Accepting the limitations of our own natural weakness was NEVER Paul's goal. If we want to see our own potential as Paul saw it, take a look at the way he prayed for the Colossians. "I keep asking that you be filled with the full knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding so that you may walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, bearing fruit in every good work and INCREASING unto the FULL KNOWLEDGE of God, -IN ALL POWER BEING EMPOWERED ACCORDING TO HIS GLORIOUS MIGHT..." How then should we view our own capacity as believers? - ACCORDING TO HIS GLORIOUS MIGHT! The question how strong are we is easily answered - apart from Him we can do nothing? Our own inability readily proves this beyond doubt. However, this is not how our CAPACITY for power is to be measured! Our spiritual capacity is NOT to be limited by our own lack of strength - but rather increased ACCORDING TO HIS GLORIOUS MIGHT! Those who are still measuring themselves by themselves have yet to be filled with the full knowledge of God's will and thus they can only confess - "I AM WEAK." The sad result of this is the fruit of "As a man thinketh in his heart - so is he." Many think this is true humility, an honest accessment of their own spiritual state - but not Paul, he knew that our ability should not be measured by our own lack of ability. If our confession is only that we are weak, this falls short of measuring our own inability with "BEING EMPOWERED WITH ALL POWER ACCORDING TO THE GLORY OF HIS MIGHT." Those who walk in every way pleasing God have come to faith, like those in Hebrews 11; they have this testimony - "who by faith were made STRONG from weakness." This is what Paul had so great a revelation about, "I can do all things THROUGH HIM WHO STRENGTHENS ME." Paul did not measure himself by himself any more. Paul began to measure his own weakness with CHRIST''S POWER and so he cast off the half-truth of "I CAN'T" to lay hold of the glorious reality of "THROUGH HIM I CAN!" How are we measuring our ability? Is it through the spiritual revelation of "being empowered with all power according to His glorious might"? Or have we stopped short in the comfort zone of "I just can't" because we have not yet been filled with the full knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding? Don't forget that the tombstones of the Israelites who died in the wilderness had this inscription - "They limited the Holy One of Israel." Remember, their "evil report" was simply - "we can not do it!" It might seem humble and wise to say "I can't" - it sure seems right to the natural mind. However, those who have been filled with the full knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding will come to a very different conclusion. They will be made strong through faith, just like Abraham, as they are fully convinced that "GOD HAS POWER" to do what He has promised. This is how men overcome the world. God has promised to "empower us with all power according to His glorious might." Is that how we see it? Let's examine ourselves to see "if we be in the faith". One way or the other, we will find out WHOSE strength we are measuring ourselves by?
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon