The Great Paradox

“It is beyond my power to do this,” Joseph replied. “But God can tell you what it means and set you at ease.” (Genesis 41:16 NLT)

Many truths in the Bible seem to be paradoxical. One is if you think that you can do everything alone, you can actually do nothing. If you know you can do nothing without God, you can do everything.

Joseph made it clear to Pharoah from the start that his power and abilities had their limitations. He set the stage for who would get the credit and glory for all he would do—God. The only thing that can limit what we accomplish is our pride. Joseph was able to combine confidence and humility. Humility in that he could do nothing without God, confidence, in that through God he could do all things (Philippians 4:13 NLT).

The world tells us we need to build our self-confidence. Self-confidence is okay if it is developed appropriately. Yet, it never happens in reverse order. Nothing happens good when self becomes the center of our universe. Only when we put God first and recognize that all blessings and abilities come from Christ will our confidence in God grow, and our self-confidence will never be far behind. We need to major in developing our God-confidence, not our self-confidence.

One of the problems we have in this discussion is that we accept one part of the truth rather than the other. Most of us know we can do nothing, but we never flip that coin over and say that we can do all things through God. If you are unwilling to be what has called you to be, that is what you will do, nothing.

Live out the great paradox, purpose in your heart to give God all the glory and watch the weak become strong, the poor become spiritually rich, and those of us who have little glory will bring Christ all glory.

The image is used with permission from Microsoft.

Ken Barnes is the author of “Broken Vessels,” published in February 2021, and “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” published by YWAM Publishing in 2011.

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