Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Stewart Again- Strength in Weakness

Here is another quote from Stewart’s Thine is the Kingdom.
Particularly if you find your self discouraged in your ministry as you regularly see reminders of your own weakness, read on. Read on, and be encouraged. Read on, and exult in the God who displays Himself through human weakness. Then rise up in faith that God will manifest His grace through your weakness, and Christ will build His church.

“This is the answer to the disconsolate moods in which, looking at the Church and seeing its crippling, often stupid divisions, its bourgeois complacency, its failures pathetic enough to make the angels weep, we begin to ask—‘Is this indeed the instrument of the mission of Christ? Is this to go out among the heathen as “the arm of Christ’s presence”?’ It is the answer also to the despairing moods in which we turn in upon ourselves: ‘I the ambassador of this royal Jesus? I to wear the Christian name before the world? God pity me—poor earthen vessel—utterly unworthy!’ This is the answer—that always it is upon human weakness and humiliation, not human strength and confidence, that God chooses to build His Kingdom; and that He can use us, not merely in spite of our ordinaries and helplessness and disqualifying infirmities, but precisely because of them. It is a thrilling discovery to make, and it can revolutionize our missionary outlook completely. For clearly, if this fact be true, the Church that believes it can be irresistible anywhere, and its mission for Christ against the powers of darkness becomes bright with an unquenchable hope; and the individual Christian who lives by it is undefeatable. Nothing can defeat a Church or a soul that takes, not its strength, but its weakness, and offers that to be God’s weapon. It was the way of William Carey and Francis Xavier and Paul the apostle. ‘Lord, here is my human weakness: I dedicate it to Thee for Thy glory!’ This is the strategy to which there is no retort. This is the victory which overcomes the world.” (pgs.23-24)

3 comments:

A&WTozer said...

These are good thoughts not only for ministry, but also for parenting and being a husband/wife.
Scott Lamb

Ray Van Neste said...

Indeed. Of course my point here is to address pastoral ministry, but I think a number of these items can be usefully applied to various areas of life

Jeff Lash said...

I would agree that there is a broad application within these words. I need to be reminded of this truth because it is so easy to become disheartened and even depressed at your own inconsistencies and numerous flaws. What can I do for God? Nothing. Can God use me despite my shortcomings? Certainly. I serve a God who is incomprehensible, worthy of all praise and honor. What an amazing God!