Divine Weapon... Boast in God

This Super bowl weekend, there will be a lot of people who will be loudly raving and wildly celebrating.   Boasting about plays, players, strategy, pretty cheerleaders, their favorite commercial, the awesome dip they are eating, etc.  All the activity is good fun and a form of connecting.

Boasting brings us together.  Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are fueled by the profitability boasting produces.   We freely post selfies, family achievements, personal milestones and our own revelatory thoughts.  Boasting is often central to our interpersonal discussions and how we affirm and connect with one another. 

In this world, we are conditioned to boast.  “Why should I hire you?”  “Why should I buy your product?”  “Why should I marry you?”  “How would your associates describe you?”  “What have you done for me lately?”  “Why should I listen to you?”  “Why are you worthy of hanging out with us?”  “What are you bringing to the table?”  “How do you react under pressure?”  “Tell me your past achievements.”  “What designers do you wear?”  “How big is your bank account?”  “Do you know so-and-so?”  “What college did you attend?”  “How is your son/daughter doing?”  In their various forms, these questions are ultimately all questions with power to exploit the most vulnerable places within us.  If we don’t have good answers or solutions, we can feel exposed, left feeling less than.  We try hard to have good answers.  Then we feel well positioned, more confident in the future.  But it’s a faulty system. 

Suddenly a job is cut, the profits turn, our intelligent solution fails, the marriage ends, the child rebels, the beauty fades, the prized relationship fizzles, the government shuts down, you make a critical moral mistake.   Our boasts are often momentary.  We do not have control.

However, boasting as God intended, gives you true strength and releases His divine intervention.  It’s a powerful prayer position.  Consider what God told Paul in a prayer time as he cried out for God to take away a painful situation…

2 Corinthians 12:9a- But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

From this Paul concludes, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”  Read Paul’s life account in the book of Acts.  Did he gladly boast in God?  Did God’s power then rest on him?  The man was like a cat with 9 lives… resurrection power on full display.

Consider what God also says in Jeremiah 9.  “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this:  that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD.  – Jeremiah 9:23-24

The Hebrew meaning  behind the word boast  is tied to acts of raving, celebrating, shining forth light, commending, praising, making a show of something worthy of praise.   Think again of fans in a stadium.  Have you ever been in a championship game setting, joining others celebrating loudly?  When you are in church (beyond the eyes of the world) are you willing to celebrate God just as loudly as you cheer on your team?  What feelings rise up in you if you were challenged to publicly commend God in a social setting this weekend?  What feelings rise up in you if were to asked to shine forth light on your weaknesses to your work team next week? 

His ways are not our ways.  Revealing weakness makes many feel uncomfortable.  Value is tied to acceptance, and we self protect.  But we need to break on this point.  If we live for the commendations of others, we are ineffectual as a servant of Christ (Galatians 1:10).  We have no influence without His power accompanying us.  Boasting in Him is a no-fail strategy for his power to rest on you.  He exalts the humble.   If He is your strength and wisdom and creative expression in your job, the sacrificial love you express in difficult relationships, don’t be silent about the power source; give Him the glory.  If He has helped you love and forgive difficult people, tell them God intervened for them in your heart on their behalf.  Confess your weakness, boast of His work in you.

Consider the King of all kings, who endured physical torture, people spitting in His face, striking his head, pulling out his beard, stripping him and berating Him.  Did God’s power rest on His Son?  Was an angel sent to strengthen him after He cried out in prayer for hours in the garden?  Consider the end state of our Savior hanging on the cross, beaten beyond human recognition, abandoned by all.   Did the Father’s roar from Heaven, break the rocks, shake the earth, rend the temple curtain, snuff out the sun, raise holy people from their graves? (see Matthew 27:45-53). Yes. Have thousands of years served to silence God’s continued divine work to proclaim His Son?   Will thousands more?  No.  Is He calling you to the same martyrdom?  Probably not.  But He IS calling you to be a LIVING sacrifice that confesses His Name.

Try boasting in prayer.  This is the prayer exercise for everyone who reads this post this week.  Boast of your weaknesses!  Get in your car and boast loudly, praise God loudly.  See how long you go before you have no idea what to say to Him.  Evaluate your heart in this area and ask for help if you need to know Him better.  Take risks in your public worship settings and be more open to joyfully celebrate Him in the midst of the saints.  His power will rest on you.  His joy and Father heart will become clearer to you.  If you want to grow in your prayer relationship, boast in God.

Final challenge, stretch yourself in a guided prayer session.  On Friday February 19th, I will be leading a Psalm 23 meditation.  He anoints your head with oil for your cup to run over.  Do you long for more?  Sign up here.  He blesses those who earnestly seek Him.  Come expectant!  

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