We have been in this series for 11 solid weeks. I trust that this series has been a blessing to you. I will end the series tomorrow. I will provide you with a series recap today and tomorrow. Let’s get into it.
(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.
So what does this mean to you today? Here are a few things we have learned in this series about our ability to withstand and overcome anything:
1. We have everything we need ALREADY INSIDE of us.
— Paul starts the passage we are studying with this statement: “We have this treasure from God, but we are only like clay jars that hold the treasure. This is to show that the amazing power we have is from God, not from us.” Before Paul talks about getting through, over, or past the challenges we will encounter on the road to our destiny, he reminds us that God has deposited His treasure and His power INSIDE of us. Everything we will ever need is already IN us.
— God placed His treasure IN us, the Bible says, “to show that the amazing power we have is from God, not from us.” When you know the power of God is IN you, and you know this power is not FROM you, you come to the realization that there is nothing you cannot do. Why? Because there is nothing God cannot do and He is living on the inside of you.
— Everything God can do is what you can do because God lives INSIDE of you.
— God is living inside of you. He is the treasure. You are simply the container carrying the treasure. You are the container. He is the content. You don’t have the power. He has the power. You don’t have the ability. He has the ability. All you have to do is realize that you are carrying God around on the inside of you. When you realize this, it does not matter if you are troubled on every side; you will not be defeated because God cannot be defeated, and He is the one IN YOU!
— The Holy Spirit is the treasure Paul is speaking about. The Holy Spirit is our direct connection to the Father, who is a Spirit. Through the Holy Spirit, we have a Spirit-to-Spirit connection to God and to heaven. He [the Holy Spirit] reveals to us what heaven is like, so we can experience heaven now while we are on this planet.
— Everything that is in heaven is available to us right now, but we must open our hearts to it. We don’t work for it. We have to believe for it. It’s not about earning it. It’s about believing!
— The day you start believing with your heart and confessing with your mouth that God is in you, that He sees you no less than He did His own Son, and that everything in heaven is available to you NOW, you will start to experience days of heaven on the earth. Furthermore, you will not be moved by trouble, even when you have trouble on every side! You will embrace the grace of God to PRESS THROUGH IT!
2. God’s grace empowers you to endure every kind of pressure.
Many people today are stressed out. They feel like the pressures of this world are caving in on them and overtaking them. They are losing their mental health! These are people who love God, who are filled with the Holy Spirit, who attend church services regularly, and who are, by all accounts, good people. The reason why I talk about “The Grace Life” so much is because I know the transformation it has made in me. I keep a busy schedule like many of the people I know. By some accounts, I am involved in more things than many of the people I know, but I don’t routinely get stressed out over all the things God has me involved in. Now, I am human, and I have my moments from time to time, but when I do, I am quick to SNAP OUT OF IT and get back over into the grace of God.
You have to SNAP OUT of your humanity if you are going to live in the divinity God placed in you. This is how Paul lived. There is no way Paul could have done what he did in his own strength. If Paul lived as a mere human, the challenges he faced would have crushed him.
— The Holy Spirit will enable you to overcome every kind of pressure.
— No matter how much pressure your job, business, boss, family, spouse, etc. put on you, when you yield to the Holy Spirit, you will never be crushed, and while you may not always have all the answers at the moment, you know QUITTING IS NOT AN OPTION!
— You can have trouble on every side and not be moved by it when you have God on the INSIDE!
3. The are times when we ask God for less pain, and He responds with more grace.
— Paul wanted God to take the messenger from satan away. Paul wanted an easier path. God chose NOT to make his path easier. Instead, God chose to make his strength stronger by leading Paul to rely on His grace.
— God will sometimes do the same with us. We ask God to remove what is bothering us, but instead, He reminds us that He has given us the power to face and overcome everything we face by His grace! God’s grace is truly amazing.
4. God’s power will not flow freely through you when YOU are in the way.
— You have power, and God has power. You have ability, and God has ability. You have knowledge and God has all wisdom.
— God has placed His Spirit down inside of you so that you would have access to His supernatural power and wisdom.
— You can choose to operate on your own, without God. If you do, He will stand by and watch you stumble your way through life. Or you can get out of the way, die to self, and allow God to flow through you.
— You will never experience the fullness of God’s grace until you GET OUT OF THE WAY!
5. When your power runs out and you stop relying on your flesh, God’s power can kick in and take over.
— As humans, we often don’t call for or rely on God’s grace until we get to the end of ourselves. We shouldn’t wait until it gets that far, but we often do. Whether we wait until we are exhausted because we attempted to do it on our own, or we called on God right up front, the point is that God’s power will kick in when we acknowledge that our power is not enough.
— When you decrease and die to self, you will see God’s power increase and manifest in your life.
— If you do all the work, God will rest. But if you learn to rest in Him, He will work through you!
6. God’s power is ONLY fully manifested in your weakness.
— You are both human and divine. There are two sides of you, and you are living in two realms (earthly and heavenly) at the same time. You live in a body here on earth, and God Himself, in the form of the Holy Spirit, lives in you, connecting you to heaven.
— The supernatural power of God can flow through you daily, and this is God’s goal. But God will not compete with you. If you choose to do something on your own, without God, He will let you do it in your own strength. God’s strength is only made perfect in our weakness.
— The key to overcoming challenges is yielding to the power of God.
— The key to winning in situations where you are clearly supposed to lose is letting God do what you cannot do without Him.
— The only way Paul was able to advance the Kingdom of God agenda at a time when Christians were being killed is because He allowed God to do what he was incapable of doing as a mere human.
— You can get to the point where you enjoy seemingly impossible situations because you are not the one doing the work. It is the Father who is living in you, giving you words and performing work that you could never do without Him!
— There will be times when you feel like you can’t do what God is leading you to do. Many times, you will feel unqualified, un or underprepared, ill-equipped, underfunded, and not knowledgeable enough. There will be people who come up against you who have more education, more experience, more money, more connections, and more of just about everything. This is when you must know that you are hearing from God. If God is leading you to it, it is because He is leading you through it. He will do what you cannot. His SUPER will manifest through your natural. The more you experience, endure, and overcome situations like this, and the more you see God got the glory out of it, the more you will enjoy impossible situations.
— Paul thought about all he went through and how God’s grace was manifested, through his humanity, over and over again, and he said: “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).
Now when it happens, I get excited because I know three things:
1. I can’t do this on my own, and I don’t need to.
2. God will do what I can’t do.
3. Since everyone will know it was not me, God will get the glory! This will be a great testimony of God’s grace on and through my life.
There is nothing you can’t do when you are NOT the one doing it!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I thank You for taking the time to teach me about Your amazing and undeserved grace. I can identify with the Apostle Paul. There have been times when I asked You to take something away from me, something that was clearly bothering me. But instead of taking it away, You gave me the grace to face it, to overcome it, and to press on despite it. Your grace is sufficient to empower me to overcome every challenge, to rise above every obstacle, and to win every battle. But You won’t complete with me. If I choose to face something on my own, in my own strength and my own ability, You will stand by and watch me flounder. I have done enough of that. From this day forward, I face every challenge head-on, in faith, fully relying on Your grace. I am not good enough or strong enough on my own. But I don’t have to be. Your power is made perfect in my weakness. It is You, Father, who lives in me. You give me the words. You perform the work. You do, through me, what I could never do without You! This is how 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.