I like Scott Adams’ book, How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big. The reason is that it took me such a long time in ministry to learn God’s secret code for we believers. Power is perfected in weakness (II Corinthians 12:9) was like a megaphonal announcement from God to me personally…that I fit the mold. I was nothing but weak. Fear always dominated my world. You, too, maybe?
I remember sitting in my church office as the evangelist in Quincy, Illinois in the mid-70s. When I was studying chapter twelve of Second Corinthians, and hit verse nine, I said aloud, “That’s not true!” Power could not be perfected in weakness. Everyone knows that power is perfected with more power. My blurting caught me off -guard for I sat realizing to Whom I had just made such a bold comment. I sat a bit in silence…pondering His revelation.
That God-moment not only changed my entire world, it has most likely spilled over into thousands of others over the decades. Men, women, and children remain plagued with the Adam and Eve perplexity that our true selves are shamefully, uselessly lacking. Thus, we spend much of our life covering up our flaws; hiding our insecurities.
We. Are. Still. Obsessed. With. The. Fall.
So…what should we do when we believe that we aren’t enough? I learned something impactive from watching Jesus. I saw this one who had the Big Assignment to spare humanity…I saw him…often do nothing. This redeemer (?) would note a crowd coming at him and he would…bolt? Jesus would escape the demands of what we deem as an honor…helping throngs of people in need? Yes…at times he turned his back and walked away.
If we can grasp why Jesus did this, might we begin to understand a truly impactive element to ministry success? Jesus understood from the get-go that he wasn’t enough. Hear it again. Jesus knew that he wasn’t enough to carry on the big work of Father. Thus, he kept slipping away from the crowds to be rejuvenated by the All-Powerful One. Jesus led the way by being not enough so that we could follow efficiently in his dependent-upon-Father steps.
For my first few years in ministry, I believed the opposite. My conclusion was that I was deficient; evidently neglected by God. I was tempted to check in my badge. Others succeeded. I surmised I just didn’t have it in me. But when I saw that power was perfected in weakness, I immediately knew that I was an entire light plant…all by myself! If weakness was what worked, then, “God, I’m your man!”
Every time one backs off due to inadequacy, that person just rejected God’s working philosophy. Not one of the disciples was without glaring lack. The Bible is filled with common-person mishap and failure. What should you do when you don’t think that you are enough? Celebrate! You just hit the jackpot! God empowers the weak…and no other kind will ever do! Yay us!