“For God has not given us a spirit oof fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.” — 2 Timothy 1:7
Marine Corps General Chesty Puller made a landing at Inchon. There were Koreans in front of them, there were North Koreans to the flank, there were North Koreans to the other flank, there was the ocean behind them, and he said, “That’s great! They’ll never get away this time!”
The Scriptures make it clear that Timothy had a timid personality, though no one knows exactly why. His ministry may have lacked assertiveness due to his mixed family background (his mother was Jewish, and his father was a Gentile).
Perhaps Timothy suffered a lack of self-confidence because of his relative youth. He may have been overwhelmed by the confident, talented apostle Paul. Some have even speculated that Timothy’s mission to the Corinthian church had not gone well, fueling his self-doubt.
Whatever the case, you’ll notice that Paul never scolded Timothy for his timidity. He challenged him instead to concentrate on (1) using his gifts, (2) modeling his changed character, and (3) fulfilling his God-given responsibilities.
Those of us who struggle with a sense of inadequacy would be wise to follow the same perscription: (1) Quit becoming despondent over your weaknesses. Instead, discover your spiritual gifts. Do you know what they are? Are you using your God-given abilities to serve Christ and others? (2) As a Christian, you are in the process of being transformed by God. Let others see the changes God is making in your life. (3) Remember that God has made you and ambassador of Heaven. God wants to work in and through you–and He will if you let him.
Don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do! The place of God’s power is found in our weaknesses. Paul discovered this truth and shared it in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, “Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weakness, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
We are in great need in our day of a demonstration of the power of God. The church has become devoid of the power spoken of in the Scriptures. Why? I believe the answer is in the fact that we are afraid to be weak. We have hidden our weaknesses instead of confessing them and allowing God to lift us above them.
Paul explained the secret behind this power in his ministry. He said, “You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, ‘Let there be light in the darkness,’ has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves” (2 Corinthians 4:5-7).
So, will we face our weaknesses and allow the Father to demonstrate His power through that weakness? Will we rise above our weaknesses and bring glory to God through our lives?