If your weaknesses are leaving you out in the cold, you need to do something about them.
In part one Pastor George highlighted several weaknesses that need to be dealt with in the believer’s life. These weaknesses must be overcome in order to be successful as a Christian. In part two Pastor George continues to talk about specific areas that need to be examined.
Overcoming impossibility thinking
Luke 1:37, 49-50 (KJV) “For with God nothing shall be impossible…For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.”
The angel Gabriel told Mary that with God nothing is impossible. Mary accepted that word. Later when she was pregnant with Jesus, she told her cousin that God’s mercy is on His people from generation to generation. The weakness here is failing to see that God’s mercy works for the New Testament saints, too. In the face of all impossibilities believe that God can do it. Many of you are facing odds greater than you can handle. There are no odds that God can’t handle. Submit to God as Mary did. Say to the Lord, “The odds are beyond my ability, but they are not beyond Your ability.” When Mary said, “Be it unto me according to Your word,” she was saying, “The way you said it, that’s how I want it.” The Moffatt translation says, “I am here to serve the Lord; let it be as you have said.” Jesus said in Luke 18:27, “…The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” (KJV) We overcome by believing this word. May God help us to be free of impossibility thinking.
Overcoming weaknesses of faith
Hebrews 11:6 (KJV) “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
Every Christian wants to please God. Weakness comes when we don’t believe that God is a rewarder. The word “rewarder” means that God blesses you for your faith. Everybody believes God is, but it’s the overcomers that believe that God is a rewarder. God put a measure of faith in each one of us (Romans 12:3). It’s there and always working. It’s not wrong to confess our weakness of faith and ask God to increase it. Satan would like it very much if he can separate you from your faith. Jesus prayed for Peter as recorded in Luke 22:32 (KJV): “But I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not.” Jesus’ prayer didn’t prevent Peter’s test of denial, but it saw him through. The Bible declares that Jesus lives and makes intercession for all of us. It’s not what you do that pleases God; it’s your faith that believes. God is real, alive, and a rewarder of everyone that diligently seeks Him. If we are not diligently seeking Him, that is another weakness in us that needs overcoming.
2 Corinthians 6:17-7:1 (KJV) “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
The weakness here is that we often keep things in our lives that can hurt us. The things that Paul mentions here grieve the Father and the Holy Spirit. In the realm of computers it is necessary to run regular virus checks. A virus in a computer can prevent it from functioning properly. Likewise there are things that can hurt our relationship with God. Sin disrupts our fellowship with God. Paul teaches in Romans 8:13 that we are to mortify, i.e. render powerless, the things that can hurt us. We need to have a “virus check” every so often. The New Testament uses the words “examine yourself.” Overcoming bad habits and the sins Paul mentions saves our relationship with God.
One of the viruses that so often gets inside the believer is self-deception. Before his fall Lucifer lived in a perfect environment. God was there, the angels were there, the Word of God was there, and God’s rule was there. In spite of all this an evil idea came into his heart. He was deceived by his own thoughts. Iniquity was found in his heart.
In 2 Kings 5 Gehazi, Elisha’s servant, had a virus in his spirit. Naaman was healed and offered Elisha a reward. It was turned down. In Gehazi’s heart he got the idea that at least part of the reward was his for the taking. So he ran to Naaman and collected. On his return, Elisha rebuked him for his deception, and Gehazi became what Naaman had been–a leper. The tragedy of Gehazi was that he never recognized the deceptive idea that was in his heart. He assumed, like many Christians today, that because the church environment is right it automatically make him right. Elisha was there. The school of the prophets was there. Miracles in abundance were there. God’s present Word was there. Who could possibly be deceived in such conditions? Many are. Why? Because the virus of self-deception works on the idea that, “I’m in a blessed place, no one will see my sin. No one will suspect that I have a virus sin. I’m protected.” But God does see. God will unmask all evil ideas that lead to wrong doing, even if you are in a spiritual environment.
Overcoming the old life
Galatians 5:1 (KJV) “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”
Many Christians bring back into their lives the things from which Christ has delivered them. The Galatians did this. It’s a weakness many people have. Jesus gave us a “once and for all” salvation. People need to learn how to stay delivered. Paul wrote of many in the Ephesian church that went back into the things they were saved from. He said, “You didn’t learn this from Christ. If you have learned from Christ, you learned about holiness, righteousness.” Jesus delivered them from the bondage of sin, and in their weakness of their new faith they returned to what had kept them bound. If you keep going back into old ways, it shows up as a weakness. God wants you to be an overcomer. If you are going to move, move forward, and grow in grace. Don’t move backwards. Hebrews 10:38-39 tells us that the Lord has no pleasure in those who draw back.
