Can those who are weak accomplish big, God-sized dreams? Doesn’t it take a strong, goal-oriented person to accomplish a dream, much less, a God-sized dream?
I have big dreams. I believe those dreams are from God. Because of that belief, I do the only thing I know to do. As a strong, goal-oriented person, I set yearly, monthly, weekly and daily goals. I have plans and a schedule I follow. When it falls all apart, which it often does, many times I freak out by working later and consequently getting less done. It is an endless cycle.
You see, I make the goals in order to reach the dreams God has given me. The operable word in that sentence is “I”.
Today I was reading 2 Corinthians 12 and I realized Paul had a bit of the same problem I do. He tells us that he knows God has given him visions and revelations. He also says God gave him a thorn in the flesh to keep him humble.
I don’t know what Paul’s thorn in the flesh was but, I know I’ve got several. One I’ve just seen as a thorn in the flesh never seemed like a difficulty to me. As a matter of fact, I was kind of proud of my ability to control most things in my life and around me.
I’m the boss
I’m a boss. As the oldest sibling, I was born a boss. I boss everything and everyone including me. I am probably harder on myself than others. Think about it, though, do you enjoy being around a boss? Most of the time that word carries a negative connotation.
There are positive attributes of a boss. Some bosses motivate those around them to want and be better. Others make everyone run because they could not possibly get everything done the boss wants them to do.
Sometimes I don’t want to be with myself because of that very reason. I feel like I have to do everything to make the dream come true because God put it in my heart.
I realize, though, if I’m trying to make it come to pass in my own strength (even my own God-given strength), it never will. It will only happen when I cooperate with God. In order to do that, I have to agree with what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:10. “When I am weak, then I am strong.”
This seems like such a paradox. How can I be strongest when I am weakest? The reason is simple, I only lean on God when I don’t think I can make something come to pass. If I think I can do it, then I go forth and conquer never even giving a thought to if this is the way He wants me to do it.
It’s a difficult lesson for me to learn. It means admitting I cannot do it. Even writing those words seems wrong because it goes against everything my pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps-you-can-accomplish-anything-you-set-your-mind-to mentality. Sound familiar?
One of my dreams is to write several books. I have had dreams of doing this, I have even had visions regarding the books. I know they are out there in the Spirit realm. I have been a writer for more than 40 years. I have a degree in journalism and religion.
God did gift me with the abilities to write. He gave an education and training and experience in every aspect. He has been in the driver’s seat every step of the way. Why now do I feel like I have to take over and drive?
When I went to college, God placed in my heart a desire to publish a Christian newspaper supported entirely by commercial advertising. In the 1970’s only denominations supported Christian publications. I got a degree in journalism with almost a full scholarship, not related to my abilities. That was another God-directed miracle as He put the right people in my path at the right time.
I had been working for 12 years in journalism when God plopped in my lap the Christian newspaper He had shown me back in 1971. It was hard and rewarding work but, it would not have been possible without God opening the door and directing each issue from start to finish.
In 2007, I stopped publishing Christian newspapers and magazines. My bread and butter career had taken a different direction. Three years ago God again began stirring the dreams of writing. Most recently He has reminded me of the books out in the Spirit realm, books that call to me to write them.
So, I start making plans, establishing a website, blogging, setting plans and daily word totals. Quietly, God is waiting for me to ask for His help.
It’s almost like I’m saying, “OK, God. I can take it from here.” It is my tendency to plow ahead. It’s a God-given ability but it can only be used when it is completely turned over to Him.
Growing up I knew some weak people. I never aspired to be like them. My heroes were those of the ability to see something through to its completion. I saw this as strength. That’s why 2 Corinthians 12:10 has never been a favorite of mine.
It could have been that the people I saw as strong were just strong because they were totally submitted to God and those who seemed weak were so because they were afraid to let God take them from where they were to where they wanted to be.
In either case, I know this verse and others in this chapter tell me that the only way for me to be strong is for “Christ’s power to rest on me.”
My desire is for every word I write to be His words. This passage says it will only happen when I am weak, when I can’t do it, when I have no strength left because that’s when His strength takes over. In other words, I have to first be weak.
That’s my desire. That’s my quest. And, though I never thought you would hear me say it, it’s true. I want to be weak. Then and only then through God’s help I will become not only strong but invincible.
“Come, Lord Jesus, be my strength. I am weak. I can’t do this on my own. I need you. I need your power to rest on me and speak through my hands.
“May your favor rest upon me and establish the work of my hands for your glory, yes, establish the work of my hands.” (Ps. 90:17)