“‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:9b-10
Do I really understand these verses? Do I walk in them?
Over the past 2 weeks I was confronted with pain and trauma from my past that crippled me, severely. I have weaknesses, misconducts, bad habits that took root over years, due to my sinful nature, circumstances out of my control (painful childhood years), spiritual immaturity and lack in knowledge of God’s Word. In the past 15 years I grew in knowledge about God’s Word, I started to crucify these fleshly passions and desires; took baby steps walking in the Spirit and believed over time my life should represent a life living in the Spirit. With everything in me I tried to walk more and more in the Spirit. I’ve came to know God desires obedience and not sacrifices, and my heart turned from focusing on me, myself and I, to living my life Him, and thus others. Life should be good - right? NO! The more I tried to walk in the Spirit, giving up my sinful nature, the more I experienced a battle against my flesh.
I can relate so much to Paul’s words in Romans 7:15-16:
“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.”
Years ago, Christo and I received a teaching by Dr. Bruce Wilkinson on deliverance ”Teaching and preaching for life-change”. In the opening teaching he explained how the more we want to walk in the Spirit, the worse the flesh will become. (Galatians 5: “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.”)
The flesh never gets better. Just read Rom 6 to understand that.
So how can I do this? How can I live everyday life in my home, between my 8 children, walking in the Spirit and model to them a life in Christ? I’m desperate to find the answer, because being a mother can bring out the worse in me! There I’ve said it! And homeschooling them, makes it even worse! Add to that the expectation to be a godly, submissive helpmeet to my husband and I’m totally overwhelmed!
As you all know I’m reading Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts, and I’m almost finished with the book. The principles of being Thankful in all circumstances is a sure key to living a life in the Spirit, but over the past two weeks even that couldn’t lift me out of the pit of my own destructive and sinful nature.
I’m a control freak, and want to be in control of everything in my life. Over the years I’ve read tens of books on Christianity, motherhood, being a helpmeet, homeschooling and put systems into place to help me live a spirit filled life. I guess for me, I first have to get my mind over the matter and then my heart follows. As the years past, these systems surely gave me the structure to live the life I long to live in the spirit, submitting every area of my life to God, but in a sense it was only an illusion. Over time I’ve tried to find fulfillment and security in the structures, and that is outside of Christ.
The moment my life is out of control, and that happens every single day in my house of ten, I do the things I don’t want to, I walk in the flesh. And walking in the flesh is like a bomb going off, shrapnel flies in every direction and it not only has a destructive effect on my life, it is destructive on everyone around me.
As I cried out to the Lord in the past two weeks, 2 Corinthians 12 came clearly to mind. The more I ponder on it, the more I realized, though I cannot live without structures in my life and will always want to be in control and that is good, God put it in me with a reason. I have to let go for God to perform miracles in my life. I need to get to Jesus’ feet and admit I’m so weak. I’m not Super-Woman. With all the head knowledge and heart convictions, that what I am doing is in His perfect will and His calling on my life, I have to get back to my Father and rest in Him! Knowing I’m in His will and walking in my calling, will not make my road easy. Quite the opposite. The enemy will throw me all kinds of traps, and I need to know it is fine to experience infirmities, reproaches, persecutions, distresses and to have needs - to be so weak, I don’t know what to do next.
I fell for the lie that when I’m walking in the calling of my life, I will be strong. I forgot about 2 Corinthians 12 - I will only be strong, when I rest in my Lord, and let Him be strong in me, even more in my weaknesses. I’m going to stop trying to fix my weaknesses, implementing yet another structure to falsely strengthen my weakness, and focus more on what God wants me to do in my weakness. Even though I have an agenda, I need to stay submissive to God on what is His agenda for every moment of my life. Will that be easy - no way! Do I understand 2 Corinthians 12? Not even nearly! It is so much easier to follow my plans for the day, but my plans have proofed over the years to be sown in the flesh, with corruption as harvest.
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”
Letting God, will mean I’ll have to crucify my sinful self even more! It is ironical - I will need to be even more “weak”, I will need to be meek, gentle and lowly in heart.
These were only beginning thoughts, and I realize I will need to pray and read more.
This posting is linked with:
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.
29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me,
for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”