We celebrate our weakness and we boast in the Lord all day long. Nothing compares to our God, He’s greater. Everything we see, everything we have comes from Him. (1 Corinthians 10:11)
Speaker(s): Pastor Renaldo Brown
Sermon # 11434
11:00 AM on 3/11/2018
P. Renaldo Brown
1 Cor. 10:11-13, 2 Pet 3:18 in one of his last recorded messages Peter gave a challenge, keep rolling. Begs the question how do you know when you’re growing? Few things you can look at and see if you are growing. Spiritual growth is harder to measure or track than physical growth. When younger, you had notches on the door. Spiritual growth is more difficult to discern. One way you can discern your growth with God is your thought life. The way you think drastically changes. Best area you grow in is your thinking. The circumstances may not change but your thinking changes. The way you perceive things. What you consider success and failure, deficiency and blessing. In your mind is where you live. We do our business in our mind. When circumstances come in our life, how we mentally see really determines how we see our life with God.
Mt. 9:3-4 our thinking is key. Usually after a tremendous move of God or blessing or miracle, for many of us we don’t want a Red Sea splitting but a bank account that is not in the negative. We are celebrating a positive balance and bills paid on time. When these blessings happen we can proclaim and exalt God. He is great and amazing and all the time God is good. What we want to say is God is great.
Ps. 145:3, Jer 10:6, we can say that and mean it. On a deeper reflection, a more mature thought is not that God is great but we are weak. In the greatness of God is the weakness of us. When the miracles happen, the blessing happens, yes we say God is great but how weak are we? We are weak. A deeper reflection we realize we really need God because we are weak. That is a mature mental image. A spiritually mature conclusion to come to is I need God. Everything in our world say I don’t. The biggest lie is I can be successful, etc. without God. In my success I really need God. In my failure I can say that easily. Can I say in the face of blessing I really need God? Strength doesn’t need God. Strength isn’t looking for God. God is searching for weak. He’s searching for whom he can show himself strong in. God is looking for weak. He is not made manifest in strength. It doesn’t mean weakness is a license for us but an opportunity to meet a strong God. I can’t meet a strong God in my strength, only in my weakness. Paul celebrated his weakness.
Php 3: 4-9 he devalued his perceived strength. What I used to think was strong about my life is not strong at all. What you find valuable I find dung. I will glory in the frailty of who I am. I can’t do things the way I like to do. In God I will celebrate that. What in our world celebrates weakness? Nothing. You are taught from a small child to act strong. The world knows us for we are confidently strong. We don’t accept no. We make a provision. That confidence we have in this country. Sometimes that works against us. Outside of my strength you have no strength. Outside of my way you have no God. You need God. It saps my natural strength. We need God. When you walk in your relationship with God and growing, your dependence on God begins to grow. You need God more. That is a mark of spiritual maturity. I need God more today than yesterday and tomorrow than today. This dependence is not new. God has always been great.
De 10:17 he’s always been great. We’ve always been weak. He’s always been great and we’ve always been weak. Those two positions have never changed.
The crown of creation was cursed with weakness in Ge. 3.
Shaped in iniquity, Ps. 51:5.
We drink iniquity like water in Job 15:16. Like water. We need God. As we grow in dependence on God. Naturally as you grow with your parents and get older, you are less dependent on your parents. We hope! Spiritually as you grow with God, you don’t recognize your strength but your weakness. You are more aware of how weak you are than how strong you are. The closer you walk with God you find great weakness. Great frailty. You can wonder how you survive in the walk of God you have. You discover more weakness and more dependence. A more mature child is more depending on their Father than when they begin. At salvation, we overestimated our strength. You thought you wouldn’t sin anymore. Jesus is in my life. Two hours later, this is not supposed to be happening! Why did I do what I just did? I thought I was born again. Then insecurity comes in and maybe I’m not born again! Jesus, receive me again! You keep looking for a verse born again, again! Your guardian angel is saying, is it again! You were so overly confident about your strength and underestimated your weakness. That’s why your need for God back then was small. God was more event oriented. Came in and saved me. If I need you again, I’ll call you. It wasn’t relational. It was event. Then life came in. We started getting beat up by life. The devil, the flesh, which is worse than the devil. It’s more personal. The world started pushing us around.
1 Jn 5:9 this world that sits in evil. We started learning the long painful message of how weak we are before a great God.
