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“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV
Grace- Christ’s power that enables us to do what we cannot in our own strength.
Sufficient=To be in posession of unfailing strength.
Power=Strength, miraculous power.
Perfect=to complete, to accomplish, to consummate, to finish, to fulfill.
Weakness=in want of strength.
When Jesus left earth, He sent us Holy Spirit to empower us to do even more than He did. Right?
So let’s look at this verse as a declaration!
I am empowered with the unfailing strength and miraculous power of Jesus. His strength and miraculous power partners with me in the areas I am in want so that I am able to thrive and do what I couldn’t do on my own. I refuse to be embarrassed by my weak areas, because in those weaknesses Christ’s power is fulfilling its purpose.
Point to ponder while you wander…
“The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” Isaiah 55:10-11 NLT
You Think Too Small
I’ve honestly lost count of the number of times that God has told me that I think too small.
I’d love to tell you that every time He said that it grew my faith and inspired me to speak some words that would amaze all around…
“Show me how to think bigger!” “Teach me to see like You, to think like You!” “I want all You have for me! Bring it on!” “I’m ready to cliff dive, Jesssuuuuuus! Let’s dooo it!”
But I’m honest.
So a handful of times the above have happened (except the cliff diving….heights and jumping from said heights are not my jam). Sometimes I feel brave and let words like that escape my mouth.
But usually it was more along the lines of “You made me this way, and I like small.” “Let’s just go with my plan this time, Abba. We’ll try your way next time.” “Uh…have you met me?” “Jesus, let’s just stay here all cuddly. You’re my guy. All I need. Can I just stay right here with YOUUUUU, FOREVERRRRRRR?”
There are times when I’ve rolled my eyes in response to the “too small” comment.
Other times I’ll remind Him of His Word, “Um…point of order God…doesn’t Zechariah 4:10 say “not to despise small beginnings.”
“What is the context, Jillian?”
FYI…the context God showed me is that in verse 6 the Lord told Zerubbabel that it wasn’t by force nor by strength, but by Holy Spirit that Zerubbabel would accomplish what the Lord declared he would do. So when you get to verse 10…which actually says, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” (NLT)
Essentially this is God’s way of saying, “Hey Jill. I’ve sent Holy Spirit ahead of you to prepare the way. I’m even more excited about this project than you! So what are you waiting on? Let’s get project started!!”
God loves it when I quote scripture to Him. It gives Him the opportunity to reveal things to me that blow my mind wide open, and pop my little eyes so wide that I resemble a cartoon character. Makes His day.
There are also the times that I put my hand up before He has a chance to say anything, and say “Yes, I know. I think too small.” Surrender fast. Like ripping the band-aid off.
Rarer of my responses, is the Jill’s got her sassy pants on, and she’s ready to go toe to toe. Then I’ll talk a big game about my screenwriting Oscars (That’s Oscars, plural. And I have a speech if you want to hear it.) People binge watching television series that came from my own imagination. Funny shows that both inspire and move people. My own photo studio. Multiple galleries with my work. Shelves of books with my name on the spine (Me and Jesus are productive partners, you know.) A stack of tear-stained letters from people I’ve never met telling me the words Jesus and I wrote helped them heal, grow, and step out into their own wild unknown. Book awards. Dreamy husband who sings to me. Stacks of money that I get to give away, funding other people’s dreams and visions from God. A passport so full of stamps they had to give me more pages.
When I pull this kind of Jill-ness, I can see Him smiling at me. The you’re so cute smile you give a small toddler when they think they have mastered the universe by putting on their own clothes. Their clothes that don’t match.
just as I’m about to finish…
I feel it….
rising up in the core of my inner most being…
Here’s the TPT: “Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for His miraculous power constantly energizes you.”
Why am I sharing this? Well, because it’s true, first and foremost.
But also because I do think too small. I find myself looking for scraps and thinking I can make this work. And there are seasons in our lives when all we have are scraps and we do need to just be grateful for the scraps. I’ve had those seasons. I’ve lost a house to foreclosure. I’ve had cars repossessed. Been under employed and unemployed for far too long. Had 2 operations in one calendar year. I lost 3 of the most important people in my life in 5 months, and too many other family members within that same year. I’ve been betrayed. I’ve been gutted by loss, and swam in self-pity. I had a string of sprains and a broken foot. Then the same week I FINALLY got off crutches, I fell off a ladder in front of 100+ coworkers, including a 2-Star General thank you very much, and cracked my wrist. Not every day is gonna be a bowl full of cherries, kids. It’s life.
The difference between believers and everyone else is that we’ve got Jesus. We’re not in it alone. We have hope.
Don’t think a pruning season is the end of your growth. Don’t think a season of loss is now your new permanent life. God is a great, big, mah-vel-ous God! And the Dude is straight up funny. He is joy personified.
For those who don’t believe me, who say show me in the Word…read Psalm 16:11 NKJV “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
You can also reference Nehemiah 8:10 NLT “And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”
And we can add to that Proverbs 17:22 TPT, “A joyful, cheerful heart brings healing to both body and soul. But the one whose heart is crushed struggles with sickness and depression.”
God is all about the joy.
He does mourn with us. He is close to the brokenhearted, and does rescue those whose spirits are broken. He does heal the brokenhearted and bind their wounds, so that they can move forward. And embrace life again! Not just life though..Abundant life!
