In My Weakness, He Is Strong
Updated: May 25, 2021
Written by Tim Chang
When Pastor Lawrence asked me to consider becoming an elder at Waypoint Church, I was totally taken by surprise. First, because he called me during my routine Sunday afternoon nap, so I was honestly in a half-daze. But even after fully waking up, my surprise came mostly because I didn't consider myself the best qualified for the position.
As I was praying through and considering the opportunity, I would come up with excuses to myself and to God. I've never served as an elder before. There are many other more qualified people. I'm too young. I might be too busy to serve with two young daughters. I wouldn't be able to play bass as often??
This wasn't a new phenomenon for me. I am naturally not a self-confident person. I am my own worst critic and have always had to work through self-doubt, feelings of insufficiency, and a desire for perfectionism in my life, including when serving in ministry. I didn't think I could lead our Christian fellowship in college. I didn't think I was a good enough singer or guitar player to lead worship. I didn't think I was eloquent enough or quick enough on my feet to talk to people about God. But in all of those instances, God reminded me that His power is made perfect in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). In all of those instances, God showed me that I might not be good enough to do those things, but He is.
I relate to Moses a lot in this regard. When God first calls Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt in Exodus 3, Moses rattles off excuses, citing his own lack of status (Who am I?), lack of knowledge (What shall I say?), lack of persuasiveness (They will not believe me), and lack of eloquence (I am slow of speech and of tongue). I love how the New Living Translation writes God's response to Moses's final excuse: "Then the LORD asked Moses, 'Who makes a person's mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.'" (Exodus 4:11-12)
So, when I tell God I can't share the gospel with someone, I hear Him telling me, "Who makes a person's mouth? Who decides whether someone speaks or doesn't speak, hears or doesn't hear? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go! I will be with you as you speak." When I tell God I can't sing and lead worship, I hear Him telling me, "Who makes a person's vocal chords? Who decides whether someone sings well or not? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go! I will be with you as you sing." Or when I tell God I can't lead, I hear Him telling me, "Who makes a person a good leader? Who decides whether someone makes good or bad decisions? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go! I will be with you as you lead."
Moses's interaction with God in Exodus 3 and 4 continues to give me peace about my insufficiencies. Even Moses - who is seen as such an important person in the Bible - had major self-doubts that God had to work through. But God still used Moses. God desires our obedience, not our strengths or what we bring to the table (1 Samuel 15:22). I continually need to be reminded of this truth. To be honest, I still don't think I'm incredibly eloquent. I still don't think I'm a great singer. And I still don't think I'm the best leader. But I do think that if I were, I wouldn't need God. And I would rather have God - the creator of all speakers, singers, and leaders - using my inadequacies for His glory, than me trying to use my own perceived strengths for any other reason.