One way to get the attention of our clients—especially our male clients— is to tell them we are going to pray and ask God to make them weak. You may be thinking the same thing our clients think: “Why in the world would I want to pray that?” The answer is, becoming weak is the only way to have true strength. Let us explain.
As we walk through this life, and the many difficult things that come our way, we develop ways to deal with things. Ways to survive. We learn how to become strong, self-sufficient, self-reliant—but that strength is rooted in our own flesh, not in the power of God living within us. This can be especially true in those who have not had enough love and nurture while growing up, and in those who were emotionally, spiritually, physically, or sexually abused.
Often, when a person has learned to function out of self-reliance, that man or woman seems to need little help from others—including God. The person may say otherwise, but the way he or she lives and interacts in relationships does not support their words. In fact, people living from this place often have a difficult time even identifying that they have needs. Also, those who have “survived” for a long time prior to becoming a Christian may not have truly made the transfer of power that is fundamental to the Christian faith.
Although the world—and even the Western church—applauds the strong, self-sufficient individual, such a person may actually be functioning in opposition to God and his will. Their independence can be a form of pride: not the overtly arrogant pride that we identify quite easily but the kind that says, “I can handle it myself; I can make it; I don’t need anyone else’s help, including God’s.”
Many people have a strong aversion to weakness, whether their own or someone else’s. Unfortunately, we often have a distorted concept of what healthy, biblical weakness means. What does it look like according to God’s definition? One of the most important Scriptures, which God has emphasized for us over and over, is what Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:9:
[The Lord] 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.
Christ spoke this to Paul at a time when the apostle was asking for relief from a recurring struggle of some type (Paul called it a “thorn”). Listen to Paul as he continues in verse 10:
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.
Few would call Paul a weakling in his Christian life, yet he invited and embraced weakness so that the fullness of God’s power could be at work in him. He knew he could not make it on his own power. He could not fulfill the call on his life with anything less than the true power of God—God’s dunamis (the Greek word from which our English word dynamite derives). He knew he had to surrender. Paul embraced godly weakness. Will you?
Father, I am grateful for the gifts and abilities you have given me, but I need you. I don’t want to rely on my abilities, my strengths to succeed in this world. I need to experience your strength at work in me. Please make me weak so I can live depending on you and your strength, not my own. I choose to trust you with this—with me.
NOTE: If you or someone you know is in need of finding a safe place for emotional and/or spiritual healing and restoration, please contact us at The Father’s Heart Intensive Christian Counseling Ministry through our web site at www.fathersheart.com or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are located in the North Georgia Mountains in a retreat-oriented environment and have established opportunities for ministry to individuals or couples for time periods as little as a few hours to as long as five days.