02Jun20 - Preacher Diary
GREAT CONFESSIONS OF THE SMALL
Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.(Joel 3:10).
Weakness is not so much a thing of the body as it is a thing of the mind. You are not defeated until you are defeated in your mind. If your body is down but your spirit is up, you are up, and can say, like Micah,
Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise. When I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.
...I will wait for the God of my salvation: MY GOD WILL HEAR ME (Micah 7:8,7).
This is the language of a man who is down only in his body, but not in his soul; a man who still trusts God fully, in spite of the ‘odds.’ His confession proves it all.
To be down is not to be out, so long as the mind is not out. And one’s language is very important in the matter.
There is power in what you say. Solomon puts it so strongly by stating that “Death and Life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). That means that there is power in the tongue, which could serve a positive or negative purpose.
God Himself seems to acknowledge there in Joel 3:10 that a positive language means much to the cause of the fight of the body. God knows that positive confession works, therefore He admonishes that even the weak in body should speak a language of strength instead of a language of weakness and defeat; that it is important what the weak says in his moment of weakness. He should SAY, “I am strong”.
Won’t that be lying? You know you are weak. You can see that you are weak. You know yourself more than anybody else knows you. Why then confess strength when what you feel is weakness?
God knows that it works. That is why it is the prescription He gives to the ‘weak’ man at the point of his weakness. God knows that he is weak. God Himself even seems to be calling him by the name of weakness when He says, “Let THE WEAK say....” God is not, therefore, pretending that He does not know how the man feels. Neither is He calling the man to pretense, but to strength by the words of his own mouth.
This call on the weak to a confession of strength is a divine recognition of the fact that there is inherent strength in every weak man; that strength is permanent, but weakness or defeat temporary. It is, therefore, a call to mobilize the inner recesses of the soul; the reserve of energy in every ‘weak’ man. This also means that the weakness which the weak man feels is a lie. The truth is that he is strong. Therefore, God wants him to confess the truth about his strength rather than the lie about his weakness.
Your senses or feelings may not always report the truth. What you feel may not be what you are. The weakness you feel is not who you are. God sees you as strong, not as weak. That is why He wants you to say who He Himself knows you to be; to say it to yourself, to the weakness, to the situation, to the ‘defeat,’ to the enemy, and to God Himself, that you are strong.
David had to do just that in 1 Samuel 17 when he had to confront Goliath. He looked small in the eyes of his king; looked inadequate in the eyes of his own eldest brothers, and looked insultingly despiteful in the eyes of the enemy. But he had something to say at each time, to those situations or persons who sought to diminish him and magnify the ‘trouble.’ He was asking around for what would be the reward for the person who would destroy Goliath, because he knew he could, and implied by his words or questions that he would. But it displeased his brothers. They said, he was proud.
To the people, he said, “The enemy will surely die.” To the king, he said, “The Lord God Who delivered me from the ferocious beasts, the lion and the bear, He will also deliver this beast of a man into my hands.” To Goliath, he said, “This day shall my God deliver you into my hands, for the battle is His, and not mine.” He had something to say at each point to his adversaries and in his adversities.
... Be ready always to give an answer to EVERY MAN that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear [not with rudeness nor in pride] (1 Peter 3:15).
Weakness is a feeling. Strength is a state. The feeling is temporary, but the state is permanent. Confessions are powerful, whether negative or positive. A man is not defeated until he is defeated in his soul. When that happens, it will flow out from the “abundance of the heart” through his lips.
Let not the weak say, “I am weak.” Let him say, “I am strong.” And that will stir strength for him from the inner recesses of his soul. His true state of strength would by his confession be summoned. It is important not just to know that you are strong, but also to say it. The strength that is the issue of discourse here is not just a matter of knowledge but of confession. You know it, fine. But say it also. Say it, say it, and say it again.
Let your language change from today. Stop speaking the negative confessions of the facts of your present handicaps. What is true about you is not what the present facts say you are. Confess the eternal truth of your strength, not the present and temporary ‘fact’ of your weakness. Truth is stronger than fact. In fact, truth is the right interpretation of the facts.
Let the weak say, “I am strong.” Let the poor say “I am rich.” Let the sick say “I am healed.”
Let not the sick bemoan his ailment. Let him not make the sickness his confession. Let not the poor make a song out of his poverty. The fact may not be contested that there is no food in the kitchen, let alone in the store; that the dining table has not known breakfast for many days; that the pocket is empty. That is the fact. But the truth is that you are rich; that there is hope; that your future is bright; and that your tomorrow will be better than your today. Truth is more powerful than the fact. Somebody winked at you. That is a fact. But what does it truly mean? Love? Lust? Seduction? Spite? Attention? Admiration? The facts may not always be sufficient. Stand on the truth - the right interpretation of the facts.
Gideon had sufficient facts in Judges 6 to ‘prove’ that God had forsaken His people Israel. He had enough ‘reasons’ to justify his feelings of intimidation by the enemy. But the Lord called him, not by the 'facts' of the name of the weakness and fear he felt, but by the name of the truth of the strength he possessed, even though at the moment he did not feel that way. God called him a “mighty man of valour” (v.12). By the fact of the several devastations the enemy had inflicted and still inflicted on his people, he and all his people were nothing; they were God-forsaken Nobodies. But by the truth which God knew and saw, Gideon was a Mighty Man, and God, contrary to his feelings, had not forsaken him. God was with him. God did not address him by the name of the facts of his nothingness and feelings of defeat, but by the name of the Truth of the great potential nuclear energy which was lying dormant in him, suppressed by the circumstances, and waiting to be properly harnessed and detonated against the same enemies that had been keeping him under.
Your leg may be twitching with sickness. That may be the fact. The X-rays may support that fact, as well as the papers from the doctors. But the truth is that you are healed; that Jesus is your Healer; that greater is He that is in you, than the devil in the world; that you are more than a conqueror through Christ Who strengthens you. Say it. Confess the truth. Your name may be called ‘Weakness,’ but you should begin from today to call yourself “Great Strength,” not just “Strength.” They may say that you are poor. But what rules in your life is not what they say, unless you also agree with them and say the same thing to yourself. It is what you say about yourself that will stand.
Begin from now to say the right things about yourself, not according to the ‘weakness’ that you feel, but according to the strength that is inside of you, which God sees, and which He says you should call up by the power of your words.
Let the weak SAY, “I am STRONG.” Amen
Culled from The Preacher’s book titled: “Breaking Up Fallow Grounds.”
From The Preacher’s diary,
January 23, 2020.