Why would God limit Himself by choosing to operate through simple and often weak human beings? After all, He is God Almighty. He can use anybody or anything—and yet He chooses to work in the earth through people. The same people He created to bring praise and glory to His name have often abandoned and betrayed Him—and yet His love always remains. This is one of the most perplexing mysteries concerning His mind and ways.
The gifted preacher Charles Spurgeon summed it up this way: "Though you have changed a thousand times, He has not changed once."
The Message paraphrase of Romans 8:31-39 paints such a profound picture of God's unending love for us:
So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing Himself to the worst by sending His own Son, is there anything else He wouldn't gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God's chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ's love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: They kill us in cold blood because they hate you. We're sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one. None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I'm absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.
We must understand that love was His motivation, love is His motivation and love will always be His motivation. God's love neither wavers nor expires. His love empowers our relationship with Him. He took the first step by sending Jesus even when we were in rebellion against Him. Properly understanding the deep and abiding love the Father has for us is critical in embracing our destiny.
Deliverance is a demonstration of love. Love sets captives free, tears down demonic walls and empowers purpose. God's love in action brought the Hebrews out by the cloud and fire.
In Egypt, God chose Jochebed to birth Moses, who would set captives free. Later, God anointed Moses, then camped out in the midst of His people with glory. No matter what wall Moses came up against, God was there.
In fact, the toughest struggle in fulfilling our God-ordained destiny is dealing with our own human weaknesses and flaws. It becomes difficult to believe God can use us when we examine our strengths and weaknesses and our shortcomings overwhelm us. Moses experienced the same thing.
In Exodus 4:10-17, God called Moses to speak on His behalf. He was to be God's ambassador, representing His agenda on earth. But Moses had a problem: He had a speech impediment. Most theologians believe this problem was some type of stutter.
When he argued with God about his condition, the Lord appointed Aaron to go with him. God already has answers and solutions for your mandate. This is part of His mystery. God already knows who and what it will take to accomplish what He has assigned to you. He is just waiting on your yes so He can send everything you need. He is trying to stretch your faith beyond your perceived ability. He is trying to take you into deeper levels of surrender. He already has the right people and resources for your assignment.
Why would God call a man to do the very thing he felt the least qualified to do, rather than call him to do something with his hands or his mind? This question arises when God breathes His majestic breath upon our lives. He inspires and commissions us to do seemingly impossible things. He declares purpose in the most vulnerable areas of our lives.
The Lord reminded Moses that it was He who made his mouth. He was pointing Moses away from his human weakness and putting the emphasis back on His power. He knew He was going to surround Moses with His glory and work supernatural miracles through him.
He wasn't looking for Moses' human strength; He was looking for his surrender and his absolute trust. To anoint men and women for extraordinary works, God needs their total reliance. He needs them to look fully unto Him, not to their own abilities or gifts. Many powerful leaders end up shipwrecked when they yield to a spirit of deception and begin to believe the power belongs to them. The power is sovereignly held in the hands of God, released to men and women to steward, but their role is always to point the receivers back to the source.
The Power of Obedient Surrender
A self-reliant, self-promoting man or woman forgets to point people back to the origin. God originated the power, the love and the grace. The deepest levels of surrender only empower reflection. This is a biblical principle.
So let's look at this through a few Scriptures.
"Then Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do. For whatever He does, likewise the Son does'" (John 5:19, MEV).
"If you love Me, keep My commandments. I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Counselor, that He may be with you forever" (John 14:15-16).
"Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" (Rev. 19:10b).
In each of these verses, there is a level of surrender and obedience. Jesus boldly declared that He was planted in the Father, and He only did that which He saw the Father do. Many people do not understand this principle, and instead, they bow to the spirit of the age, yielding to the belief that they must strive to get ahead. This is the spirit of the world in operation.
Unfortunately, it is common in the church too. Believers step on one another and trample over others to promote their gift, their ministry or their agenda.
Jesus lived a surrendered life, and He had an unending flow of power. Many people want the power of God, but they fail to understand the price. The price is their will. The spirit of prophecy unveils the majesty of Jesus to men and women. Prophetic words and operations should always be pointing people back to the Lord, not to the vessel.
Love empowers surrender and trust. We have become a generation that speaks loudly and shouts our love from the rooftops, but true love is proven through covenant actions. True love is sacrificial. This means giving up a personal desire for the ambition of the one you love. I could not think of a better way to describe the pathway of Christianity. It is a series of surrenders and exchanges.
In Luke 9:23, Jesus describes Christianity as a daily surrender: "Then He said to them all, 'If anyone will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.'"
Part of following Jesus was an exchange of ideas. We let go of our preconceptions to take on His way of thinking. We quit looking to do our own thing our own way, and instead, we yield to Him. For this reason and others, prayer is the lifeblood of Christian living; we need to be washed in His presence to deal with our hearts and lay down the parts that try to rise against His will. It also allows Him to speak into us and relate fresh vision, hope and insight for the mandate He has given. Prayer is the fuel of obedience.
In Philippians 4, Paul describes his journey of highs and lows, victories and attacks, as he served Christ as His apostle. He learned a master key: the ability released in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:13).
Paul understood the power of covenant. I often describe covenant as a great exchange. We exchange our sin for His righteousness, our brokenness for His wholeness, our infirmity for His healing. Salvation is a great exchange. It empowers us to receive the full benefits of all Christ accomplished at the cross.
