Weak is the New Strong

December 10, 2013

Strength 2

Strength 1srength 1

Be Strong

Strength comes from the individual and is what you make it. Strong exists as the current beauty ideal. After all, “Strong is the new skinny,” and I need to let everyone to know that I am “Pretty Strong. Pretty Fast.” (I’m not, by the way, strong or fast but especially not fast.) Strong is how you want to be viewed; it’s your reputation’s goal.

Every corner of culture – television, magazines, fitness and even education – touts the necessity to “Be Strong.” In fact, being strong exists as the best path to success for self and to elimination of the competition.

strength scripture

Strength through Weakness

God’s view of being strong means bringing Him joy, depending on Him for strength and realizing that He IS strength. Strength comes through weaknesses as we allow His power to flow, not by focusing on destroying weaknesses through our own creation of inner strength.

In “Created to be God’s Friend,” Henry Blackaby says, “The provision for our obedience is always provided for us by God. Ours is to obey; it is for God to provide! What we in our weakness and limitations cannot provide, God in His infinite grace does provide.”

Even though we try to convince ourselves otherwise, we DO have limitations. We ARE weak. No matter how much strength we manage to muster, our weaknesses eventually show themselves and leave us naked and spent for all to see. And that’s the place where we realize that weak really is the new strong.

In “The Fire of Delayed Answers,” Bob Sorge says, “We don’t really know what it’s like for God to be the strength of our heart until our heart and flesh have failed.”

Have you reached that point? Do you know what having your heart and flesh fail feels like? Because if you do, then you know the life-changing impact of God’s power flowing fully through you. You know that as your own strength flows out through your weaknesses, God’s strength flows in through that same portal.

The only way to truly reach the point of God’s strength flowing through our weaknesses is through brokenness and through trusting God in that brokenness to give us strength for the day. It is at that point that weakness actually becomes the new strong.

Welcome to the book club discussion of The Fire of Delayed Answers by Bob Sorge. Each blogger in the group is reading and then sharing on what inspires, encourages, or challenges them. We are taking 2 weeks per chapter and are currently on Chapter 8. Our co-facilitators are Jason and Sarah – other participants include DustyGlynn, Joell, Rick, and TC.

24 Responses to “Weak is the New Strong”

  1. @TCAvey1 Says:

    Awesome post!

    So often I come to the end of me and find more of God than I ever knew existed.

    Love the quote by Sorge and the Blackaby book sounds really good.

    (I tried to comment a second ago and something happened when I hit submit- so I might have 2 comments on here)

    • Kari Scare Says:

      Thanks, TC. The Blackaby book is really good. I am finishing up as my morning devotion this week. So many key points I could give on what I learned. Highly recommend it!

  2. Deb Wolf Says:

    So true Kari. What society doesn't tell us in their push for strength is that it comes with an underlying fear that it can be lost, or the constant need to prove that we are constantly getting stronger and better. We went through several years when almost every strong thing we believed outside of Christ alone was challenged. Rev, a thirty-year exerciser, had a virus attack the lining of his heart and he came very near death. Thankfully, although we may have been pushed into surrender – there is freedom here. Peace to live one day at a time in faith . . . trusting God's will. He continues to show Himself strong where we are weak. I have become a contented weakling praying that He will use me to show His strength.

    • Kari Scare Says:

      Fear of losing our strength. Fear of not being good enough. Control issues. Yeah, those are definitely the root causes of our culture's obsession with individualized strength. Your example is an excellent one. We all need those "near death" experiences to truly realize that our strength means nothing and that we need His strength to truly be strong.

  3. cycleguy Says:

    i want to know how they were able to use my arm without my permission? Oops that's not mine. Mine is bigger. 🙂 This is one of those statements that confuse so many, especially those who try to do things on their own (as I look in the mirror). His strength must become mine. Good thoughts kari.

    • Kari Scare Says:

      Secret, hidden cameras! Not only are people confused (often conveniently so), they have completely bought into the idea. Many people just cannot believe that strength comes from anywhere but themselves.

  4. danonleadership Says:

    It's amazing that the world say to be strong in order to achieve success or the things you want while God says to be weak (humble, meek, servant) and you will achieve those things. I'm going with what God tells us:) Great thoughts.

  5. jason1scott Says:

    Great post, Kari. I think what we forget sometimes is that our strength can do some things, just not His things. If we want to do His will and accomplish His purposes and advance His Kingdom, it's not going to be in our strength so that has to be put away. The only way that seems to work is by walking with Him into brokenness and embracing our weakness. Not fun, but very profitable. Thanks for this, Kari.

