasy for us, right? Like we’ve got that concept down. Because today we’re going to dive even deeper into what it means that the Holy Spirit lives in us. Specifically, we’re going to focus on how he gives us power. To me, it feels so presumptuous and nearly heretical to say that God’s Spirit is inside of me, giving me power. Whaaat??? I can only say it with humility, knowing that he’s the one who’s initiated this wonder, not me. So, there it is. God’s Spirit is in us, and his Spirit “does not make us timid, but gives us power...” So let’s talk about it. Let’s talk about just exactly what that power looks like, how we can experience it, and how it makes us bold. O baby, it’s good stuff! And I’m convinced that we really can live like this.
God’s power is ALL-POWER.
Before we get going on how we experience God’s power, I just want to take a second and remind you of exactly what kind of power we’re talking about here. Don’t think limits or categories of power. Think all-powerful power—in every way, think boundless, think perfect, think unstoppable power. There’s a reason we call God the Almighty, because that’s exactly what he is, ALL MIGHTY. Scripture says he didn’t just make everything out of nothing but that he upholds every bit of it, every atom, every planet with the power of his word (Hebrews 1:3). All things come from him, happen through him, and are ultimately for him (Romans 11:36). Are you starting to get the picture? God’s power is staggering. And in some miraculous way, that power is given to us by his Spirit who lives in us.
Thankfully, God’s power is for the weak.
The only prerequisite for receiving anything from God is acknowledging our need. Just as our salvation comes to us when we cry out, “God save me. I can’t do it!” Similarly, the Bible affirms that God gives his power to weak people who know they need it (Is 40:29). You see, it’s not the smug, self-assured people who get God’s help, as if they’d even ask for it. It’s the weak person who begs for help that gets what they need. God isn’t pleased with the proud, but the humble. And it’s his beautiful, counterintuitive way to elevate the lowly things of the world while bringing low the haughty, powerful things of the world (1 Cor. 26-31). His power is for anyone who recognizes their weakness and asks for help. And that is music to my ears. Because that’s exactly who I am.
I am that weak person.
Let me illustrate my point with a short story about the 4-years-ago version of myself. I was on the precipice of a major life transition, and I had no Idea what to do. I’d stayed home raising babies for over a decade, and I was shaking in my boots just thinking about finding a job. I was hoping for an easy part-time gig, maybe helping out at my kids’ school, but as I prayed and asked God for direction, his answer made my head spin. I kept hearing him say, “write”. Now writing was my forever dream and constant hobby. But to actually write… like for other people to read? To put myself out there? Pshhhh. Nope. I couldn’t do that! So I kept shushing his persistent word to me. Surely, he wasn’t really saying what I knew deep down he was saying. I kept asking for another, safer, more sane word. But it didn’t come. I just got more and more affirmations of his answer, “write”. It seemed every time I opened the Bible it was there: “write”. Every sermon pestered me with “write”. Even a friend (who had no idea of my dream/burden) shared a strong conviction that she felt God was wanting me to “write”. Sheeeeeesh! So FINALLY, I laid out my heart to God. I told him why I wasn’t listening to him. I was afraid. How could I ever do such a thing??? And for him! There was no way; I was totally incapable. And do you know what he laid on my heart? His power is perfect in my weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). He wasn’t looking for strength and confidence. Quite the opposite, he was looking for weakness and willingness. Well, weakness I already had that down pat; I just needed to be willing. So, I gave him my pen. And I can say with full honesty that I have no illusions of grandeur. Anything good or wise or beautiful that comes out of me, it’s all from him. It’s his power coming through despite my weakness. The glory is all his.
So, be BOLD.
O, friend! Please don’t read that story and think it’s something special. This promise of God’s power isn’t just for me, it’s for you too! It’s for all of us ordinary people who feel weak and need help. We don’t have to be timid anymore. We can be bold and do hard things. We can believe that God is with us, even in us, equipping us with the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. What is he asking us to do that he isn’t going to also fully empower us to do? NOTHING. So, what is it for you? What’s the thing right now that makes you weak in the knees? Don’t you know weakness is a great place to start!?!? It’s not your strength that God is looking for. It’s not your confidence or your ability that he’s after. It’s your weakness and your willingness. He wants nothing more than for you to be honest with him and tell him just how much you need him. That’s it. And while his unlimited power may seem beyond your understanding, it’s never beyond your access. Go to him and ask him for it. He will give it to you in full measure to meet you in the task that he’s laid out for you. Before I go, let me leave you with this small prayer of praise to our powerful, gracious God:
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Eph. 3:20-21). And AMEN!
Are you weak?
Are you willing?
How can you take one small step towards doing the bold thing that God is calling you to do?
Thanks for reading,
Meet Natalie,Dwell co-founder
Hi there, I'm Natalie. I'm so glad you're here. I'd love to connect with you and hear more about what God is doing in your life!