Does Jesus Loves Me Weak or Strong?

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In my last post I wrote about my strength in warfare comes through weakness. Yes, our strongest position in spiritual warfare is utter dependence on the Lord. Today I want to show one man from the Bible that lived in weakness. A hero who lived with only what the Lord had given, which is utter dependence.

“A man can receive nothing
[he can claim nothing, he can take unto himself nothing]
except as it has been granted to him from heaven.
[A man must be content to receive the gift which is given him
from heaven; there is no other source.]”
John 3:27 Amplified

John the Baptist said it because he knew it!

Only What is Given

Only What is Given
“A man can only receive what is given him from heaven.”  John lived this. He didn’t merely know it as a principle. The Baptist held this as his living secret. He feasted on every drop of heaven’s bounty for him personally. He looked not to what God withheld but became radiant in what God gave.

John was witness to God’s goodness. By open-handedly receiving what God supplied and not resenting Him for what He didn’t, he dwelt in God’s goodness. For John, the testimony of God was true. Whatever John didn’t have, it was given to him in God Himself. Notice I didn’t say “by” God, but IN God Himself.  God was John’s supply.

Now, as God’s child, I am called to live in exactly the same way. God desires to BE my supply.  But for some reason, I resist this privileged provision.

You know it is such foolishness to shirk away from God BEING my supply. He Himself is going to be the supply of my needs.  The best of the best and I wiggle about like a worm to supply for myself.  Why?  Because of this…it demands my complete weakness and utter vulnerability.

Jesus Loves Me

Jesus Loves Me
I am going to tell on myself here, to show you how deep-seated is my will to be strong.  When I was 4 years old, I briefly went to a little Presbyterian Sunday school, with felt boards, Bible stories, cookies and juice. And at some point during this time, the teacher would lead us in a few choruses of “Jesus Loves Me.”  I knew full well the meaning of this simple little tune. Let me share with you how I would sing it.

Jesus loves me! This I know,
For the Bible tells me so;
Little ones to Him belong;
HmmHmmHmm, but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

Yep, this is my story. I knew the words were “They are weak,” but I would hum the tune instead. Willfully I determined I would not sing those three words.  I was aware of the cost and was completely unwilling to comply.  I’d be strong. I was a child and I knew I didn’t want to be weak.  Worse, I would NOT be weak.

Weak Not Strong

Weak Not Strong
My entire life has been a process of being convinced that “I AM WEAK, and HE IS STRONG!”  God has been very patient to teach me this lesson.

I have made the choice to lean and be in dependence, but I have no power to perform it.  I have a whole post I want to do about “John the beloved,” but let me bookmark that and simply say this: John was a man willing to be weak and lean on the very breast of Jesus.  John was the disciple that Jesus loved, and I believe it is no mere coincidence that he also was the “leaning disciple.”

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Chris Seal
6 months ago

No matter how strong I am ,I can never be strong enough to overcome the world! I must realise on our gracious God because He is the power to over come the world. I am weak because I can never be strong enough, but God can never be weak and will always give me the strength He possesses so I can be strong in Him!

6 months ago
Reply to  Chris Seal

Absolutely true, Chris. My strength is a fallacy but His Life as my life is strength. I so rejoice we don’t serve a weak god of wood or stone. We have the Creator of all as our strength. Hope you like the second post on this that will come out on Monday. Bless you and thank you for commenting.

Helen
6 months ago

The pride of strength has been the bane of my life. At times I’ve even tried to fight my strength with my strength. So thankful for God’s patient process with me of learning my weakness. Part of my process has been ‘forget about yourself’…the Spirit brings us to it. To forget..can make a fresh place to receive, right down to the depth of my need. Self-strength misses the amazing privilege of moment by moment fellowship with Christ. The weakness Paul celebrated was willing-weakness, dependent, yielded…leaning. I’m struck (encouraged! thankful!) by what Andrew Murray says, that, ‘the Lamb of God brought… Read more »

6 months ago
Reply to  Helen

How about being strong in weakness…. I have tried that route too. hahaha Love you Helen!

Sandy
6 months ago

So, in a nutshell, what you are saying is…

John the Baptist happily depended,
Little Johny boy hummed a song,
John the Beloved willingly leaned,
With God the Johnyhood got along,
And Jesus loved all three!

😄

6 months ago
Reply to  Sandy

Thanking Jesus for His loving grace! And loving my sister Sandy! I like my Johnnyhood. Glad I am not humming any longer, rather boldly singing I am weak but, HE IS STRONG!

Pam White
6 months ago

I too grew up singing Jesus loves me. Unlike you, I sang every word loud and off key. But I didn’t understand the meaning of this until later. Human nature tells us that we should not be weak. Weakness is a sign of failure in the world. But for Christ, weakness is where He wants us. He wants us to lean into Him with our Weakness and He becomes our strength. There is no greater strength than that of Christ Jesus. I’m glad to be broken and weak because Christ is my rock.

6 months ago
Reply to  Pam White

Oh isn’t that so true. Weakness is failure! WOW! Thank you for walking leaning with me! Bless you Pam!

Penny Peaden Barber
6 months ago

John,
I too must confess that even as an adult I would not sing about being broken or brokenness because I was convinced the words were wrong to the song and God could NEVER want me broken. Oh, how wrong I was- I am boasting NOW of my weaknesses so He may be seen! I am broken for Him! Amen.

6 months ago

We so love strength, huh? Weakness makes us vulnerable and strength gives us control. The good news is we have a very patient God who loves us deeply and who is very willing to convince us that through weakness He will be all the strength we need. Bless you Penny! Thank you so much for commenting!

[…] same events, there is a deliberate choice that makes all the difference.  Do you remember my post, Jesus Loves Me?  In it I told on myself and how as a child I refused to sing the words “They are weak, but He […]

Barb
7 years ago

WOW! I’m speechless. This hits real close to home.

Pauline
8 years ago

John: the Shulamite disciple, leaning on His Beloved. Your post reminded me of Martha’s teaching on “The Joy of Weakness.”

Thanks, John…lots of little nuggets I taking away from this. “He looked not to what God withheld but became radiant in what God gave.” (Just one.)

Pauline
8 years ago
Reply to  Pauline

woops – “I’m taking”…not “I”

Andrea
8 years ago

“the leaning disciple” ….. I really like this …. thank you….

Fabi
8 years ago

How easy to say that His grace is enough but how we resist to surrender acepting weakness to receive that grace.