January 31, 2014
My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. —2 Corinthians 12:9
A retired player for the Atlanta Braves came up to give a testimony one Sunday. He had been in the major leagues for about 14 years when he retired. But he had been hooked on chewing tobacco for 23 years. He wanted to quit and had tried many times. He was involved in his church, and had a passion for youth ministry, but didn’t feel like he could fully be used because of the power the addiction had over his life.
His wife encouraged him to join our annual 21-day fast in January. He had never fasted before and was honest enough to admit that he really didn’t want to start. But he decided to try anyway.
On the third day of the fast, he stopped for gas and bought five cans of tobacco. As he was walking out of the store, he felt like he heard God speak to his heart for the first time in his life. The words were simple and to the point: “Throw it away and you’ll never want it again.” He continued walking, got in his car and pulled onto the highway.
As he drove, he began to talk to God. He said, “Lord, I have tried this so many times and it just doesn’t work.” He had traveled about a mile when God spoke to him again, “Throw it away, and you’ll never want it again.” There was no mistaking the door of opportunity that the Holy Spirit was swinging open for him. He drove home and immediately threw all five unopened cans of tobacco in the trashcan. From that moment on, true to God’s word, he has never wanted it again!
Are you struggling with something you felt certain would break during your fast?
Sometimes the thing that prevents God from having His way in our lives is simply what is locked between our ears. Like old wardrobes, we tend to hold on to old ways of thinking, old patterns, old failures. The enemy had convinced this retired ball player that he would never be free from chewing tobacco, that he was too weak to overcome it in his own power.
When we stop trying to do things all in our own power and instead, choose to humble ourselves before God and trust Him to makeover our weaknesses, the lies of the enemy lose their power! It is at that point when we are too weak to do it in our own power that His strength is made perfect.