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Fear of Our Own Weakness

weaknessYesterday I addressed the idea of seizing opportunities that are in front of us, and how we often let two fears keep us from taking hold of those set of circumstances that enable us to do something amazing.   The first fear that leads to us missing opportunities is the fear of our own weakness.

Numbers 13:31 “They are stronger than us…”

The spies that were unwilling to enter the land promised to them by father God, were actually right on.   Those people living in the new land were indeed stronger than them.   We know that in reality, they were bigger, taller, and better equipped to fight a battle.   The Israelites were recently released slaves, not a fighting band of warriors.   Here’s where they were wrong: Their weakness was NOT their liability.   It was their unique advantage!

II Corinthians 12:9 My grace is enough for you. When you are weak, my power is made perfect in you.

Our weakness gives God the opportunity to do what he does best. In fact later in Deuteronomy 8:17-18, Moses warns the children of the missed opportunity generation of what can happen when they forget their place in the story.

Deuteronomy 8:17-18 “17 You might say to yourself, I am rich because of my own power and strength, 18 but remember the Lord your God! It is he who gives you the power to become rich, keeping the agreement he promised to your ancestors, as it is today.”

So what is the correct response when faced with your own overwhelming weakness?   Remember that your weakness is your advantage.   Begin to see your disqualifications and inadequacies as the gift that God will use to make His story complete.   I’ve been working through a book on purpose with some friends of mine, and stumbled upon this quote.   It’s taken from a small book that is distrubuted by the CBMC.   It perfectly sums up the idea of your weakness not being worthy of being the fear that keeps you from God’s next opportunity, and instead is worthy of being the advantage.

“If, through the living out of your purpose, you sense less dependence on God, you can be confident you are out of the will of God!   For though a life of purpose makes you more aware of your gifts and calling, it at the same time highlights your inadequacies and amplifies your great need for God and His grace.   The path towards God is dependence; the path away from God is independence.”

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.


  1. D Cliff · September 15, 2009

    Thanks for a great word Jonathan. It is quite counter-cultural to think that our weakness is our ‘unique advantage’. We live where the mindset is ‘try harder’ or ‘do all you can and then let God’ or the old favorite ‘God helps those who help themselves’…..but you have spoken a truth that we can all embrace.