In this age when the world evangelism is being accomplished speedily according to the administration of God, let’s think about what kind of faith God wants us to have.
Most people seek God and rely on Him instinctively when they feel they are weak, even though they do not believe in God. However, when they think they are strong, they tend to depend on their own ability and strength rather than to seek God. The words, “When we are weak, we are strong,” seem inconsistent at first glance. In our life of faith, however, we seek God when we feel weak, and then God Almighty works. That’s why we can be strong when we are weak.
While walking the path of the gospel, we sometimes feel proud of ourselves, thinking, ‘I know much more than others. I look for verses from the Bible very well. My opinion in this area is more outstanding than any others.’ Then we come to commit a foolish act of depending on our own memory and eloquence in preaching the gospel.
The work of the world mission does not depend upon our abilities, but on God. In other words, success or failure of the gospel depends on how much we seek God and trust in Him.
Rehoboam, the son of King Solomon, sat enthroned by inheriting a strong nation from his father. The age of Solomon was a period of prosperity in the history of Israel. He fostered the wealth and power of Israel, so that he could subdue neighboring countries and receive tributes from them. And many people visited Solomon to learn his wisdom and knowledge.
As Rehoboam inherited such a powerful nation, he forgot the law of God and governed his nation by depending on the nation’s strength, instead of relying on God. Following the example of their king, the people also disobeyed God and went astray.
After Rehoboam’s position as king was established and he had become strong, he and all Israel with him abandoned the law of the LORD. Because they had been unfaithful to the LORD, Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem in the fifth year of King Rehoboam. With twelve hundred chariots and sixty thousand horsemen and the innumerable troops of Libyans, Sukkites and Cushites that came with him from Egypt, … When Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem, he carried off the treasures of the temple of the LORD and the treasures of the royal palace. He took everything, including the gold shields Solomon had made… .2 Ch 12:1-9
Rehoboam became self-complacent and turned away from God, and as a result God’s anger burned against him and Israel was attacked by Egypt; not only the treasures of the royal palace, but also the articles of the temple of God, which King Solomon made, were all plundered. If Israel had been weak and trembled in fear of attacks from strong nations, Rehoboam might have sought God and His help. However, as he succeeded his father’s great power, he did not depend on the power of God, but his own military strength and wealth.
The history of Rehoboam gives us many lessons. He was punished by God and put his nation at risk of being destroyed, because he despised God’s will and His laws, being self-complacent, and put too much confidence in his nation’s power. We must not become like Rehoboam. The wisest and most understanding people are those who always depend on God and fear Him, whether they are strong or weak.
Most people tend to forget God and do not depend on Him if their conditions and situations get better even a little bit. There are also many people who overestimate their own abilities, thinking, ‘Religion is for weak people.’ In actuality, they do not realize how weak they are. How strong can a man be? No matter how able, wise, knowledgeable and powerful a man may be, can he be compared with God who created the universe?
Even though they are full of confidence and likely to live well with their own strength, what will become of them if God’s help ceases even for a while? If the benefits of nature such as water, air and sunlight, which God has granted to human beings, are not provided anymore, can we still say, “We believe in ourselves, and God is not necessary”?
In God’s sight, we, humans, are so feeble and helpless. God is with us, His children, who always seek Him and trust in Him, and helps us. For this we should be thankful to God. Through the earthly history, too, we can see that those who didn’t want God’s help and tried to accomplish something with their own ability ended up being destroyed. In any and all circumstances, we must depend on God who is the strongest, lowering ourselves before God with a humble heart.
God has chosen and called the weak and lowly people in this world. It is because only such people depend soley on God, instead of relying on their own strength or power (1 Co 1:26-29).
“If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God: You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.”Dt 28:1-3
It is not by our own strength that we are set high above all the nations on earth, but it is possible when we fully depend on God.
Now, the gospel is spreading very quickly and people from all nations are streaming to Zion, seeing the glory of God Elohim. Soon after, all nations will kneel down before God and we will receive honor and praise among all the peoples of the earth. This glorious day will come not because of our individual knowledge or wealth or fame or power, but because God who rules over all the universe is our Father and Mother; since we are the children of God, all nations will bow down before us and give honor to us.
Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you. You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, …Dt 8:11-20
When we become affluent and content with our life, we will be more likely to think arrogantly that we are able to live without the help of God.
So, when everything we have is cumulative, we must be vigilant and alert.
When all our possessions have become abundant, an evil thought, ‘I am able to do everything by my own power and strength,’ can filter into our hearts and unfortunately we may forget God. It will be better for us to be with God who is mighty and powerful, even if we are indigent. Those who are clothed in God’s power cannot be compared with those who are not.
Apostle Paul had no inadequacies in his academic background, lineage, wealth, and influence. However, he came to seek God and depend on Him when he thought he could do nothing by himself—when he felt the weakest and had the hardest time. So, he recollected that he was the strongest when he realized that he was weak.
When he was in numerous perils while preaching—in danger of Gentiles, in danger of bandits, and in danger of his own countrymen, his educational background or the influence of his family did not help him. Also, when he preached the gospel, relying on his own knowledge and wisdom, people did not accept the truth as he had expected; but when he preached, realizing his weaknesses and depending only on God, he experienced God’s amazing work.
Through those experiences, Paul realized how weak and feeble human beings were; and as he admitted that he was weak, he felt the power of Almighty God and came to absolutely rely on God’s help. As he preached with such spiritual realizations and faith, the fire of the gospel lit up wherever he went.
… Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.1 Co 9:24-27
Since Paul knew that he could be arrogant if he became a little bit inattentive to himself, he examined himself every day and submitted himself to God. As the result of such efforts, he was able to confidently say that there was waiting for him the crown of righteousness, at the moment when he was about to finish his life for the gospel.
If we are determined to walk the path of the gospel, we should first get rid of arrogance from our minds. Realizing that we are weak and lacking in many ways, we should be clothed with the power of the Holy Spirit by depending only on God.
The missionaries, who are preaching in uncultivated lands for the gospel, say that they cannot help but depend on God while preaching in foreign countries where languages and customs are unfamiliar to them. Even when communication is not easy, if they deliver the truth with an earnest heart, depending only on God, the meaning of God’s word is conveyed as it is written in the Bible, and in many cases the hearers are moved by the truth and receive God. How can this happen by the ability and strength of man?
Whether our ability is much or little, whether our power is strong or weak, in any situation or circumstance we should live gracious lives for the gospel by depending only on God, not being arrogant. Since we know we are weak, we may feel afraid when we preach the gospel to Samaria and to the ends of the earth. Then, let’s ask Father and Mother for Their help. ‘I’m like a child who cannot take even a step without the help of his father and mother.’
With this thought, we should ask Father and Mother to clothe us with the full armor of the Holy Spirit.
The gospel is now being spread quickly throughout the world. It is because the gospel workers preach the good news by depending solely on God even in unfavorable circumstances. At every moment—when they walk in the streets or before they preach the word of truth—they seek God through prayer and depend on Him. As a result, they are achieving remarkable results as we see today. Just when we recognize that we have nothing and are helpless, God is nearest to us and pours out the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit upon us.
God is able to give us everything and grant us favorable situations, but He sometimes puts us in hardship and lets us face difficulties, in order to refine our faith through trials. If we understand the will of God and walk the path of the gospel, we will be able to overcome any trial or hardship that comes our way.
I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip … The LORD watches over you—the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.Ps 121:1-8
But you, O LORD, have mercy on me; raise me up, that I may repay them. know that you are pleased with me, for my enemy does not triumph over me. In my integrity you uphold me and set me in your presence forever. Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen.Ps 41:10-13
Since God helps us, we will surely win victory in the great spiritual war in these last days. Although we can’t see or feel, God is always with us, helps us, and protects our souls. We should always give thanks to Father and Mother and participate in the amazing work of the Holy Spirit, continually asking for God’s help through prayer. At Jesus’ first coming, the saints all joined together constantly in prayer after Jesus ascended to heaven. As a result, they were filled with the Holy Spirit and carried out the work of salvation with an explosive power from God.
We are entrusted with the mission of the Holy Spirit Movement in these last days. Relying on God’s help through prayer, we should follow Heaven’s will by preaching the gospel with love and sacrifice until each and every soul stands firm before God. Let’s carry out our mission to save the whole world without rest, remembering that God worked powerfully when we were weak and depending only on God in any situation.