A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to lead worship for a group of church planters and leaders. It was a morning acoustic set that I was leading alone. When I woke up that morning, the last thing I wanted to do was lead worship. I was recovering from the flu two days prior, and had had about three hours sleep the night before. Honestly, I wanted to stay in bed or do anything else besides stand up in front of a group of people who were expecting me to give them something to lead them to God. I had nothing to give.
Before the pity party could continue and a bitter attitude develop further, Jesus graciously reminded me of the fact that I really never have anything to give (as I’ve been reminded of many times before). What I do have is God’s grace. In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul asks God to remove this “thorn” in his flesh (we aren’t sure what it is, but it was obviously distracting to Paul). Jesus chooses not to remove it and in verse 9, Jesus responds to Paul’s request by saying: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
When I realized I had nothing to give that day and this verse came to mind, my perspective changed. My prayer that morning as I was getting ready and driving into church became a cry for Jesus’ power to be the thing that was present in that worship set – not anything I had to offer.
As it turned out, I ended up feeling well enough to make it through the set and Jesus was very present in the time of worship that morning. I don’t remember everything I said and how the songs flowed, but I know that Jesus’ power was real that morning and He was leading us.
The comments I heard later in the day were all in the vein that the time of worship was meaningful that day. I know the people actually meant “worship” and not just “music” when they made those comments, and I could humbly say that it was all Jesus because I knew I had nothing to offer – except His power which is made perfect in weakness.
While I’ve understood this concept for a long time, it’s easy for me to slip into a self-sufficient way of living because our culture idolizes it so much. However, in Jesus’ kingdom, it’s the other way around. Rather than power coming from one’s strength, it comes from one’s weakness.