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DISMANTLE

      Last week we introduced the theme of this great letter of 2 CORINTHIANS: God’s Strength in our Weakness. “My grace is sufficient for you for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (12:9,10).  I want to begin using the word DISMANTLE to capture that theme in one word. The word ‘dismantle’ means to take something apart systematically – piece by piece. When someone is ‘dismantled’, it means they are brought to the end of themselves, they learn to not rely on themselves, but on God. They begin to “not lean not on their own understanding” (Prov.3:5,6). It means that the power of Christ is magnified when I experience my weakness. It means that God needs my availability more than He needs my ability. It means:  ‘It’s not by might, it’s not by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord’ (Zech. 4:6). The dismantled are the poor in Spirit, who hobble, limp, mutter and moan through the wilderness of life. Just like Israel did.

      To be dismantled is God’s great project of sanctification. He loves us too much to leave us addicted to the sins that ruin His beautiful image in us. Jesus is our Savior which means that He will have his way – including saving us from ourselves; save us from all our idols. It means with less of us there is more room for Christ in our lives. This dismantling process is going to necessarily be attended by a LOT of forgiving. Your spiritual life can’t go anywhere without forgiveness. It means our life with God is founded in forgiveness, is healed by forgiveness, recovered through forgiveness and nurtured by forgiveness. Your marriage can’t go anywhere without forgiveness.  

      And now for the ‘good news’ : broken people, those who begin to taste this dismantling, this weakness that comes from God’s thorns-in-our-sides begin to know the joy of the Lord – because they are slowly, painfully learning that ‘the Lord is my strength” (Ps.59:17). It’s like the pain purifies us by removing the distractions from our lives. There is more focus; more power … in my weakness.

 

TAKING IT FURTHER:

Q 1.  When you encounter someone who has been dismantled by the Lord, someone who is ‘broken’ – what kind of fragrance do they have in their lives?

Q 2.  Memorize Proverbs 3:5,6 and put it into your own words.

Q 3.  Is there a place in your life where God is bringing you to feel your weakness? Inability to ‘fix’ something? Loss of control?  Then PRAY for God to do a good work in that area of your life out of His great love for you