For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God. 2 Corinthians 13:4

We close this week with this verse on the power of God. Much of the false narrative that was found in the Corinthian church involved the misunderstanding of power and weakness. From a worldly point of view, Paul was quite weak (or so his opponents declared). Much of Paul’s correspondence with them was to help them reconsider their definition of weakness and power. He lived and modeled a cruciform life. He lived a life shaped by the message of the cross. Sacrifice. He lived a life of weakness following the example of Jesus (Philippians 2:4-8). He also knew the power of God, as did Jesus. He knew that the power of God for salvation was the truth of the gospel (Romans 1:16). He longed to know the power of the resurrection (Philippians 3:10) and he knew that the way to know that power was to know the weakness. He knew that he needed to be crucified with Christ in order to truly live (Galatians 2:20). He was not led by a false narrative; he was led by the truth of God. He knew that weakness was required in this world and that God would give him the strength needed to endure and even thrive within that suffering. The false narrative is so powerful because it feeds our desire for comfort, but Paul was fed by a desire to serve and love his Lord, and nothing would keep him from that path. He lived by the power of God—the same power in which Christ lives! This is the power that can break the false narrative. It is the truth of the gospel and the message of the cross that we are to live our lives for him who gave himself for us—not for ourselves (5:15). Any narrative that puts me at the center of the story needs to be carefully and prayerfully brought under the power of God so that I can be set free to love and serve my King. The mission and the message are too important for me to be distracted! How about you?