1 Cor 10 we find weak people. God’s people but they are weak.
vs. 1-4. We find people who are making good decisions, seem good but something happens in vs. 5. It’s the same people. These are the people that sit in the back and come to church late! Not you!
vs. 5. What happened to these people?
They were so good in vs. 1-4. They were overthrown. That’s a combination of two words: put down and spread out, in the wilderness. Ever feel like that? Someone grabs you, puts you down and spreads you out because of personal weakness. That can happen to you and me when you walk in the world as a Christian. Through decisions of own making or circumstances of life where you feel pushed down and spread out in the wilderness.
vs. 7-10. They were weak. They were God’s people and they were pushed down and spread out. As they were and we can be today, we can be weak, God is still who he is. He is still great.
1 Cor 10:1-8. We are introduced to a weak people. Why could I belong to God and be weak? Most religions you belong to it and you are strong .Christianity is the only religion where you belong to it and are weak. People don’t like Christianity because they don’t see strength in it. Our strength is in him. We reveal it, not produce it.
1 Cor 10:1-13 we find in vs. 13 we have a greater God. There is a great God, weak people and a greater God. We meet the greater God. This is the God I need in my struggle, when it’s my fault. I need a God when it’s my fault. The mess I am in is my fault. I made the wrong choice, thought the wrong thought. I need the greater God. The one who can meet me where I am at. The greater God. When we have the problems in our life even with our flesh, we walk in the flesh but not after the flesh. We walk after the Spirit and don’t fulfil the lusts of the flesh. The greater God. When I’m put down and spread out I need the greater God. They say it’s your fault again. Your problem again. You did it. You know in your heart you want to raise your hand and say I did it again. Religion talks about a God who favors the right. Christianity favors the wrong. The greater God is what we need in our life. The great God and greater God are illustrated in two words. Composition. Great is a word of composition. Greater is a word of comparison. Many times we think about God according to his composition. We don’t struggle with the question of composition of God but comparison. We don’t wonder is God great. We wonder is he greater than my suffering, my sin, my problem. I challenge the comparison of God not the composition of God. Even the demons can say God is great.
James 2:19 they question the greater. It’s great that God is great but I need him to be greater in my moment, when I’m wrong, when it’s my fault, when things are not working out. Greater than the sin, the suffering, the misunderstanding. I need the greater God. The operational mindset of a greater God. The devil will assault me with situations that are my fault and out of my control. How do I respond to that? God being great doesn’t change my relation with my children or my job situation. The comparison of God. It’s amazing how your prayer life changes from composition to comparison. When you practice that greatness the comparison comes in. I’m bending my knee because he’s great or greater. Situations come. Is he greater? Problems come but is he greater? He comes to us and says he is greater. Whatever you are facing, I’m greater. Yahweh Jireh. I’m your provision, provider. I’m greater. Whatever you have to bring to me, begin by understanding I am greater than what you are bringing. Before you do what you are going to do, know I’m greater than your fear, problems, and illness. I’m greater than what your doctor can say to you. I’m greater. This is the comparison of God.
2 Pet 2:9, the Lord is able to deliver his children from temptations. He knows how to deliver us. He knows how. He knows how.
Job 5:19, he is able to deliver us out of six troubles; yeah, seven and no evil will touch us there.
1 John 5:18 wicked one touches us not.
2 Cor 1:10, God says I’m greater. Whatever you are facing, I’m greater. Who is a God like you?
Micah 7:18. When we meet God I’m greater because of the cross, the blood of Calvary, unconditional love, unfailing mercy, because of eternal forgiveness. When we come to God we recognize the greater God. He’s not reactive but proactive. God’s already available. You’re not my God button. I’ve been working long before you opened your mouth. God will never allow anything in my life beyond his control, his provision, his power, his love, his portion, his position, his promises. Nothing beyond because nothing is greater. That is the victory of our life. We have won nothing yet we have won everything because our God is greater. I’m not sure what is facing you. I don’t have to know. I just know God is greater. Fill in the blank. There is a blank line and God is greater. Nothing is beyond him. Everything is before him. He knows the end from the beginning. Nothing surprises him or scares him. God is greater. Imagine when we pray like that. No one sees that. We just understand that.
Heb 11 we understand by faith God is greater. We will be weak and in our weakness his greatness is manifest. We prepare for the fact there is a great God. Underneath are the everlasting arms. We have a great God who is greater than anything in our experience.
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