Last evening at Connection Group, we discussed what it means to live in a gospel-centered community and why it is vital for our Christian growth! We observed that we all tend to rely on ourselves. God must continually work to break us of this.
The reality is that apart from our union to Christ and our total reliance on Him, we can do nothing to glorify God. Jesus said, “Apart from me, you can do nothing!” (John 15:5).
“Because of our own sinful nature, we can easily fall into the world’s pattern of thinking. We tend to rely on our knowledge of Scripture, our own business acumen, our ministry experience, and even our goodness and morality.” (Trusting God, p.182)
2 Corinthians 1;8-9
8 For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.
Did you see that? Read that last sentence in verse nine again.
God uses adversity to teach us to rely on Him and not ourselves. God sends difficulties beyond our ability to endure so that we learn not to depend on ourselves, but upon Him alone!
2 Corinthians 12:7-9
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 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.
The Apostle Paul was a brilliant mind, and a man greatly used by God. This man wrote many books in our New Testament. But Paul had to learn dependence on God in the physical and spiritual realm. Though we are not told what it was, Paul was given a “thorn in the flesh.” Paul wanted God to remove it! But God refused, and left it for Paul to deal with for the rest of his life! Why? Because God was keeping Paul from becoming proud and teaching him to depend upon God alone for his strength.
If God is going to use us, He will bring adversity into our lives, so we learn dependence upon Him! Let’s embrace a biblical perspective of adversity and joyfully submit your weaknesses to God so that Christ’s power may rest upon you!
Go through your Friday with grace and strength.
PS. Don’t forget we have the Faith Children’s Village Choir ministering to us. FCV is one of the local ministries that Kitwe Church supports monthly. We will be taking a special love offering this Sunday to help the Village, please bring something extra beyond your tithes and regular offerings to give! See you in church this Sunday!