Weakness: A Self-Portrait
My Testimony (part 4)
"If dependence is the objective, then weakness is the advantage" — Alistair Begg
Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” (Matthew 8:23-27)
I am currently plagued with worry. Cancer in loved ones and my Mom’s dementia are exacerbated by my own financial and personal hardships. Insomnia and hypertension caused by anxiety and stress weigh me down. (Proverbs 12:25) I must pray faithfully, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:14) But, as I wait, I find myself busy considering back-up plans, or a ‘Plan B’ in my unbelief ...
“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)
I am overwhelmed and alone ...
… except — I am not alone!
God’s power is made perfect in weakness. When I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
“God is going to see if, when under stress, are you going to turn to Him, or are you going to turn to other things?” — Rick Warren
Cast all your anxiety on God because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7) Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)
Salvation from the Lord does not save us from trouble or pain in this world — on the contrary ...
Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25) “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
"God’s purpose in us as his children is that we might be dependent upon Him completely." — Alistair Begg
I based this painting on my emotions' itch to work out a ‘Plan B’ in adversity (living in the flesh — not in the spirit). The way I used to live when I followed the ways of this world and the ruler of the kingdom of the air. (Ephesians 2:2) But now I follow Jesus. His thoughts are not my thoughts, neither are my ways His ways. (Isaiah 55:8) We are to live by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)
“When God does something, it will change the logic of everything else . . . God wants us to stay focused (on Him)… Remove the old way of thinking . . . Blessings are not always upgrading — Blessings can be downsizing too . . . Because before God can move you, He will break you . . . The Bible says, 'they that know their God will do great exploits.' (Daniel 11:32 KJV) . . . David did not win on his own strength (1 Samuel 17) . . . It was the place of Gilgal. It’s a place of removing all the pride. It’s a place of becoming empty, vulnerable. It is a place of surrender! . . . In transition, lay down logic. (Joshua 6) . . . When you come to a rock and a hard place, you can’t move forward and you can’t move back . . . Expect an encounter from God . . . Whatever you are holding on to in the flesh, it’s going to get cut off in the Jordan . . . That’s why doors are shutting on you . . . Before God can do something through you, He has to do something in you . . . God calls Elijah to Bethel. Elisha says to Elijah, “I am going with you.” They go from Gilgal to Bethel. I love Bethel, it is a place of Open Heaven . . . In Bethel, Jacob said, “God was in this place and I did not know it.” How marvelous are the ways of God. Just when I think everything is lost … He says, “I’m not giving up on you.” (Genesis 31:13) (Genesis 35:1-15) . . . Trust God! Job, with all of his problems says, "God I know you are great and able ..." (Job 1-42) . . . What is your plan B? Don’t doubt God! . . . God has a plan, the devil has a plot.” — Edith Prakash
"Gilgal (meaning rolled away) symbolically stands for ‘separation’ – being separated from the past and being separated unto God." — Iain Gordon
“The Jordan as a type shows that the promised land could not be entered without crossing the Jordan.” (Deuteronomy 11:31, 12:10, 27:2). “The Jordan, (translates as) the 'Descender,' bringing down one’s strength, in connection with “emptying” (Jabbok translates ‘to empty’ and refers to the fact that the Jabbock empties into the Jordan from the east) and “cutting” (Chertih, which translates to ‘cut off, to cut down," is another perennial stream east of the Jordan) we can see very clearly that experiences surrounding the crossing of the Jordan are specifically typical, with a view of one day realizing, the salvation of the soul.” — Roel Velema
The Battle of Jericho defied logic - it required absolute obedience to God. (Joshua 6)
"How was Israel going to win this battle (of Jericho)? The answer is - they weren't ... the Lord was! . . . They had to walk and they had to walk in faith ... quite literally . . . So, the Jordan speaks to us of baptism - death and resurrection ... Gilgal speaks of being separate (unto God) ... Bethel speaks of the presence of God and Jericho teaches about the walk of faith." — Iain Gordon
God is a refuge for the poor and the needy, a shelter from the storm. (Isaiah 25:4) He will never leave me or forsake me. (Hebrews 13:5; Deuteronomy 31:6) He is my strong tower. (Proverbs 18:10; Psalm 62:8) He is my stronghold in time of trouble. (Psalm 37:39)
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. (Psalm 46:1-3)
“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?” (Luke 12:25) “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing ... he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake … (Psalm 23)
God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you ... Resist the devil, standing firm in the faith ... And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To God be the power for ever and ever. Amen (1 Peter 5:5-11)
Abraham, walked in Faith in Genesis 15. He walked in the flesh and implemented 'Plan B' in Genesis 16 …
"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10) "For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith." (1 John 5:4)
So, if you think you are standing firm (in faith), be careful that you do not fall! (1 Corinthians 10:12)
“If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you — you of little faith!”
(Luke 12:28, Matthew 6:30)
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
"You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread?” (Matthew 16:8)
"So often we think and act as if God was not even alive. We act like He doesn’t even know about the situation that we are going through. We need to be reminded that God is a living God and that He acts on behalf of His people." — Iain Gordon
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)
"Whenever you are tempted to think God has forsaken you, remember Hagar. Remember that she called Him 'the God who sees me.' (Genesis 16:13) He is the God who sees you as well. He knows your hurts, your needs, your guilt, your longings. He knows you better than you know yourself." — Michael Youssef
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
“Ask God for miracles that seems impossible in your life, because He specializes in making the impossible possible. You need a dream so big that it takes God to make it happen.” — Edith Prakash
Jesus replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
“With man this is impossible,
but with God all things are possible.”
"My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19)
"When a problem is so big that only God can solve it, applying merely human logic will only make matters worse. We need God's perspective. He is greater than all our circumstances, and He has limitless power to solve all of our crises." — Michael Youssef
The bible and the principles therein are as relevant today as they were when they were penned. All Scripture is God-breathed and useful ... (2 Timothy 3:16) because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) He was in the beginning, He was with God, and He was God. (John 1:1)
I raise a hallelujah, louder than my unbelief ...
I raise a hallelujah, Heaven comes to fight for me
I'm gonna sing, in the middle of the storm
Louder and louder, you're gonna hear my praises roar ...
— Bethel Music
Light in the Darkness
THAT IS WHO YOU ARE!
THAT IS WHO YOU ARE!
THAT IS WHO YOU ARE!
THAT IS WHO YOU ARE!
— Bethel Music
Listen to Edith Prakash’s sermon in full on facebook:
2 Kings 2
Truth For Life, "Casting All Your Cares"
Jesus Plus Nothing, "Elisha's Journey"
Biblical Meaning of the Jordan River
Leading the Way, "Fearlessness: Walking with the Shield of Faith"