I am getting to where I pretty firmly believe that God does not reach anyone through our strengths, only through our weaknesses. Our strengths only bring us glory. His strength in our weakness makes him the star.
By the time Samson shared the secret of his long hair with Delilah, he had most likely made the assumption that his strength was his. He had become one with it. What difference did the hair make? His hair might have brought him strength in the beginning but that was just to build his self-confidence. He could handle himself now. Go ahead, lose the hair. The strength is mine, you’ll see. I’ll just get up as I always have and wipe out these guys.
Or so he must have thought. Why else would he have revealed his secret? And then, in the end, blind, humiliated and imprisoned, he called out to God for the strength to perform one final feat—one that would cause more destruction to the enemies of Israel than all the others combined—and this time it was God’s strength through his weakness. He knew it and so did everyone else.
Your life is useful to God not because you are getting it right or setting an example of how everyone is supposed to be, but because you are living in an open and honest way so that others can see God at work in your not-so-perfect life.
God’s ministry through us requires us to be stripped of pretense, religiosity and self-reliance. It’s not that he can use us even when we are down to the raw bone of who we really are; he can use us only when we are down to the raw bone of who we really are.
Not “even,” but “only.” One little distinction; one huge difference.