I think I am like many in the church in that I would like to have it ‘together’ and walk competently and confidently in my gifts as I walk with Jesus. I recognize and appreciate the gifts and skills He has built into me. Yet putting my trust in them is not what makes for a good leader in His kingdom. My trust needs to be in Him moving through me, not equipping me to work in my own strength.
The kingdom of God has been described as an ‘upside down kingdom’ based on the latter part of this verse in Acts. 6 “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.” Acts 17:6 (NKJV)
Part of the upside down nature of His kingdom is that we rejoice in our weaknesses rather than our strengths.
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (NKJV)
A key factor in what Paul outlined in 2 Corinthians is that he was not seeking to be weak, he was recognizing his need for God’s grace to walk out his calling in spite of his weakness. We are no different. When we learn from our failures and mistakes and learn to lean into His grace and the lessons received we are more useful in His kingdom. Jacob wrestled with God and limped the rest of his life, Moses sought to deliver Israel in his own strength and failed before he became the leader and deliverer of a nation. David and Peter failed greatly. Paul was the persecutor who became the champion of grace and faith.
There is a pattern. Those who are greatly used in His kingdom are those who have learned that self-confidence is a stumbling block, not a virtue. Their trust lies not in their skills and abilities but in His ability to take burnt stones and make a new temple.
9 “The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the LORD of hosts.” Haggai 2:9 (NKJV)
The new temple was built from the debris of the old one. In the same way when we see our weaknesses and failures as places as debris He uses to build His strength into us we learn to lean into Him to draw on His grace. Then we walk uprightly before Him because we are walking with Him.
So, while we may fail and fall at times in our walk with Him, let’s do it while seeking to walk out on the water with Jesus.
Oceans – Hillsong United