Joseph Prince - Experience God's Power In Your Weakness
Let's go right into the Word. 1 Corinthians chapter 1. "For you see your calling, brethren". Now, do you all see your calling? He is assuming that you're seeing. "You see your calling, brethren, that not many wise". Now, he didn't say, in all these things you will see not many, not many, not many. Doesn't mean none, okay? Not many wise are called. "Not many wise according to the flesh" means naturally. From now on, when you see the word flesh, think naturally, all right? Not many wise according to the flesh are called. Not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called. Have you seen that?
And then goes on to say, "But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not", the things which are nothing at all, not means nothing, "the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things which are", something. Isn't it amazing? God uses nothing to bring nothing things that are something. This applies to cancer, tumor, disease that are something, right? Right? Come on. God uses, you know how God nullifies it? Uses things that are nothing to bring to nothing that cancer. God uses this throughout the Scriptures.
I'm gonna share with you this principle, because once you understand this you know how God works, and you can flow with him. Many of us are trying to flow with God like a superhero, right? He's up here. I need to rise up to his level. No, no, God is down here. You wanna be with God? Be in a humble place, learn the principles. And God chooses "the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in his presence", right? Drop down. "That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God".
So Jesus is our wisdom from God. He is our righteousness, our sanctification, which is holiness, and he's our redemption. If you are sick, know this: Jesus is your redemption from that sickness, amen? If you are poor, all right, always broke, amen, always not having enough, seems like there is a cloud over you, a cloud of poverty, Jesus is your redemption from that curse. Jesus is your redemption from poverty, amen? Jesus is your redemption from death itself, amen? He's our everything. "That, as it is written, 'He who boasts'"... Or glories. The word here is actually "boast". "He who boast, let him boast in the Lord". Let him glory in the Lord. We have no other glory, amen?
So, God uses weak things of the world. Ladies don't like to be known as weak, but look, the glory is yours. The power and the strength is yours. And as men are strong naturally, but they're weak in many, many ways. And the more you glory in your strength, the more you see weakness. The story of Gideon is a beautiful example. When God first called for Gideon, this is a time when their enemies were attacking, right? And every time they have a crop, they planted a crop, harvest time the enemies will come, the Midianites will come and take their crops.
So, a young man called Gideon, okay, this is what happened to him. "Now the angel of the Lord", which most likely is the preincarnate appearance of Christ, the angel of the Lord in the Bible is always him, "he came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, 'The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor'"!
So, God does not see you the way man sees you, right? And he was hiding. Can you see that? He was hiding, threshing, right? In stealth. He was secretly, you know, reaping, harvesting without the knowledge of the Midianites, all in hiding, right? And yet the Lord appeared to him and says, "You mighty man of valor". How many know that God calls those things that are not as though they are? But that doesn't mean those things are not. In God's eyes those things are. Those things are not in our eyes. God calls those things that are not visible, not palpable, all right? God calls those things that are not in our own eyes as though they are, so when we come up to God's realm, God sees things we don't see. Can I have a good amen?
But why did God choose Gideon? "And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, 'The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!' Gideon said to him, 'O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us?'" You ever ask questions like this? No, none of you. "And where are all his miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, 'Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?' But now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.'" Now, would you say this is like a man of valor talking? Look at God's answer. "Then the Lord turned to him and said, 'Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites.'"
Now, I tell you this: every time I hear this preached, I think I've never heard it preached correctly, this part here, "Go in this might of yours". I've always heard people saying, right, that God called Gideon, right, either that he's brave, even though he was hiding, you know? He had faith. No, he had faith. He manifest faith later on, but he was growing faith from the start. The thing is this. He was, "If God is with us, where are all his"... All that kinda thing. He's weak. We know him. His name is mentioned in the book of Hebrews 11 as one of those in the hall of faith, but see how God starts with him, right? It is his weakness, so when God says, "This might of yours", you know what is it or not? His weakness. That's the accurate interpretation. "Go in this might of yours. As long as you are weak in your own eyes, this will be mighty".
God didn't say, "I impart to you my might", okay? So, remember that. So, God says, "Have I not sent you"? "So he said to him, 'O my Lord, how can I save Israel?'" Watch this. "Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh". So, there are 12 tribes, okay? There's a royal tribe of Judah, amen? There's a priestly tribe of Levi, so every tribe has clans in the tribe, many clans. In the tribe of Manasseh... by the way, the people of Manasseh, they are actually from the lineage of Joseph, right? Ephraim and Manasseh. Manasseh was rejected for Ephraim when it came to the firstborn blessings. Remember?
