Weak and Proud!

The past weeks have been crazy and tiring. First, it’s tiring because… well, it’s just point-blank tiring.  It has been physically and mentally draining. Haha, I guess it merits no further explanation.

Next, it’s crazy.  It’s crazy, primarily because I don’t know why people call me up or send me messages in order to invite me to do things that I perceive I’m not so much capable of doing.   And part of that list of things that I wish I would not do is speaking in front of big crowds.

I’d qualify a “big crowd” as a group consisting of more than twenty people, believe me or not.  This may not be the same for everyone. That’s just my personal definition of it, despite me being noted as a “people person”. If you’re familiar with “Solving the People Puzzle”, in the DISC paradigm, the “I” (for Influence) is the only component that remains recessive. Mostly on weekends, you’d find me at either Red Ribbon or Bo’s Coffee in Madrigal or Molito area teaching in a small group setting (with about not more than ten people).  If a crowd would be asked who among them are the “small group” people, I might as well raise my hand.  I guess, I was just wired that way.

When year 2012 opened, however, the Lord has been nudging me to go out of my “comfort zone” in an entirely new level.  Speaking engagements here. Then, teaching tasks there.  Mentoring people, and the list goes on.  I have to admit that it could get scary and that it unnerves me, knowing that there could be a bunch of guys out there more fit for the job.  Yet the Lord really has His own unique ways of teaching me that as His disciple – I should deny myself, take up His cross, and follow Him.  It’s never easy, but in this manner, He is the One placed on the pedestal.  Not me.  He’ll be the one who is going to enable me to do the task; and as a result, His glory shines brightest!

Now, here’s a realization: He equips those whom He calls. (And I’m pertaining to every Christ follower, not just the ordained or those in professional full-time ministry.)  He provides and cares for us.  He leads us by His loving hand! Given all these truths, I am secure that He will carry me from Point A going to Point B.  He’ll definitely make sure that He gets the job done in me and through me!

What’s our part, then, in this case?  Admit your weakness, and declare Your dependence unto Him.  Let God work His way in your life, and allow Him to use you for His glory.

Is it going to be easy? Nope, since there are a lot of risks involved. 

How long will the process take? The answer’s indefinite, but certainly not overnight.

Is it really wise to depend on Him? Well, if you pledge allegiance with Jesus, then it’s going to be the wisest choice you’ll ever make in your life.

So today, I humbly confess that I’m weak, that I should shun pride, and that I desperately need the Lord.  Like the apostle Paul, I shall boast of my being weak.  Why?  It is because God’s grace is sufficient and His power is made perfect in our weakness.  It may sound like a paradox for the majority since the world does not normally operate this way.  However, God can only break through in the lives of people whose hearts are totally abandoned to Him.

Perhaps, the Lord is asking you to let go of your pride or of too much control.  Maybe those are things that stand between you and Him at this moment, don’t you think?

I pray you’d take that life-changing step of faith today.

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WANTED: Ordinary People

“I’m not ready for it. I need more training.”

“Perhaps another person’s more suitable for the position.”

“I’m simply not enough.  Just get the other guy.”

While this may be true at a certain degree, I’m quite sure most people have articulated similar statements when being challenged to step up into service, into a kind of ministry, or into a leadership position regardless the context.  I am not one to judge their motives, but in my own experience, I’ve sometimes made them to prevent myself from responding with a “yes” to such opportunities.  I sulk into emphasizing the inadequacy I find in me.  I just can’t bear thinking that such a loser would accept the challenge.

Oops! I guess I’m being too hard on myself there, so pardon me for my moment of self-pity.  Yet again, I can’t help but believe that millions (and probably billions) of humans think and feel the same way!  We raise the “L” gesture on our foreheads and we condemn ourselves for being not enough.   We embrace that “I-ain’t-perfect-for-the-job” attitude over and over, both consciously and subconsciously.

Here’s a thought, though… as long as sin lurks in the human heart, we could never say that we’re downright perfect for anything.  HOWEVER, God uses imperfect human beings for His good, pleasing, and perfect will.

Let me share a simple account about two guys whose story completely swept me away, and whose changed lives constantly remind me to overcome my struggle with inadequacy.

Years ago, there lived two men named John and Peter.  These guys were pretty close friends, I’d say.  They had been working and journeying together for more than three years by then.  Other than that, they’re prominently known for being followers of Jesus.  And when this account was taken, Jesus has already left earth and has commissioned his disciples to spread the news about Him.

Then, the story continues.

On an ordinary day, as they were walking towards the temple for their time of prayer, a beggar who had been lame from his childhood suddenly appeared into the picture.  The man asked for alms, as he’d usually do, but Peter and John don’t have money as well.

Instead, they gave what the beggar really needed – healing.  In an instant, his feet and ankles were strengthened, and he was able to walk for the first time!  He leaped in jubilation!  He glorified God, in response!

Since he’d been begging alms for quite a long time, people noticed the radical change, of course.  It was sure that such a miraculous event could not escape the eyes and ears of the “bosses” of the religious sects of that time.  True enough, being alarmed, the higher-ups had to bring Peter and John in for interrogation.

“By what power or what name did you do this?” they sternly asked.

Now, brace yourself for Peter’s fearless response:

“Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.”

Peter and John were filled with the Holy Spirit as they were being grilled before the Sandhedrin; and that fact simply resonated in the entire hall.

When the higher-ups saw these two guys’ courage and “realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”

Unschooled? Ordinary? Noteworthy.

If you would closely observe God both in the Old and New Testaments, He really has a knack for picking people you would least expect to be in the frontlines.

Even if it’s unorthodox, one’s credential was, is, and will never be an issue in His perspective.  After all, His kingdom is open for servants, not “rock stars”.  He is constantly in search for ordinary people, regardless his or her background.  And from these imperfect people, He turns their ashes into beauty by transforming the core of their beings and enabling them to do what could be thought impossible.

How about you?  Do you struggle with so many insecurities?  Does your feeling of inadequacy hinder you from being more and more of the person that God has called you to be?

Shake it off. And, think again.

Remember this: the Lord glorifies Himself through the lives of ordinary, unschooled people.  Just look at Peter and John!  God did the same in my life.  And perhaps, you are next in line.

*Reference: Acts 3-4:13