“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].” John 10:10 AMP
Lest you think I’ve begun to rabbit trail, Why am I sharing this? 1. Because it’s true. 2. Because I do think too small. 3. Ah…yeah, no judging. You do too!
We need to be reminded, you and I, that God is the Great Creator. His imagination is endless. His love unending. He always wants to spend time with us. He’s never too busy. And in His generosity, the more time you spend with Him, the more revelation He shares you. He never runs out of anything. Ever. He’s the God who multiplies.
But here’s the part where the rubber meets the road…Are you willing to trust Him? Do you believe that He is? AND that He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him? Do you believe He is pumped to partner with YOU in YOUR dream?
Do I believe that He enjoys partnering with me from the first line of random, through the not so awesome editing phase, all the way to the published book? Yes I do. But I haven’t always.
I’ve quit and told Him I was done, more than once. I have given the Christian auto responses more often than not, when people asked me questions I didn’t want to answer, or I couldn’t answer because I hadn’t the foggiest idea what I was doing! But in my own private time, I wrestled and fought to understand. I’ve cried. I’ve told God off. I’ve lamented in the way of Jeremiah and David. And you know what, I came out on the other side, knowing more about myself and about the God I serve. I love Him in a way I never could before. So that’s how I know He’s hilarious. And sometimes infuriating. But always in it with me.
Point to ponder while you wander….I ain’t the sweet, pliable, easy type kid, who just says, “Yes, Lord.” I’m the one with the hard head, that goes around the mountain more than once. I’m the one whose mouth just gets her into trouble repeatedly. I’m the one who thinks too small.
And yet, He enjoys my company. He appreciates when I tell Him first, before anyone else. He sees me. He knows me. And He loves me.
And that is why He continually tells me I think too small.
Fun Fact Friday: Wait
Fun Fact… Did you know that wait in the Old Testament is defined as: to bind like a rope; be strong with endurance; to expect/to hope in God.
“Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” Psalm 27:14 NKJV
This verse is not David pointing his finger at you accusingly and commanding you not to move, despite using the word twice.
He’s encouraging you to spend time with God, let him prepare and strengthen you so that when the time comes, you’ll be ready.
David was anointed king as a kid, but he did not go around telling everyone he was King Saul’s replacement. He did not kill King Saul, despite Saul trying to kill him and having opportunity to do so, to take his place as King.
Instead, he partnered with God and prepared in the secret place, and waited WITH God.
This is the same verse in the Passion Translation:
“Heres what I learned through it all: Don’t give up, don’t be impatient, Be entwined as one with the Lord. Be brave, courageous, and never lose hope. Yes keep on waiting For He will never disappoint you!”
Point to ponder while you wander…Waiting is more about having expectation in & partnering with God than timing. Waiting is about hope.
He Strengthens You
So many people say, “God will never give you more than you can handle.”
I want to ask them, please show me where it says that in the Bible?
I think they base it on I Corinthians 10:13, where Paul is talking about everyone being subjected to temptation. God will always provide away of escape from temptation, people don’t always take it, but He provides the way. If you read the verse and its context, it’s clearly talking about temptation. “If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. So, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols.” I Corinthians 10:12-14 NKJV Clearly talking about temptation.
Before I continue, I want to make it clear that God does not cause bad or give bad. He is a good God and He only has good to give. BUT He will allow things to come against us. Though we are subject to the same temptations as everyone else, we have a promise that God is faithful to show us a way out. On top of that we will have trials. This is all found in James 1:2-18.
Now back to my point. Life will give you more than you can handle. That’s life. It’s the world we live in. It’s stressful. It’s hard. You will be tested and have trials. But the difference between you and the rest of the world is that you have GOD! The Word says that you will not have to handle all the junk alone. God’s got you. He will help you to thrive in the midst of every trial and tribulation. He can bring you through anything, and leave you even better than you were before!
Isaiah 43:1-4 NLT, “But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom;
I gave Ethiopia[a] and Seba in your place.
Others were given in exchange for you.
I traded their lives for yours
because you are precious to me.
You are honored, and I love you.”
The Word also says that God is your strength and that He strengthens you.
“Through God we will do valiantly, for it is He who shall tread down our enemies.” Psalm 108:13 NLT
The Hebrew word translated valiantly means to show oneself strong. It can be translated strength, might, efficiency, wealth or army. It shows that God comes along side of us to assist us when the situation is beyond us. No matter whether our enemy is sickness or disease, poverty or lack, emotional trauma, a family situation, persecution or anything else, God is with us. He gave Jesus for our freedom, redemption and healing. The New Testament corresponding verse is found in Philippians 4:13, “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (NLT)
You will have things that are too much for you to handle, but that is when partnership with God comes into play. He will strengthen you. You can ask Him for His wisdom, and He will give it to you. When you come to the end of what you can do, God steps in to do what you cannot. He makes a way where there is no way. He turns everything around for our good.
Asking God for help is strength, not weakness. Allowing God to do what you cannot, is trusting Him. David had more than he could handle when Saul was trying to kill him, but God protected David. Job had more than he could handle when the enemy came against him, but God guarded his life and returned to him 10 fold for what he lost. The Children of Israel had more than they could handle in taking the Promised Land, but God went before them and they were victorious. And these are Old Testament stories. Before Jesus came to take our sin, sickness, and brokenness. Before Holy Spirit came to give us power. Imagine what you can overcome now, this very day, with God!!!
One caveat…God likes to do things His way. And He is infinitely more creative and wiser than we are…so be prepared to have your mind blown! 🙂
“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20