We Can Withstand and Overcome Anything (Part 29) – When You Are Weak You Can Be MADE Strong

by Rick

Today we continue our series “God is faithful!”  The Lord led me to 2 Corinthians 4.  In this passage, we are looking at what it looks like to believe God is faithful.  Because of God’s faithfulness towards us, we can withstand and overcome anything!

(2 Corinthians 4:1, 7-13, 16-18 TPT)

1  Now, it’s because of God’s mercy that we have been entrusted with the privilege of this new covenant ministry. And we will not quit or faint with weariness.

7  We are like common clay jars that carry this glorious treasure within, so that this immeasurable power will be seen as God’s, not ours.

8  Though we experience every kind of pressure, we’re not crushed. At times we don’t know what to do, but quitting is not an option.

9  We are persecuted by others, but God has not forsaken us. We may be knocked down, but not out. 

10  We continually share in the death of Jesus in our own bodies so that the resurrection life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity. 

11  We consider living to mean that we are constantly being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake so that the life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity. 

12  So, then, death is at work in us but it releases life in you.

13  We have the same Spirit of faith that is described in the Scriptures when it says, “First I believed, then I spoke in faith.”  So we also first believe then speak in faith. 

16  So no wonder we don’t give up. For even though our outer person gradually wears out, our inner being is renewed every single day. 

17  We view our slight, short-lived troubles in the light of eternity. We see our difficulties as the substance that produces for us an eternal, weighty glory far beyond all comparison, 

18  because we don’t focus our attention on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but the unseen realm is eternal.

Yesterday I preached a message that flows in the vein of what I have been teaching here.  I will share the message on my YouTube channel this week.  In my notes, I was prepared to address 2 Corinthians 12:8-10.  I never got to it because I ran out of time.  So this morning, I feel led to share some of what I was prepared to share yesterday.

(2 Corinthians 12:8-10 TPT)
8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to relieve me of this. 

9 But he answered me, “My grace is always more than enough for you, and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.” So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me.

10 So I’m not defeated by my weakness, but delighted! For when I feel my weakness and endure mistreatment—when I’m surrounded with troubles on every side and face persecution because of my love for Christ—I am made yet stronger. For my weakness becomes a portal to God’s power.

And don’t forget that we are still focusing in on verse 16 from out passage.

(2 Corinthians 4:16 TPT)

16  So no wonder we don’t give up. For even though our outer person gradually wears out, our inner being is renewed every single day. 

So what does this mean for you today?  A few things.

1.  God will rest if you attempt to do all the work, but if you learn to rest in Him, He will work through you.

— If you try to do all the work IN YOUR FLESH, God will REST while you WORK.  If you keep doing this long enough, you WILL experience BURN-OUT!

— Countless Christians live their lives as mere humans, never relying on the Holy Spirit.  As a result, they eventually get tired because their humanity (as the text says) gradually wears out.

— If you learn to REST IN God’s strength, God can WORK while you REST.  This is how (as the text says) you are RENEWED IN YOUR SPIRIT every single day!

— I love how 2 Corinthians 12:10 says that our weakness “becomes a portal to God’s power.”  When we embrace the weakness of our humanity, and we STOP relying on it, so we can rely solely on the Holy Spirit, our human weakness becomes a portal to God’s unlimited power.

— If you want the power of God to flow in your life, you must die to your humanity, you must stop relying on it, and then learn to rely on God’s power.  It is then, and only then that God’s power will flow TO you and THROUGH you! 

2.  You were designed with a body that is wearing out and a spirit that can be renewed every single day.

I will attempt to explain the difference between relying on the “arm on the flesh” and relying on “The Holy Spirit.”

Your flesh:

— it flesh gets old and slows down

— your humanity is in a gradual state of degradation 

— it was made that way

— it came from the DIRT, and to dirt, it will return

— you can try to slow down the aging process (and you should), but aging is inevitable

Your Born-Again spirit:

— your Spirit DOES NOT AGE!

— spiritually, you are AGELESS!

— your spirit will live forever!

— your spirit can be RE-NEWed (by the Holy Spirit) every single day!

— Your humanity has an expiration date vs. your Spirit does not!

— Your humanity has a retirement date vs. your Spirit will never retire!

— People RETIRE because they can’t do “it” anymore.  But in the spirit, YOU NEVER RETIRE because your spiritual ability increases over time (you get more anointed) instead of decreasing.

— You cannot retire from your divine assignment!

As a matter of fact, Paul explains that while your outer man is getting weaker over time, your inner man is actually supposed to get stronger over time!

If you see someone who is 80 years old, you may see impacts of their body getting weaker… But if that same person is walking with God and is anointed… if they have been in ministry for 50 or 60 years, the anointing on their lives may be stronger today than it ever has been.

When you think of people who have been walking with God and being led by God’s Spirit for decades, you see people who live inside of bodies that are aging, but their spirit is ageless.  I have seen people have to be helped to the stage and then sit down to preach because their physical body is so old.  While at the same time, since their spirit is ageless and it has been renewed day by day, I have seen the power of God manifested through these people.  They can sit on the stage, inside of a frail body, but stronger in the spirit than they ever were before.  The longer they walk with God, the STRONGER THE ANOINTING!

3.  Your soul must CHOOSE to rely on your spirit vs. your flesh for you to maximize your purpose and potential.

— Longevity does not automatically equal an increase in power!

— If you walk with God for 50 years, but you’re re CARNAL, you will be NO STRONGER in the spirit than the day you were Born-Again!

— The day you are Born-Again, you become naturally supernatural.  However, you have the ability to go on living the same way you did before (before you were Born-Again).  You can be filled with the Holy Spirit and then never listen to Him.  If you do, the Bible calls you CARNAL, because you have chosen to rely on your flesh.  You are supernatural, but you are living as a mere man.

— Paul said that your weakness can become “a portal to God’s power.”  But that’s only if you acknowledge the weakness of your flesh.  If you rely on it, if you think you are good enough, smart enough, and strong enough to make decisions without God, the power of God will never flow through you.  People who live their way eventually buckle under the pressures of this present world.

This series is about the ability to withstand and overcome anything.  If you want that ability, you must DIE TO SELF!  That’s the only way.  God will not compete with you.  If you want to do everything on your own, He will stand by and watch as you burn yourself out.  But if you learn to rely on the Holy Spirit, you will be RENEWED every single day!

That’s enough for today.

Declaration of Faith:  

Father, this is a season of LEVELING UP for me.  I LEVEL UP by embracing the power of Your Spirit.  I die to self daily.  I refuse to rely on the arm of the flesh.  I refuse to live as a mere man.  I know my body is gradually wearing out.  I also know that I have a spirit that has been recreated with Your Spirit, Father.  My spirit gets input from Your Spirit daily.  My spirit is being renewed every single day.  I live in the Spirit.  I do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh, nor do I rely on the flesh.  Living this way, I know, GREATER IS COMING FOR ME!  I declare this by faith.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper.

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