I recently was led to ask what kind of person I need to become to fulfill the call of God on my life and what internal limitations are keeping me from that calling. The very next day, I read a devotion in which the writer described filling out a job application that requested to know her weaknesses.
We don’t much like to think about our weaknesses and limitations, but these two things have had me thinking. I am also taking a course on women in Christian leadership, which has required much reading about women leaders of the past. Although the course seeks to point out their great deeds, I keep being drawn to their failures and weaknesses.
I guess God is trying to tell me something.
When I Am Weak
I want everything to be perfect before I step out into too much for God. I want everything to fall perfectly into place and for every word I write to be apples of gold in settings of silver. I want to be a perfect example of love and grace to everyone I come in contact with so they will think well of me and the One I serve.
But I am weak. I am limited by this flesh. I have to understand that God chose me, knowing I wasn’t perfect.
“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are so that no one may boast before him” (1 Corinthians 1:27-29, NIV 84).
I don’t believe we should make excuses for our sin. What I believe God is showing me is that I need to periodically examine myself and look for those areas of weakness. I need to be willing to let God expose the things in me that need attention.
“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves” (Hebrews 13:5).
I don’t need to hide them or sweep them under the proverbial rug. I need to look at them, question them, and seek to understand the power of God to overcome.
We all have areas of weakness in our lives, things that could be holding us back. Things like pride or fear or insecurity. God is calling us to look them square in the face and then do the only thing we can: surrender them to Him.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).
Jesus understands, and He is ready to infuse us with strength when we need it. When I am weak, I need His strength. Where I am insufficient, He is all-sufficient. When I can’t, He can.
Ask for His help.
And guess what? When I come to Him honestly and admit the areas where I am lacking, He works in and through me to do what I can’t do on my own. That’s called grace.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
God has a plan and purpose for each of us. He is calling us to be His hands and feet in a broken world. No, we don’t have what it takes, but He delights in using our weaknesses for His glory. He takes our brokenness and makes us into something beautiful so we can’t take the credit for it.
“If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness” (2 Corinthians 11:30).
Am I weak? Yes.
Am I flawed? Yes.
Am I limited? Yes.
But with His power so wonderfully at work within me, I can do all the things He calls me to do. I just don’t ever want to forget Who it is that gives me the power to do it.
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness” (Romans 8:26).
“I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).
So as we each step out into the call of God on our lives, let’s take a minute to assess our weaknesses and limitations–not so we can feel bad about ourselves to the point that we never step out, but so that we can find the power in Christ to overcome.
“You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1).
Step out in His power and grace.
So now, I will ask you what was asked of me this week: What kind of person do you need to become in order to fulfill the call of God on your life? What are the internal limitations keeping you from stepping out? What are your areas of weakness and how can you overcome them in Christ?
Whatever God has put on your heart to do for Him, He will give you the power and strength to do it. Because you are weak, He will get the glory. Acknowledge your weaknesses and give them to the Lord. Ask Him to cleanse you, fill you, and empower you to do His will.
“If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 4:11).
Think you don’t have what it takes to serve God and make a difference in this world?
Good. You’re in just the right place to let Him do it.
Jesus loves me, this I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong;
They are weak, but He is strong.