The younger brother got it, so Manasseh is where Gideon came from. And not only that. Already it is like a tribe that is not exactly high on the dignity level of the history of Israel, but of all the clans in Manasseh his is the least. Gideon's house is the least, and then he says, "And then in the least house, I am the least in my father's house". Oh, this is after, you know, he say, "I'm at the bottom of the barrel". This one is not the bottom of the barrel. You're already outside the barrel. The barrel is on top of you. You are below the bottom of the barrel. You know I'm saying? You are really down. Have you felt that way before, that you are the least in your father's house? And then when you do something, you're always questioned. "I know your reason, why you're here. I know why"...
And that's what happened to David. David, his father even forgot that he had another son. Remember the prophet came to anoint a king? He had all his sons paraded in front of the prophet, and the prophet had to say what? Samuel had to say, "Are these all? I remember now. I have one more son". Wow. Imagine if you're the son, all right? He's out there taking care of the sheep, and then Samuel says, "We'll not eat until he comes". Then he brought him. Why must Samuel say, "We will not sit down until he comes"? It's almost like he can see the father is like, "But you don't need to talk to him". "No, I'll not eat until he comes". It's almost like persuading the father, putting pressure on the father. The boy came in.
The Bible says he was ruddy, fresh from the field, amen? Probably, you know, smell of sheep, and the Lord says, "Arise. Anoint him. This is he". Huh? And God used a boy when Israel was defeated, I mean, Israel was threatened by the Philistines, close to a massacre, but the Philistines didn't want to lose their army. They were confident they can beat Israel in the natural, but they didn't wanna lose any men in the process, so they said, "Just send one champion". And they send their tallest, their ugliest, their meanest, the strongest, a warrior. And how did God defeat the ugly, mean warrior, Goliath? A boy, a stone, and a sling. That's God's way. You think I'm just a boy, I'm the least. Well, you qualify. "The Lord said to him, 'Surely I'll be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man'", amen? Praise the Lord.
Remember, even for healing for your body, God uses the things that are not as though they are. Some of you don't realize that. You know, when you go to a doctor, and the doctor says there's nothing wrong with you, you know, it's just a simple stress thing, whatever it is, you don't realize that God healed you in the process many a times, before it became worse. God healed you. God heard your prayer, but then it wasn't dramatic, is it? It wasn't a healing meeting and someone call you, "You, come up here", and lay hands on you and there was such a vibration. You felt it. Your hair was raaaah, you know? And then you fell bouncing twice, toom, toom, and then you got up again, and you were healed.
And people like dramatics. Sits down, "Take Communion". "Huh"? He say, "Go for radiation". "Ah". "Take Communion". "Huh"? Somehow our flesh, even today, even us preachers, we are battling with our flesh, When you look at Communion, for example, "Really"? We don't say that, but you see, God has used that simple emblem of the body of Christ to put to not things that are, amen? What did God say to Samson that he must never do? There are three things he must never do, right? "But above all this is the ultimate. You lose that, you lose the strength that's been flowing in your life".
Now, Lawrence, what must he not do? Huh? Cut his hair. Correct? Cut his hair. Yes. No one has long hair in their culture. His weakness was where the strength could flow. As long he's consciously, you know, the hair always remind him, right, that he's weak in himself. He became the strongest man in Israel. When the time came, he delivered Israel, amen? Unfortunately, he told Delilah the secret, and before the devil can weaken you, he has to weaken your conscious sense of your weakness. He has to weaken that. He has to strengthen you to put your eyes on your strength, your talents, your gifts, your pluses. He cannot allow you to look at your minuses and look at the Lord.
By the way, it's not just looking at your minuses. It's looking at minuses and look at the Lord, but always remembering that you provide the minus, he provide the plus, and together there's an explosion. There's power, all right? It's not, "Oh, I'm so full of this. I'm so full of that. Where is the power of God? I'm so full of this. I'm so full"... It's not that. It's being conscious, "Yes, I'm weak. I cannot do it, but he can". Okay, let me bring this to a close. Look at this, Isaiah 64, and this what we wanna say to God. "O God, why don't you just rend the heavens? Come down, God. That the mountain shake at your presence. As fire burns brushwood, fire causes water to boil, make your name known to your adversaries, that the nations may tremble at your presence! Let the mountains melt like wax at your presence. Let the nations tremble".
One day he will return in power like that, but meanwhile it's the age of grace. And he taught a lesson to Elijah. Elijah called fire down from heaven, and all the people shouted, "The Lord, he is God. The Lord, he is God". The nation seemed to turn around, but there was no genuine revival. They went back to their old ways. That lady, the evil lady, Jezebel, was still on the throne, and Elijah ran, ran, ran, ran all the way to Horeb, Mount Sinai. And there he was despondent. "Lord, I'm the only one left, Lord. I'm the only one". God says, "Hey, I got 7,000 you don't even know of". So, before we are prideful in something, "I'm the only one. I'm the only one", God has people besides us. What a blow to his pride. "I got 7,000".
