“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 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
We find Paul here in a situation where he is begging God to take away a weakness or imperfection, what Paul refers to as “a thorn in my flesh,” and God tells him that there is strength in weakness. Paul’s response is somewhat strange. Instead of complaining about what God refuses to take away, he finds the opportunity to use his weakness for the glory of God. How many times do we plead with God to take something away or complain about why we weren’t blessed with the talent and abilities of others? We immediately stop everything and think that we’re useless. Peter found himself in a similar situation. He had been out fishing all night long, caught nothing, and Jesus wanted to use his boat to preach to the multitudes (See Luke 5:1-11). Will you let Jesus use your disappointment, your imperfection, your difficulty, your weakness?
Now in Numbers 20:2-12, we see an example of how God wanted to use Moses’ weakness to perform a great miracle in front of the children of Israel. There was no water for the people and they started to complain to Moses and Aaron. Now the people had run out of water before and God told Moses to take his staff, strike a rock, and water started to spring forth out of it. This time God commanded Moses to do the same thing but instead of hitting the rock, He told Moses to speak to it. Hitting the rock was easy for Moses. It was one of his strengths. He had already done it before and it worked, plus the main reason why he fled from Egypt in the first place was because he had struck down an Egyptian task master. In other words, God wouldn’t have gotten the glory if Moses struck the rock again.
Sometimes God tells us to do something different to stretch our faith. He wants to take us to the next level in our walk with Him. I heard Apostle Ron Carpenter, Senior Pastor Redemption World Outreach Center, say “God isn’t the lottery, He works on levels.” You don’t automatically jump right to the top. If you did, you wouldn’t be able to maintain that level because you hadn’t gone through what it takes to get there. What got you to where you are at now, won’t get you to the next level or get you to where you need to be, what God has called you to and purposed for you.
The other day God revealed to me something in this story of Moses that I’ve never seen before. God told Moses to speak to the rock. We know from the burning bush encounter that Moses had, one of his excuses that he told God was the fact that he had a speech impediment. God even told Moses to have his brother Aaron speak for him. Moses’ weakness was speaking. God really wanted to reveal to Moses His power by now using Moses’ weakness. We see that Moses wasn’t willing to allow God to use his weaknesses and as a result Moses missed out on the promise.
Are you like Paul and begging God to take away your weaknesses? Are you like Moses, God is telling you to use your weakness for His glory but you refuse to allow Him to and therefore miss out on His promises? Or are you like Peter and will allow Jesus to use your weakness in order that He might reach the hundreds, thousands, or even millions?