It’s been a prayer of mine lately to pray that I would feel incompetent at work. (I know, I know. Why do I keep praying such dumb prayers??).
I’ve been praying that because I want to be someone who leans on the Lord as my help. In my head I know that He should be the rock I lean on every minute of every day, (especially in ministry) but He’s not.
Because I feel strong at work. I feel able and competent.
In places where I’m a wreck of a human being, it’s not hard to lean on Jesus. When it comes to relationshipy stuff or the battle with sin, I cling to Jesus because I’m incompetent in all those areas. I feel the tension of my failure at every step of the way, and so I am reminded to turn to Jesus.
But at work, I forget Him far too easily. I feel like I have everything under control; I feel like I can do a lot of my job without Jesus.
The irony is that I’m not in control and I can’t do a single shred of my day apart from Christ. The Bible teaches me that unless the Lord builds the house it will not stand. Not a single email, task or meeting can be accomplished apart from His sustaining power.
The problem is not that I am competent. The problem is that I feel competent. And that keeps me from leaning on Him.
So I’ve been praying to feel incompetent. I’m hoping that knowing my weakness is going to do three things:
1. Help me to worship God. God set it up so that I’m weak, and He did that so that I can know that He’s strong. God isn’t interested in me growing up and not needing Him anymore. Growth in God looks like an increased dependence on Him.
And the more I understand my weakness, the more I will worship His strength.
2. Help me to lean on God. We literally cannot breathe in and out without the Spirit of God. Every neuron that fires in my mind when I make my to-do list is being upheld by the power of His Word. I am indeed helpless. I am indeed weak.
And the more I understand that the more I will lean on God. I don’t want to send an email without seeking wisdom and discernment and help from the only one who can accomplish the outcome I seek.
3. Help me to bring glory to God. I like the way Paul says it:
“Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak then I am strong.”
The reason Paul was so in touch with his weakness is because He wanted to see and show the power of Christ in His life. He really believed that his weakness, in the hands of a sovereign of God could become strengths.
He was in the business of displaying God’s glory, not His own, so the things He boasted in were always the things that were going to leave no one in doubt that God was the one who did it.
Take a second and think about how you view weakness. Do you think it’s an opportunity or an obstacle? The answer to that question reveals whose glory you’re seeking.
See, our weakness, according to Paul is an opportunity for God to get glory. Our weakness, however, is a threat to our own glory.
That’s why we feel scared and anxious and angry all the time. Because someone has spotted our weakness. Someone has implied that we’re incompetent, and instead of it being an opportunity for us to boast and God to get glory, we spend our energy trying to remove our weakness so that we can secure our own glory.
I want to be free. I want to be free to not be afraid of making mistakes or being rebuked or forgetting tasks or taking a Sabbath. I want to be free from the fear of failure.
And if I seek for God’s glory, I am free. My weakness is no longer my enemy. Because God’s glory will never fail. He will always get glory. And my weakness is actually a means to Him getting more glory. That’s freaking neat.
He is sovereign and good and He has called us to Him because we’re a huge mess. And He wants to show the world – through our busted and broken lives – just how glorious He really is.