“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).
OUR WEAKNESS WHEN WE ARE WITHOUT GOD IS MORE THAN MATCHED BY THE STRENGTH WE CAN HAVE WHEN WE ARE WITH HIM. If we can manage to avoid interfering with what God wants to do through us, wonderful things can be accomplished, things both great and good. We can be persons of extraordinary strength.
The key is our connection to God. Jesus said, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:4,5). We begin to be strong only when we humbly acknowledge God’s sovereign right to set the terms of our fellowship with Him. It is God who determines what the gospel will require of us, and true strength on our part comes from respecting His requirements.
One of our deepest fears is that of insufficiency. We worry that when the time comes, we won’t have enough of something we truly need. We fear the prospect of having to do without any of life’s basic requirements, including those intangible necessities like love, appreciation, and understanding. If it’s true that we’ve been created by God, however, any adequacy apart from Him is simply unthinkable. If we’re creatures, there is no such thing as being sufficient without our Creator. Speaking of his apostleship, Paul enunciated a principle that holds true for all human beings: “Our sufficiency is from God” (2 Corinthians 3:5).
The glorious truth is that, if God is in us and we are in Him, we can do much more than just get by. Through us God can sweep away every obstacle that stands in the path of His purposes. “In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). To be rightly related to God is to believe that He “has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
A wise Hebrew proverb says, “The soul of man is the lamp of God.”
“Man is a weak and miserable animal until the light of God burns in his soul. But when that light burns . . . man becomes the most powerful being in the world. Nor can this be otherwise, for what then acts in him is no longer his strength but the strength of God” (Leo Tolstoy).