But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. II Corinthians 4:7
Stoicism is defined as the quality or behavior of a person who accepts what happens without complaining or showing emotion. The Greek stoics were probably best remembered for teaching the development of self-control and resilience as a means of overcoming destructive emotions. Today, we describe these people as having stiff upper lips.
And yet God “knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.” (Psalm 103:14 ESV) There’s a vast chasm between stoicism and Spirit-infused discipline which acknowledges total and absolute reliance on God. One is self-initiated, and the other is dependent on our accessing God’s strength through obedience. After all, God knows our make-up. He created us from clay with the very intent of showcasing his power through us.
We find ourselves amazed at the remarkable activities and ministries that proceed from us as we recognize whose power is flowing through such an unlikely instrument. Instead of being discouraged or disillusioned at our inabilities or failures, we humbly hand over those limitations and request that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead would work through us (Romans 8:11) in transforming grace.
We can either experience “white-knuckle” religion (a version of stoicism) or allow God’s power to flow in and through us as we walk through our world.
Father, our culture encourages us to be agents of change, but we quickly run out of energy and power when are dependent on ourselves. We desperately need your infilling in these clay vessels. We invite your presence now. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.