WAIT ON THE LORD
Text: Isaiah 40:29, ‘‘He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.’’
As you called to be a church leader but fear your inadequacies will keep you from being successful? Do you believe you are too weak to be a strong leader? Perhaps you have already been thrust into a position or even failure. If so take heart. God has good news for you.
A. GOD USES THE WEAK PEOPLE
He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. (Isaiah 40:29) when God calls a person to become a leader, He doesn’t choose him on the basis of how cleaver, talented or educated he may be. In fact, these are things which God may have to modify before He can use us. The Bible says, ‘‘For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.’’ (1Cor. 1:19). The apostle Paul says, ‘‘Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are’’ 1Cor. 1:25-28). This is what the Apostle Paul is teaching us: though our weakness our faltering our failings, God reveals His wisdom through our helpless, God displays His power. His strengths are made perfect in our weakness.
B. THE PEOPLE GOD CHOOSES
For example, He sent Paul to the uncultured pagan Gentiles. Paul had studied the scriptures under Gamaliel who was a great master teacher of the Pharisees. All of Paul’s natural strength all his education, cleverness and talent had to be set aside. God had to strip it all away by taking him to the desert of Arabia and there divest him of all those things boasted in Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus’’ Galatians 1:17. ‘‘Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; 6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ’’ (Philippians 3:4-8).
Though Peter opened the door of faith to the gentile (Acts 10) remained in Jerusalem among the most elite Jews f the Roman empire as the apostle to the Jews (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:). Galatians 2:8. What Peter qualified Peter of this task? The Bible describes him as unlearned and ignorant (Acts 4:13). He was but a simple fisherman, yet God qualified him for the job by the power of the Holy Spirit.
C. TURN WEAKNESS TO BLESSING
He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. (Isaiah 40:29). The story is told of a blind man and a cripple who became in separable friends what contributed to their friendship? The cripple could perfectly but could not walk. The blind man had strong legs, but could not see. The cripple offered his seeing ability to the blind man in exchange for his mobility. The blind man would carry the cripple on his back. The cripple would instruct the blind man which way to walk and warn him of objects in the path that would cause him to stumble. Their mutual weakness and need brought them together to take advantage of each other’s strength.
1. Depend More on God
In the same way, our spiritual blindness and lameness should drive us to a prayerful dependent relationship with God, so His strength can take the place of our weakness. The hymn writer said it beautifully:
‘‘His power strength is made perfect in weakness. His power is not for the strong He giveth more grace to the weak in the race. His strength is made perfect in weakness’’
The personal weakness which make us aware of our lack of ability or power to be a leader should cause us to turn our heart to God in prayer (sometimes with fasting). If we respond in this way we will find ‘‘He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.’’ (Isaiah 40:29).
The attitude of dependence upon God attracts His attention and draws Him to us. And causes Him to gloriously manifest His power through us. Our inadequacies are seen as blessing in disguise when they press us to dependence of Christ. However, if instead, we wallow in self-pity, or self-hatred, looking inside ourselves, searching for understanding of our problems, all we end up with is a feeling of inferiority.
2. Confess the Word
What psychologists call ‘‘an inferiority complex’’ is usually a carnal preoccupation with ourselves (self-consciousness). It can result in a view of yourself which says, ‘I am not good! I am just a useless washout. God can never use me’ this kink of self-view leads to total discouragement. I hear Billy Graham (most famous evangelist in history) says, ‘God can never use a discouraged servant’. This is true we must overcome such attitudes the Bible says, ‘And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.’ (Rev.12:11) by saying about ourselves what the Bible says about us, we are made overcomers. The Bible says, ‘‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’’ (Phil. 4:13). ‘‘Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.’’ (Luke 10:19).
3. Draw Near in Prayer
The kind of weakness to which God responds is that which produces a sense of dependence on Him. When we pray, ‘I need you oh Lord, and I cannot get along without you.’ God works on our behalf. We become like King David who prayed, ….my soul longs for thee, oh God.’ (Ps 63:1; 84