2 Corinthians 12:9-11 (TPT) But he answered me, “My grace is always more than enough for you, and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.” So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me.
I must admit that there are times when I have viewed a picture of a lamb and cringed. It’s not because I dislike how they look. On the contrary, such gentle and innocent faces are precious. However, it has been hard for me to accept that such sweet creatures were God’s choice as a sacrifice. In just the same way, our sinless and meek Savior—the Lamb of God—was God’s choice to bring atonement for the world.
It took me some time to recognize why the image of a lamb makes me uncomfortable—it’s because, for better or for worse, I can identify with it. As one who operates as a prophetic intercessor (also known as the gift of mercy), God built suffering for Christ’s sake into my design, physically and spiritually. Sharing the burdens of others and the things that wound the heart of God isn’t always easy. I hurt, I cry, I lose sleep. I act on God’s behalf when He moves me to. I share the Father’s grief, sometimes at deep levels. And while I’m called to bring each burden to the Cross through prayer, it takes a measure of vulnerability to do this spiritual work. Often, I feel as vulnerable as a little lamb.
It should come as no surprise—we frequently see the power of God demonstrated through the weak things of this world. Suffering for Christ’s sake requires that we embrace weakness and pain—even when we have the power to avoid it. In moments of suffering, whether through intercession or trials, I often discover how the ways of the flesh cannot compare to the power of the Spirit. We can move mountains through prayer, turn away wrath with a gentle reply, and calm storms with the peace of Christ. When we are strong, it is natural for us to lean on the resources of our natural man. Yet when we are weak, we truly learn what it means to overcome!
Indeed, our King has led the way and set the example for us. Christ proved that great love and self-sacrifice could break the power of death. He demonstrated that, when we allow ourselves to become vulnerable before God, we can open the door to experience His glory at deeper and deeper levels. We can see how mighty God can be when we yield and allow Him to work through us.
Isaiah 53:5 (NKJV) But He [was] wounded for our transgressions, [He was] bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace [was] upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
1 Peter 4:13, 16 (NKJV) but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy…. Yet if [anyone suffers] as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.