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Challenging Inferior Strength

airplaneIn centuries past, trans-oceanic/transcontinental travel was a big deal. It took a lot of time, money, and could be dangerous.

We take for granted that today we can hop on a plane and fly just about anywhere for a fraction of what for just a few generations ago would have been impossible (for many reasons). They didn’t know at the time there was a better way because it hadn’t been invented yet.

The new birth God brought you into through Jesus’ sacrifice is an invitation into new life. To live below the supernatural and providential life of God is not only unnecessary but ridiculous.

It would be like your going back in time to find a steam ship to carry you from New York to Africa instead of getting on an airplane and flying their faster and cheaper. It’s not a perfect analogy, but you see my point.

This is what it’s like to live and operate in our own strength.

God works brokenness in us not because He doesn’t like us, but because relying on our strength won’t get us to where He’s promised to take us. We can’t hold on to both. The tests He gives are not so you’ll maybe and hopefully arrive at the answer God is looking for. Bob Sorge says it this way,

God doesn’t test us to procure information but to reveal ourselves to ourselves. 

He’s revealing to you that your strength is not enough. It’s inferior and needs to be recognized as such. Until you are broken, you will be hampered and hindered not as much by sin, the enemy’s schemes, or the world’s systems. Jesus already overcame all that and gives you the same right as long as you’re submitted.

Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. –James 3:7-8

I’m not talking about being sinless, I’m talking about the root of our problem: trusting inferior strength. To think if my mind was just a little stronger, my body a little stronger, my bank account a little stronger–on and on. It’s a trap He has to free us from.

I deceive myself into thinking that my own strength can carry me. We all start off totally helpless as we come into this world, but then we grow to trust in ourselves more and more. It’s deception. Some of us say, “Lord, strengthen me,” because we want God to make us so strong that we don’t need Him anymore. –Bob Sorge, the Fire of Delayed Answers

I would dare say the same is true of us who have been born again by His Spirit. We knew we were helpless at first, but then we learned, grew, and saw a little breakthrough. The temptation came knocking. We wanted strength, not to glorify God but to do what we wanted or be perceived a certain way or any number of things.

Please understand: no condemnation here. I believe it all simply builds the case for why brokenness is so important and why God brings us to the place. Inferior and divine strength won’t operate together.

Your broken strength makes way for His eternal strength.

It’s not always easy to remember and it’s certainly uncomfortable to walk through, but the further you go in relationship with Him, the more you crave His heart and know that His strength is the only one that makes a difference.

Your thoughts? What does this stir in you?


fda-sorge3Welcome to week 2 of Chapter 8 for our book club discussion of the Fire of Delayed Answers (disclosure) by Bob Sorge. We are taking a sentence, paragraph, or passage that inspires, encourages, or challenges and writing about it. Since the chapters are longer and subject matter warrants, we’ll also be taking 2 weeks for each chapter. If you have a response on your blog, head over to my friend and co-facilitator, Sarah Salter’s blog for her thoughts and the widget to add your post. Whether you’ve read the chapter or not, please dive into the conversation!

8 Comments

  1. Powerful thoughts. The story of Jonah hit me while reading. God chooses people and it’s His world and He is sovereign over everything and everyone in it. We submit the easy way or the hard way, but we submit… I liked Sorge’s quote, “God reserves the greatest victories for the vessels that have known the greatest brokenness.”

    “To whom much is given much is required.”

    • So sad that even after Jonah submitted, he remained angry with God. God wanted to communicate an enduring and powerfully redemptive love, but Jonah didn’t get it. I guess it’s a little scary that we can go through situations that are tough meant to expose His strength and lack thereof and still come out unbroken. I want to fully yield to the hand of the Potter! Thank you, Floyd.

  2. We always do exactly that -- depend upon our own strength. and then we have to learn anew each time. Good post, Jason.
    Glynn recently posted..The Strong and the GrayMy Profile

    • Hoping the longer I go, the more I can remember next time. Something about that gray hair and wisdom you were talking about. 🙂 Thanks Glynn.

  3. Your broken strength makes way for His eternal strength. It’s a never ending process that will go on till He calls us home. Some times the process happens quickly such as with Job and sometimes it happens over a longer period of time such as Joseph. I think of the times I just try to bend instead of being broken…never works, God just comes at me from another circumstances. Oh the love He has for us and how He wants to fill a broken vessel so it can spill out to others. A vessel not broken and cracks keeps everything inside for itself, never sharing but a broken one everything spills out. I think of the song, Broken and Spilled out, for the love of you Jesus. Great post Jason.
    Betty Draper recently posted..SelfieMy Profile

    • Amen. I don’t know that song, but it sounds like a good one. Thanks so much, Betty.

  4. As I read this post I thought of Proverbs 3:5-6…in all my ways I must acknowledge Him (submit) to Him.
    I can’t say I trust in God, yet forget to invite Him into my day. I need to acknowledge Him by praying over my meal in a restaurant. I need to acknowledge Him as I work, drive, play and whatever. He must be involved in my day or I am doing things in my own strength and understanding and Not in His.
    Seems like lately I’ve been learning just how deceived I am. I tend to think more highly of myself than I should. I’m thankful for God’s breaking. I can either be pruned on or cut off and I don’t want to be cut off. I must trust that God can prune what needs to be pruned and not torture me just because He can. He’s loving, not malicious.
    I’m so glad that God doesn’t give up on me as I pilgrimage through this life.

    • Great thoughts on this, TC. We pay a lot of lip service without fully understanding or recognizing what He’s after and why. Grateful for His patience and grace! Thank you.

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