"And he (Jesus) said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness."
2 Corinthians 12:9
King James Bible
"O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;” ~Psalms 63:1 (A Psalm of David, when he was hiding in the wilderness of Judah.)
Recently my pastor preached on this verse. He asked how it could be that even David's flesh could long for God? He pointed out that this seemed peculiar in light of the conflict between the battles of the flesh toward God that one finds elsewhere in the Bible and that we experience in our own lives. In Galations 5:17, Paul writes, "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would".
As Christians, we fight this battle every day. So how was it that David said that even his flesh longed for God? When that question was presented to me from the pulpit, I knew the answer. David was in a very unique place in life- a place that, thankfully, few people see. Everything had been taken from David, and he had nothing here on earth to hold on to. All he had was God.
David was the rightful king of Israel, chosen by God Himself. Yet two men sought his life- men whom David loved. The first was King Saul. David had served him faithfully since his youth, and was very close to him. David's loyalty to him was beyond question, proven many times over. However, Saul's heart had become hard and cold towards God, which is why He was removing him from the office of king in the first place. Saul was now jealous of David, and viciously sought his life.
The second man who sought David's life was his own son, Absalom. The Bible says that Absalom had stolen the hearts of the people of Israel and then declared himself to be king. In order to follow through with this, he sought to kill his father, the rightful king. As Absalom and his armies gave chase, he was caught up by his hair in the boughs of an oak tree, and was then killed. When David learned the fate of Absalom, he greatly sorrowed, crying, "O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!". (2 Samuel 18:33)
Although these two incidents did not happen at the same time, David clearly knew what betrayal was. He knew what it was to be falsely accused and to have everything that he held dear taken from him. He had run for his life. Everything he knew of life was gone: his family, his friends, his occupation, his home, and his very being. Hiding in the wilderness of Judah, he had nothing. Nothing but the God in whom he loved and trusted. And David wanted Him with his whole heart. He had nothing to lose, nothing to give up, nothing to stand between himself and God. Empty of self and with nothing in his hands, David could cry that even his flesh longed for God. And what an incredible place to be in that is!
And that brings us to being made perfect in weakness. The condition of weakness that David found himself to be in as he was hiding in the wilderness was not what he would have chosen for himself- no one would. But it was exactly where God wanted him. He was completely empty of self and God alone totally became his strength. Only God's strength can be called perfect. It is whole and complete and without fear. And what an incredible strength that is!
"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." ~2 Corinthians 12:9
January 26, 2016
I struggle as I write this, for it's my most important post ever and I so want to get it exactly right. It's the most wonderful message in the whole world. It's not my message; it's God's. It's the fact upon which all of my life revolves. The cornerstone. My blessed hope.
I am redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb! Saved and on my way to heaven. Not a doubt. Not a fear. Sealed and settled forever! The source of all of my joy.
There was once a day in my life as a child when I came to understand this wonderful truth. I was eleven. I learned that the Bible had some things for me to understand. Truths that God wanted me to know. And I wanted to know!
I learned that I was a sinner. This I already knew. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" (Romans 3:23). Sometimes I was busy telling my mom off...