“For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.” (2 Corinthians 13:4)
Man hates to be made weak. Depression and frustration fills him when he can’t do what he wants to do. “… He hath much sorrow and wrath with his sickness.” (Eccl. 5:17) The thwarted individual, like Balaam, vents their displeasure on whoever and whatever will not cooperate with their plans and help them fulfill their pleasure.
How common to man is the experience of powerlessness? All too common. He cannot more than he can. He encounters a no more than a yes. He catches far more red lights than green. Oh for that moment when he is all-powerful, omnipotent, and has the power to gain exactly what he wants.
Satan was not content to live under the sovereignty of another. He wanted to freely exercise his power to do as it pleased him, and he wanted no one, not even God, to stand in his way. Five times in Isaiah 14 he declares, “I will …” Big and little tyrants get to flex their muscles for a time, but ultimately the God whose will they flaunted, will make them incapable of doing a thing. The world will one day marvel at Satan’s impotence. “All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us?” (Isa. 14:10)
Will we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, and let Him have control over our lives, or will He have to drive home the point that we are not God in painful, debilitating ways? “He poureth contempt upon princes, and weakeneth the strength of the mighty.” (Job 12:21)
The Son of God, who was endued with power from on high, did nothing of Himself. He came to this earth not to do His own will, but the will of the Father who sent Him. He had power, but He never used it, unless directed to do so. He could have done many things, but He only did what God gave Him permission to do. He had the power to turn stones into bread, but He did not have the permission to do so. He had the ability to come down from the cross and save Himself, but He did not have the authority to do so.
Jesus was “crucified through weakness.” He made Himself weak that we should be made strong. And now, we live by the power of God at work in our life. This power is not our power to do as we please; it is His power that works within us to accomplish His good pleasure.
Our objective in life has changed. Above any and all targets we would aim for, there is one mark set before us: the accomplishment of God’s will. If His will for us is to work miracles, we will work miracles by His power. If His will for us is to hang powerless on a cross, as an abhorred criminal, we will hang on a cross. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
Don’t envy the powerful. It is a horrible thing to be strong without God. Know the blessedness of sharing in the weakness of Christ. Do nothing without Him. Be weak in Him.