But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, catastrophes, persecutions, and in pressures, because of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
It’s tough enough to give up possessions, and tougher still to give up positions. But, nobody wants to give up power.
There’s something about a little power that makes a person feel important. We all like to feel as though we have control – the power to do what we want. In fact, isn’t that what the whole teenage rebellion is about? Think of it this way – we spend 18 or 19 years attempting to grab the power over our own life. It starts when we are two and we say “No, I want to do it myself.” Then, when you step out into that long-awaited, sweet freedom of adulthood you only realize that you are not all that free. Teachers, bosses, life in general – all tell you what to do. Then the struggle for control starts all over again.
That’s what makes it so hard – you fight your whole life for control of it and then God says “Let me have it.”
It’s hard to relinquish control of something you have fought so hard to control.
Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Could it be that the struggle for control of our life is part of the problem?
We sometimes have the delusion of self-sovereignty – the idea that we don’t belong to ourselves. What happens sometimes is that we understand God is in charge. He bought us with a price and we are His. But just like the two year-old we still want some power. We want some control. We want to be able to do it ourselves on occasion. The reality is – anytime we do it ourselves – it is never what it could have been.
Can you name one area of your life where you still are holding some secret power? Some place where you haven’t fully surrendered control to God? Something you must control? May I suggest that the place you are thinking of, is the place where you will struggle. You may fail there. That place could destroy you. You certainly won’t be blessed in it.
Most people don’t see it, though – they cannot see how surrendering to God will make them stronger.
The scripture teaches us a seemingly contradictory concept: The God of the Universe – who has all power will not force His power on us. We can keep the control if we want it. But it is not best for us.
Our own strength robs us of the experience of His power.
When we are strong – He is not. At least not in us. But, when we surrender to Him – He shows us that we are stronger in His power than we could have ever been in our own. It is in our weakness that we truly know strength. It is in surrender that we win. In our lack of power, our own power is perfected.
Give up that place in your life that you hold on to – that place of secret power. Practice letting it go – maybe a little at a time. The first step – confess it to God. Just tell Him (by the way – He already knows) and let Him guide you in letting go.
Embrace weakness. While you are confessing your secret power – confess your need for Him. The more you confess your weakness the more you will depend on Him. And then, the weaker you are, the more you will receive His power.
Our prayer for today –
God, I realize I need your power. Mine is not enough. I have struggled for years to have some control in my life and relinquishing it will not be easy. Help me to trust you and to wait on you. Help me to let go of the secret power I have held back for myself.
Dr. Chris Lohrstorfer