    • Kari Scare Says:

      Thanks, Jason. I personally need to always keep in mind that my strength is limited and God's strength is unlimited. I can choose to live a limited life or an unlimited one. Abraham's life sets the example of how a life of immediate and complete obedience allows for God's strength to work in an unlimited way in the lives of His children. That gets me excited!

  6. Barb Says:

    Great post, Kari. The truth is, I'm not capable of being strong in the areas I'm weak. My only hope is to rely on God. My goal is to develop the habit of going to Him for help in those areas where I'm weak when it's so much easier to go to other things.

    • Kari Scare Says:

      Good that you realize this, Barb. Sometimes I do. Sometimes I don't. Usually, though, when I find myself stuck in the midst of a struggle, it's because I'm not realizing my weakness and the need to let His strength and power flow through me. Usually, it eventually hits me, and I can then get back in alignment.

  7. bettydraper1947 Says:

    Truthfully the more I admit my frailness the more I depend on His strength. Lately God has brought a couple of words that have given me strength. Two little words that carry the weight of my life is "lean in". God has been calling me lately to "lean in" into Him, He will not shattered, He is not frail, He will be able to hold up no matter what I lay on His lap in prayer. Instead of leaning in to the problems or trials till they become the focus of my life I sense Him telling me to "lean in". Almost like he wants to tell me something…here Betty, lean in, let me give you strength with my words.

    One thing for sure as we age there are some weaknesses that will never go away no matter how much we lean into Him. The process of our outer shell decaying brings limitations galore, leaving one wondering how God can use such a frail body. This learning the difference between our strength and His strength is an ongoing process. A process God does not want to be painful but He knows we will learn best with a struggle. What freedom there is to finally give up those areas that I need help in and He never disappoints me. Good post Kari…

    • Kari Scare Says:

      Wow, Betty! Your comment really is a whole post in itself. "Lean in." That's good…. really good. Actually, it fits into a post I just wrote for another blog. God certainly likes to connect our lives in surprising ways, doesn't He? I have a feeling this "Lean in." phrase will continue to float around in my conscious for a while. There's definitely more for me to learn there stemming from what you've send here. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  8. Mark Allman Says:

    I think the world looks at us when we display that need of God to step in and views us at times as weak. It takes alot of strength to admit I don't have what it takes and I need help either from God or others. I do think true strength lies in knowing our limitations and knowing God's infinite power and acknowledging both. After acknowledging that we push to our limits and rely on God to take it from there and do both in faith.

    • Kari Scare Says:

      I agree, the world is watching, and we need to keep this in mind. We need to show strength, but a transparent & authentic strength that points to & glorifies Him. God does bring our abilities up to the task, but takes the task beyond them to teach us dependance in Him. All for His glory.

  9. Mary Says:

    It is in our weakness that we learn just how strong God is! Thanks for the great post. I love those scriptures and I think I need to look into those books.
    Over the years as I faced loss after loss of dreams and people I loved, I was forced to lean into God, to depend on Him to get me through each day. People often commented on how strong I seemed, but if they had seen the prayers and tears behind the public face they would have know it was not me. I made sure to give God the credit, for only HE could have gotten me through it all. And through it all I have learned to depend on Him and trust Him, even when the way seems impossible. Thanks again for sharing from your heart.

    • Kari Scare Says:

      Our weaknesses do teach us SO much about Him. I can “hear” in your emails and comments on blogs (including this one) that you have been broken & recognize Him as your source of strength. You are setting an example of relying on Him, and I really appreciate that about you.

  10. Caleb Says:

    I guess it's just human nature but I have a tendency to not show my weaknesses and put up a front that I'm stronger than I actually am. I appreciate the fact that you bring out that we can only truly experience God's strength when we have reached the end of our own strength. This is something that I need to daily remind myself of.

    • Kari Scare Says:

      Yeah, I think it is part of our humanness. I need daily reminders too. Scripture & prayer remind me. His Holy Spirit reminds me. The more I rely on Him before I need it, the better.

  11. Sarah Salter Says:

    "Weak is the new strong."

    That's good. I'm going to have to think about that for a while. 🙂

    Thanks, Kari! 🙂

  12. This concept is so true. God will take us to the end of ourselves in order to cultivate a dependence on him. It certainly is no fun while it's happening, but the results are always the best.

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