I'm closing with this. Listen. And then there was an earthquake. I'll close by looking at this. Okay, before that let me just tell you this. There was an earthquake, there was a wind, but the Lord was not in the wind. Whoosh, and God's not in the wind. And there's a earthquake, the whole mountain shook, but God was not in the earthquake. And then there's a fire, but God was not in the fire. All these are powerful demonstrations of God in the Old Testament, right? He even called fire from heaven, right? All these are pictures, all this outward show does not humble a man's heart. You know what does? After all these entire three things happen - the wind, the earthquake, and the fire - the Bible said still small voice. Grace. Grace is what breaks the stoniest hearts. A soft tongue breaks the bone. Grace.
You know what happened? Jesus came down. He did come down, but no fanfare. He came down to where we were. He came as what? As a baby. He came to the lowliest city and died a terrible death. The Bible says Christ crucified, to the Jew who seek for a sign, a miracle, is foolishness. Sorry, it is weakness, but for the Greek who seek for wisdom, wisdom knowledge, the cross is foolishness, but the Bible says the weakness of God is stronger than men. The foolishness of God is wiser than men. To us who believe, Christ crucified is the wisdom of God and the power of God. Are you listening? He came grace. Grace is what changes hearts. All the outward show does not change, and it goes on to say... drop down, drop down, all right? "For since the beginning of the world men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen any God besides you, who acts for the one who waits for him".
Now, this is quoted by Paul, and this is what I wanna close with. Look at what Paul says in 1 Corinthians. We started with that. "But as it is written: 'Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love him.'" Can you see how the Holy Spirit change the words? Put them side by side. "Who acts for the one who waits for him". God has prepared good things, great things for those who love him. You know why the word wait doesn't appear anymore? We talk about waiting on the Lord. I understand the expression. I use that also. "I gotta wait on the Lord for this".
I understand the expression, but in the New Testament you cannot find a teaching on waiting before the Lord. You find a lot in the Old Testament. You know why? Everything has been given. It's a matter of walking into it. You still spend time in prayer. You can call that waiting on the Lord, but actually what you're doing is that you're spending time with the Lord, knowing that he has given you all things, and these things you need to discern, even in your prayer time, amen? It's a different thing altogether. The blessings have come, and all the people said? Now look at the cross. Why is it the power of God? Christ crucified is the power of God, the Bible says. Why?
When the world look at it, "What power? I see a man dying helplessly at the cross". It's the power of God because there the greatest enemy of man was crushed. There God's law was magnified. The law said the soul that sins must die. There is the death, the innocent. Not the innocent. He's not innocent. He's holy, but the just died for the unjust. Innocent means that you have no knowledge of what is evil. Jesus does. He knows, but he's sinless, and he cannot sin, and he did not sin. Look at the cross. There Satan's last roar was silenced. There justice is vindicated. "But how is it the wisdom of God, Pastor Prince"? Well, when we look at the cross, man will say what? "All is lost. That's the end". The disciple says, "All is gone. All is lost", right? But at the cross all is gain, even 120% more, much more than all that Adam lost, so that we preach Christ crucified, the power of God and the wisdom of God. Amen, people?
Don't be discouraged with your weakness. If you're a stammerer, a stutterer, you don't think that you are better looking than your sister, you're more talented than your brother, you don't think that, you know, you get the most likes on your social media, doesn't really matter. The favor is on the small, the little, the insignificant, amen? When it's Communion time, don't despise the small piece of bread. Even a crumb falling from the Master's table can drive the devil out, amen? Thank God. When it's weak, it's small, insignificant, have eyes to see that, amen? Maybe you're trying to pray strength into your weakness, right? But that's not... you're trying to tell God, "God, take this away. Take this weakness away". God's saying, "No, that's where your might is", amen?
I'm not talking about sickness, but even in sickness there are things that can manifest. That God's healing can manifest. We learn how to be humble and go it God's way, amen? Can I have a good amen? The world says don't go to church. Your body needs rest. You need more sleep. Why go to church? Nothing but go to church, listen to the Word, a guy preaching. By the foolishness, God has pleased God, that by the foolishness of preaching, to sozo, to save, to heal, to deliver. A simple thing like going to church on Sunday, statistics have shown people who go to Sunday live long, Sunday, I mean on Sunday church live long. I'm not saying it. Many of you have read it, right? In leading periodicals and newspapers, right, there was a study done those who go to church live long. Explain. No need to explain. Simple things. Simple things. Communion, simple things. Simple doesn't mean cheap. It's so expensive, priceless.