We must view destiny through this lens. There is power available by and through Jesus Christ. When God calls us to do anything for Him, He has already provided the power. It is in Him, through Him and by Him.
God chooses people who are seemingly weak in an area and wraps His strength around them. He sends them to do something they feel unqualified to do. He wants to receive all the glory. If we go on an assignment we feel capable of doing without Jesus, we will not rely upon Him nor give Him glory. God chooses to use us in areas where we have no natural confidence. He aims to testify of His goodness through our lives.
Acts 4:13-14 says, "When they saw the boldness of Peter and John and perceived that they were illiterate and uneducated men, they marveled. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. But seeing the man who was healed standing with them, they had nothing to say against it."
Peter and John were so surrendered to Jesus that uncommon power emanated from them. People knew they had been with Jesus because they were moving above and beyond their own natural abilities. This is the evidence of the glory! When the glory moves into your life, you move outside of your typical capacity. God wants to raise people up in His glory. He wants to commission businesses, birth churches and release revelation in the glory. He wants to shake nations with the glory.
The glory will send you, heal you and strengthen you. When you know God is calling you to move beyond your own ability into the arena of His miracle power, you will become dependent upon the glory.
Peter and John reflected the weight of His majesty. Diseases were instantly healed as these two men manifested the presence of Jesus. Surrender carries presence. Surrendered people are uncommon, obedient, presence people.
Strength Through Weakness
I often see preachers who are wise because of their studies and discipline. They can articulate profound concepts with ease because they have diligently prepared. They are master communicators, and yet many times there is a void of the residue of heaven. There is little or no demonstration of the power of the kingdom. They are functioning in their own strength. What would happen if God challenged them to press outside of their comfort zone, to move into an unknown place? They would have to increase their level of dependence upon God, and the measure of the supernatural would exponentially increase.
I believe God is looking for people and places where He can show His strength. I remember when I was new to the ministry, I visited a world-renowned ministry that hosted a daily healing school. I was amazed because people came from the nations to be taught and healed. They came both to hear and see. Such was the biblical ministry of Jesus: People did not just hear; they heard and saw!
Everywhere Jesus went, there were miracles (Acts 10:38). Very few modern preachers have been able to live in such a realm. I know of some because I have studied them in my quest to understand the supernatural. One common thread I have found is that they paid a deep price to walk in such power.
They had to sacrifice their own ambitions and plans. They had to face intense scrutiny from the church, particularly the portion that does not believe in Spirit-filled ministry. They had to spend countless hours seeking God and pursuing His glory. They had to stand against many who mocked them. They had to give up their reputations and be willing to look foolish in the eyes of the world. This is the price of glory. It is surrender and laying your weaknesses bare.
In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, Paul faced something he described as a thorn in the flesh. A demonic spirit was assigned to harass him everywhere he went to preach because he touched realms of revelation and demonstration that threatened the enemy's kingdom. The enemy was opposing his mind and body in a futile attempt to get him to abandon course, to yield to the pressure.
As Paul sought God, he was pointed back to grace. God was revealing a paradoxical mystery here. His strength is made perfect in weakness. God's majesty and power are drawn to our weakness. When we are honest, broken and transparent in the face of Jesus, His glory comes in full force.
Moses had no confidence in his ability to speak, yet God chose him. Paul understood the Hebrews and could easily have spent his entire preaching career ministering to them because Judaism was his culture, yet God chose to send him to a people he did not understand. In weakness, these men found God's might. This is one of the mysteries of destiny. God chooses to use unlikely, unqualified people, and He sends them into arenas where they have no ability. Why? Because He wants to receive the glory. He wants us to realize that it is by His power alone, and that when we live surrendered, there is absolutely nothing we cannot do.
Our weaknesses make room for His strength! The areas where you lack self-confidence may be the very things heaven breathes upon. He wants to pour out His power and glory in the weak places. In the places you feel you have nothing to offer, God wants to take "the foolish things" and use them "to confound the wise" (1 Cor. 1:27b, KJV).
Psalm 33:16-22 (MEV) says, "No king is saved by a great army; a mighty man is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a vain hope for safety; it will not deliver by its great strength. The eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His lovingkindness, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For our heart will rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name. Let Your lovingkindness, O Lord, be on us, just as we hope in You."
We are saved by His power. He is turning our attention and our affection toward Him. He is calling us to move deeper into His majesty. He is speaking destiny and potential over the seemingly insignificant parts of our life. He is releasing us to world-changing destiny. God loves us unceasingly and is not bothered by our own limitations or weaknesses.
We may not always know why He uses the weak, but we know with certainty that He does. Just as He came to Moses and breathed on the weak areas of his life, so He is doing in each of us.
Ryan LeStrange is an apostolic and prophetic revolutionary laboring to see global awakening. He is the founder and apostolic leader of a global network of ministries known as TRIBE Apostolic Network and the senior leader of the iHub movement.
CHARISMA is the only magazine dedicated to reporting on what the Holy Spirit is doing in the lives of believers around the world.
Ryan LeStrange is an apostolic and prophetic revolutionary, laboring to see global awakening He is the founder and apostolic leader of a global network of ministries known as TRIBE Apostolic Network. He is the senior leader of the iHub movement, planting and overseeing a network of governing churches, apostolic hubs, and revival hubs Ryan is also a real estate investor who is active in the business arena. Ryan is an accomplished author. His latest release is titled Hell's Toxic Trio. Ryan and his wife, Joy, have one son, Joshua, and currently reside in Virginia.
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