5. Weakness and Power
What is more frail, weak, and helpless than a little blade of grass? But did you ever notice the marvelous power that it exhibits?
Look at what is lifting that clod of dirt. It is a hard, heavy, impenetrable mass of dry clay. What is moving it so slowly and yet so surely out of its way? Not an animal, not even an insect— only a little blade of young grass! The clod is many times heavier than the grass, and yet the grass seems to lift it with the utmost ease. You could not cause a tiny grass root to exhibit such power. You might lay the clod on it ever so carefully but the grass would be crushed to the earth with the great weight of the clod. Some power that is not in the grass itself must be accomplishing this great wonder. The Bible says that it is the power and life of God’s word that causes the grass to grow; for “God said, Let the earth bring forth grass: and it was so.”
Look at a tiny acorn. How helpless, how worthless! But look again. An unseen life, a marvelous power, breaks the hard shell, and pushes little rootlets downward, and tiny branches upward. They grow and grow, turning aside hindrances, climbing over obstacles, and bursting asunder solid rocks. What is the unseen life? What is the marvelous power? The life and power of God’s word; for “God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit-tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself upon the earth; and it was so.”
Although they are two of the weakest and most helpless things in existence, yet what miracles of strength the grass and the acorn exhibit when their weakness is united to the power of Weakness and Power God’s word. You are the same way. Weak? Yes, as weak and helpless as the grass. Your “days are as grass,” “and all the glory of man as the flower of grass.” Your life “even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” Helpless, utterly helpless in yourself, unable to care for yourself a single moment, unable to resist the smallest temptation, unable to do one good act.
But look again. An unseen power has taken possession of you, a new life has animated you, and lo, you have “subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouth of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens!” Heb. 11:33, 34. While you were once weak, now you are strong; where once you would have trembled and fallen, now you stand unmoved like a house built on a solid rock.
What is this unseen power? What is your new life? It is the life and power of God’s word united with your weakness. It is the life and power of God Himself, for God goes with His word “working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight.” “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.”
You alone, without the Word in you, are like a house that is built on the sand. There is nothing to hold you up when the floods come and the winds blow. It is utterly impossible for you to withstand the tempest, for you do not have strength in yourself.
But even if you are the most helpless person who ever lived, God is willing to take you—if you will submit to Him—and work through you in the most marvelous manner by His mighty word. He loves to do it. He has “chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty; and the base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are: that no flesh should glory in His presence.” 1 Cor. 1:27-29.
He says, “Whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock.” Then, by receiving God’s word into your heart and allowing the word to work, you are building on immovable rock. But Jesus Himself is in the word, and is the Word (see John 1 and 6), so humbly receiving the Word brings Jesus into your heart to work. And so your work is to submit and receive, and Jesus the living Word supplies all the power and does all the work through you, if you will let Him.
It is not enough for you to unite yourself to someone else who is united to Christ. You must for yourself come to Christ the Word as to a living stone, and build on Him. Then you become a living stone, because you partake of the life of the living Foundation. You grow on the Foundation until you are a part of the Foundation, and the Foundation is a part of you. Is it any wonder, then, that you have strength, and that you can stand unmoved through all the storms and tempests of life?
Then when you look at the grass and realize your frailty, and your helplessness, don’t become discouraged, but rather lift your eyes in thankfulness to heaven and praise that mighty One who can take you—the weakest and most helpless of His creatures— and by His word strengthen you “with all might according to His glorious power.”
Read the sixth chapter called Overcoming in Christ.