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May 3 – From Self-Reliance to Spirit-Reliance

May 3, 2012

“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” – 2 Cor. 12:10

Paul discovers this new ability in Christ.  What he couldn’t do in the flesh, God would do through the power of Christ working in his life.  The weakness of Paul would serve to show God’s greatness.

I don’t know about Paul, but I have been embarrassed to show my weakness at times.  Instead of allowing those moments to be opportunities for the power of God to show, I have hidden it.  What I must learn is that what I cannot accomplish in the flesh, God can do through the power of Christ who lives in me!

When my total and complete dependence is upon His grace and His provision…then I can release the temptation to try to deal with it on my own.  When I try to handle the trial on my own, I am essentially boasting in myself, deceiving myself into thinking I am my own person.  I then forget that I am owned by my Lord, who purchased my freedom from slavery to this flesh.  I am not my own, I am the Lord’s.   Who am I?  What do I have to boast of?  Nothing.

I, like Paul, must defer my tendencies for self-reliance to Spirit-reliance.  Instead of walking after the flesh (in the pride of this life), I must walk after the Spirit.  To depend upon what God can and will do when my will is submitted to His.

Then, God’s greatness is exhibited in me and He receives the glory.  Onlookers can, as a result, see an example and answer to their own troubles.  Again, I am not my own, rather, I am here to minister grace to others.  When I do this from a heart willing respond to the Spirit’s prompting, God is seen and hearts are turned toward Him.

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