It’s Sunday morning, and I’m doing last minute preparations to teach my Sunday School class again. I can’t help but wonder why God uses such a highly-imperfect method for communicating His perfect truth to His precious people. I have so many weaknesses in both my understanding and my ability to communicate. All we human creatures do. All we who communicate God’s truth are deeply flawed in many ways. Why would He entrust His precious Word to us?
The question reminds me that all-wise, all-powerful God seems to prefer to do His work through His creatures. And this seems to be part of His overall desire to incarnate Himself – to make His transcendent perfection flesh and blood. He incarnated Himself perfectly in His Son Jesus, but throughout our history, before and since Christ, He has sought to incarnate Himself by filling His human creatures with His own divine Spirit, His own life.
Again, why would a perfect God choose to reveal Himself so imperfectly? I don’t pretend to have all the answers to that, but I see part of His purpose explained in His Word:
We have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves. (2 Corinthians 4:7, NASB)
“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10, NASB)
When God has a Jericho to conquer or a Goliath to defeat or a fiery furnace to be faced, He chooses someone small and weak who is simply willing to trust and obey Him. That way it is obvious to everyone that the one acting is not the weak human creature, but the all-powerful Creator.
Or to bring it back around to my personal situation, my weakness glorifies God. When God’s beautiful, life-giving truth comes from my mouth, however imperfectly, it is plain to all who hear that the truth they are hearing is His, not mine.
I still catch myself wanting to appear strong, bright, and eloquent. But that’s not the truth, and that’s not how I can glorify God the best. People don’t need me. They need Him. As John the Baptist said, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30, NASB).
Yes, I do everything I can to prepare and deliver His message with the passion and clarity it deserves. How could I do anything less? But I can’t hide the truth: anything worthwhile that comes out of my mouth is from Him, not me. Even in my smallness and ignorance I can show people how good and great and present He is. How wonderful is that?
Listen and sing:
Hymn: Not I, but Christ
Printed Music & Lyrics