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We celebrate paradox
The New Testament is full of paradox. The last shall be first; the dead will live; wisdom is foolishness; you find your life by losing it; only the dead live; only the weak are strong; only those that know they are sick can get well; those that mourn are comforted; those that are bankrupt get the kingdom; those that are hungry and thirsty are filled. No wonder Jesus said this gospel is hidden from the wise and intelligent but is made known to the babes.
The Apostle Paul says that the cross is foolishness to those that are perishing but to those that are being saved it is the power of God. There is a way that seems right to man but the end thereof is destruction. The ultimate paradox is why did the God of the universe become a curse and die. It has to be a paradox because no one can figure that out. Now we have to be at the mercy of God to reveal it which lets us come like children. So Jesus said let the children come to me for such is the kingdom of God. A central paradox is John 12:24. If a grain of wheat dies it will bring much fruit but if it does not die it will remain by itself. So if you want the life of a wheatfield, the grain has to die. However, one of the most practical paradoxes for the Christian life is coming to the realization that weakness is strength.
Years ago I was a student at Southwestern Seminary. All I knew was that I was called to be a preacher and surely with God's help I could do it. That is all I knew. That is all I had ever been told. Soon after I got there I began to realize that emotionally, mentally, as well as spiritually, I could not do what it took to pull off what was required of me. The harder I tried the more desperate I became till one day I felt like a hamster that had been running on a wheel and fell flat on my stomach on the wheel and could not go any further.
To paraphrase my prayer, it was something like this, "I don't have a clue what to do nor am I even sure you are listening but all I know is I can't do this any more." A friend that very day, not knowing any of what I was going through, gave me a book called The Release of the Spirit by Watchman Nee. It is a real short paperback book that simply makes the statement that unless the strength of a man is broken to the place he knows he can't use it any more, he can never really be used by God. God never wanted me to use my strength but wanted me to continually give up my strength and be weak so that he could be strong in me.
Paul the Apostle said as much in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. Paraphrased, Paul said, "God I don't have the strength to deal with the weaknesses of my life. I don't have the strength to deal with the issues of my life. I have asked you three times to give me strength but three times you have said 'no, but your grace would be sufficient.'" It was like a light dawned in Paul's head for he realized the truth. It is His strength in me, not me. That is the way this life is supposed to work. The Apostle so caught it he said, therefore, I boast about my weakness so that God's power may rest upon me.
We celebrate weakness
We take to heart and are encouraged by Jesus when he said blessed are the bankrupt in spirit for theirs is the kingdom. So every Sunday we come as needy "beggars" freed from having to do anything to please God from our own self effort. We also come convinced that we can't do it anyway. We celebrate receiving the kingdom with his life and all of its freshness because we come admitting that we are empty vessels. This gives God the freedom and the joy of filling us with himself.
One day Jesus was out beside the lake. A large crowd came around him. As he went along he met a man named Levi, who was a tax collector, and told him to follow him. Jesus went with Levi to have dinner with Levi and his fraudulent friends. Tax collectors were noted for being criminal, much like we would call the Mafia today. They made their money by skimming off the top of what they over collected, plus they worked for the Roman government and in a way betrayed their own people. They were quite a crooked and desperate lot. The religious church leaders criticized Jesus and said he was terrible because he ate with sinners and tax collectors. When Jesus heard them, he made this incredible statement, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sicků"
The bottom line is this, if you can be good and do good (i.e. if you are healthy) then you don't need me because a physician can only come to and help sick people. At Indian Hills we certainly want Jesus to come so we freely acknowledge and celebrate that we are weak. The irony is that those that keep admitting they are sick can keep being made well -- another paradox. The sick are well and those that say they are well are sick. Crazy, but it's glorious freedom and life. It brings us great joy.