Overcoming by letting the Holy Spirit help you in your requests
Romans 8:26-27 (KJV) “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
One of our weaknesses is that we hardly know how to make our requests to the Lord. We have a weakness in asking. The Holy Spirit knows what to ask for, because He intercedes according to the will of God. When the will of God is known, all things will work for our good (Romans 8:28). Troubles and hardships and sorrows do come. We can overcome them by asking the Holy Spirit to help us. Remember, He is the Comforter that Jesus promised. The Comforter is the helpmeet, the One called alongside to help us.
Another weakness that the Holy Spirit can help us with is that we just don’t know how to pray about something. I often say to the Lord, “I don’t know how to pray about this situation.” We can be overcomers in this as well. Our problem can be a door to opportunity, to something that God sees as better for us.
Overcoming the fear that God doesn’t love you
Romans 8:35-39 (KJV) “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Another weakness that people have is the fear of separation from the love of God. They look at the sixteen things listed in the verses above and say, “They are out to get me.” Of course they are. But to get to you they have to get through the love of God. God’s love becomes a shield of protection. God told Abraham that He was his shield. For any enemy to get to Abraham they first had to get by God. No enemy has ever made it past God. Lucifer tried it and was cast out of heaven. Overcome your fear of being separated from the love of God. Paul said, “I am persuaded, i.e. convinced, that nothing can separate me from God’s love for me.”
2 Corinthians 2:14-15 (KJV) “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:”
An overcomer lives in triumph. Let people see you triumphing over all your difficulties. God’s power operates continually. One of the weaknesses that people have is that they are victorious only when things are going well. I heard a well-known preacher say, “Flat tire or no flat tire, it hasn’t changed your position in God.” The three Hebrews in the book of Daniel did not fear the fire. Standing with them in the furnace was the Son of God. They lived in triumph. Going through hard times does not mean that God has left you; it’s an opportunity for you to be triumphant. Be an overcomer of “sad face living.” Paul teaches that you can overcome all afflictions (2 Corinthians 1:6-7). Overcome afflictions by reaping their benefits and turning them around to work for you. Consider this: every affliction sooner or later must meet God’s power. An overcomer endures and can help others to endure. Present all your weaknesses to God, and let them meet His power.
Overcome negative thinking
Ephesians 2:18-19 (KJV) “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.”
The weakness here is that some think they are insignificant to God. They develop a poor self-image. They begin to bad mouth God and themselves. Overcome this kind of negative thinking. Be strong and positive. You are a child of the King. God will take time to listen to you. Overcome this negative weakness by changing your thinking. Fellowship with others in God’s household. He did not call us to be hermits. If you isolate yourself, you will lose your ability to relate. We are not strangers to God. We are family. We have access. We have room. John 14:2-3 (KJV) “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” God has room for you, gifts for you, and a place near Him for you. God’s relationship with you is on the Father-son (daughter) basis. Because you are family and He loves you, you can ask the Father about your needs. John 16:26-27 teaches this. This has been God’s design for you all your life, to bring you to His home.
Overcome by exalting the Lord Jesus Christ
Isaiah 9:6 (KJV) “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”
The government of God is real, and Jesus Christ runs it. Another weakness Christians sometimes have is that they try to govern their lives without God. Celebrate the day Jesus came into your life. Cherish that moment; feast on it from time to time. Yield your life to the power of the throne of God. Recognize His government over your life. He is Lord, and He is in charge. God’s government operates in grace, mercy, compassion, love, and power. Say to the Lord, “Governing my life is on Your shoulders.” That’s real submission. That’s the attitude that overcomes weakness.
Have you a weakness that I didn’t mention? Put it into the hands of the Lord. Hebrews 11:34 talks about people who were weak but by their faith were made strong. The Holy Spirit is reading your heart’s cry. Many are saying “Lord, I am weak in this area of my life, help me.” As you pray, lift those weaknesses to God. Let Him make you the way you would like to be.