El Shaddai – The All-Sufficient One…I loved the image of Him pouring Himself out abundantly for us from pg. 38 and I pictured a cup running over. He is more than enough. He is endless. He is generous and He is able. KA says that Abraham learned the lesson that “in the utter renunciation of himself and his own will, the power of ‘Almighty God’ might be brought in, and the elect in his weakness be made strong, in in his giving up of all be filled with the fullness of his God” (pg. 39). This is another one of those upside down messages the Bible has for all of us – I love these! When we empty ourselves, we may be made full. When we submit, we will become victorious. KA quotes one of my favorite statements from Paul, “And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:9-10).
I do so love the opposites that the Lord describes for us – His ideas are so different from everything we always hear. In fact, the Lord has been putting on my heart some particular opposites. The opposites of ME! He has been telling me “moderation” not extreme, “quiet” not loud, “peace” not agitation, “meekness” not strength. Now please don’t think I am an extreme, loud, agitated and strong lady (at least not always!), but when my heart gets away from me, this is where it will go. The World and the Flesh have been calling me to this end for so many years that at times of duress, I felt helpless to be any other way. But that is because I was unaware that I was relying on myself rather than on Him. If we rely on ourselves, we must see the extremes because our way is the only way. If we rely on ourselves, we must be loud because we are our only advocate. If we are just relying on ourselves, we are agitated because we are on constant alert for the next thing we must confront. And of course, when we rely on our selves we must be strong or we will be overwhelmed. At one time I thought I would find comfort in mastering these worldly ways so as to take care of myself – but now I see so clearly that this is the path that leads to destruction. Jesus said,“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it” (Matt. 7:13). We cannot live life the Oprah way (substitute any other strong female role model here…Steele Magnolias anyone?) – we are not to triumph through our own strength…because are called rather, out of darkness and into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). But as God called me, personally, to a completely different way of relating to life and people, I felt unequipped to respond. Something so different, so foreign, just felt too hard. As we know, God rarely calls us to the easier way! Here is the scripture-promise He gave me:
But now, this is what the LORD says he who created you, he who formed you: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. (Is. 43:1-3, 18-19).
So it cannot be done by me at all anyway – thank goodness that He is so powerful and He can do anything. Only El Shaddai, The All Sufficient One, can accomplish so dramatic a change! Stay tuned as I continue on this part of my journey. So what upside down thing is He calling you to do, in His strength?
JustaGirl…just like you!