Isaiah 53 verse 7
He was oppressed and treated harshly,
yet he never said a word.
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.
And as a sheep is silent before the shearers,
he did not open his mouth.
Did you read this verse and think, “Wow what a mighty and sovereign God!”. I don’t know about you, but when I think about the power and authority of God this is not the first verse that comes to mind. This is a beautiful verse of scripture, tucked in the prophesy Isaiah gave concerning God’s plan to come to earth and institute His new covenant of Kingdom power and salvation for mankind. At first glance it seems like a paradox that God would choose such weakness, to reveal His glory.
When God came to earth through His son Jesus, He could had done it anyway He wanted. My preference would have been for him to come on a white horse, surrounded by a calvary of waring angels, forcing everyone in proximity to submit to the overwhelming beauty of His majesty. If I was making the decisions, He would then have immediately expelled the emperor of Rome and seated Himself as supreme king. Establishing His kingdom through a show of might and heavenly splendor forcing all nations to bow down and pay tribute. After all He is RIGHT and all in opposition are WRONG. Black and white, easy peasy, much quicker, and much more efficient.
Thankfully He is God and I am not; His plan is infinitely better and wiser. One day the Lion of the tribe of Judah will return to earth and accomplish all that is mentioned above and that will be a glorious day. God’s wisdom is that the Lion is the fulfillment of the lamb, strength is born out of weakness, power is derived out of vulnerability. Jesus came to the earth in the most vulnerable form, a human infant. He entered the fall, as a frail and weak lamb. Why? When we make ourselves weak and vulnerable in the flesh, we position ourselves to rely solely on Gods power and grace. Jesus knew that the Fathers strength was available to Him at any point. He also knew that as long as He walked in what the world called weakness, He would have access to the strength of heaven. This is the reason our church is built upon Life groups first. (I bet you didn’t think this was a blog about life groups!)
It is imperative that we as believers learn to be vulnerable before God and each other, otherwise we never gain access to Gods power moving through our lives. (Side note: there is a difference between authority and power, research at your own discretion.) Life groups provide a safe place for Christians to stop hiding, to peel back their own religious fig leaves and begin to grow into powerful spirit filled Christians that have nothing to hide.
For too long the Church in America has been duped into believing that information, worldly success, and or a large following is power. Which is comical because Jesus spoke in riddles no one understood, He taught his disciples to travel without possessions, had a following of 12 and chased most of his followers off with difficult to understand teachings. Worldly success is not the point for Jesus, He was after something much more important. He was after exposing and restoring our hearts. This is what Life Groups do, they strip away all the fanfare of Americanized church, leaving behind only intimate relationships, the presence of Holy Spirit, and space for you to respond. Is it easy? Nope. Will you leave every meeting with your dignity intact? I hope not, that is not the goal. Life group is not for those who want to be fake and never grow in God. Its for those who desire Jesus and are ready to GET REAL!