KEYWORDS: lord, god, strength, things, power, people

Talents & Gifts, Strengths & Weaknesses

David Berg

DO 2557 Comp. 8/89

1. I'm sure that every one of you can look back on your life & see how God's hand was upon you all along, how He was preparing you for the job He was going to call you to do one day. Even before you were saved He was already preparing you, taking care of you & protecting you so that you could one day serve Him.

2. "The preparations of the heart in man are from the Lord. A man can receive nothing except it be given him from Heaven."—Pro.16:1; Jn.3:27. The Lord made you & designed you, prepared you & gifted you for the work He had for you, even if the Devil got ahold of you & kept you busy in his field for years before you found the Lord! Thank God, you finally got saved & jerked out of the World & are now putting your talents, experience, training etc., to use for God's glory!

3. God is the great Master Craftsman Who chooses, ordains‚ designs & creates specific tools for specific purposes. Take my own Mother for example: Even before she was saved she had a marvellous vocabulary & grasp of the English language‚ as well as an outstanding ability to express herself & dramatise things. Then when she got saved & yielded her life to the Lord she became a very useful tool that He could really put to work. When she received messages from Him, interpretations, etc., they flowed just beautifully!—And her sermons were gripping & eloquent!

4. In a sense, I have a similar gift that God uses, the gift of gab—a knowledge of words, vocabulary, etc. Well, that's my main job, to get out God's message in words, so why shouldn't He use the natural talent or gift with words that He's given me? As long as we give Him the credit & the glory, & use the gifts & talents He's given us for His purposes, He's happy to use them to the full!

5. When God has given people certain outstanding gifts, He doesn't hesitate to use them!—That's what He gave them to them for! (Jam. 1:17) He frequently uses people who already have quite a bit on the ball, who have a lot of drive & aggressiveness. Look at me! He usually uses fighters! Let's face it, some people would have a lot of push & a lot of drive even if God didn't anoint them!

6. In many cases, He simply takes people who've already got that natural drive, & He takes their gifts & their talents & their strengths & their drive & vigor & fervor & fight & He uses it for His glory!—In fact‚ He enhances it & inspires it even more & gives them even more strength to accomplish His results & to glorify Him!—Providing they've learned to put their will on God's side & to let Him take control of their lives & actions! PTL!


7. Of course, a lot of the time most of us don't feel very strong & we feel sort of lacking in gifts, strengths‚ talents or abilities. Well, that's when we can encourage our faith by remembering that God specialises in taking & using people who seemingly have little or nothing in themselves.

8. He says, "For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the World to confound the wise: & God hath chosen the weak things of the World to confound the things which are mighty: And base things of the World‚ & things which are despised‚ hath God chosen, yea, & things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in His presence!"—1Cor.1:26-29.

9. His Word even says, "Out of the mouth of babes & sucklings God has ordained strength!"—Psa.8:2. Why does God purposely choose weak people, even "babes & sucklings," of all things?—Because the weaker we are, the more strongly God can manifest His power & show what He can do! It's in our weakness that He is able to manifest His mighty power & His strength to overcome our human frailties & carnal limitations, in order to perform miracles! "We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God & not of us!"—2Cor.4:7.

10. When you're so weak that you don't feel capable or sufficient for the task God has set before you, then He has a chance to take over & do things to suit Himself! In fact, the weaker you get in the flesh, the stronger you can be in the Spirit! He says it's "not by (thy) might, nor by (thy) power‚ but by My Spirit‚ saith the Lord!"—Zec.4:6. When you're weak, then you're strong because that's when His strength comes in. (2Cor.12:10.)

11. The very fact that you don't feel like you can do it & you feel so incapable, is one of the best things possible!—Because then you will seek the Lord, & God will manifest Himself! When you don't even know what to do, then the Lord has a chance to work.—And He will, if you will let Him! "For it is God which worketh in us, both to will & to do of His good pleasure!"—Ph.2:13.

12. The weaker you are & the more incapable you feel, the more you will depend on God.—And the more He likes it & the more things He likes to do for you & the more He likes to help you.—Because then you will thank Him & give Him all the glory & credit! The Lord likes for us to be dependent on Him, He likes for us to know that we need His help, He likes for us to ask Him for it‚ to look unto Him & cry out to Him for the strength which we lack. It's then that "the things that are impossible with Man become possible with God!"—Luk.18:27. PTL!

13. The times when I was weakest in the flesh‚ I was strongest in the Spirit because I just had to completely throw myself on the Lord. You don't know how you're going to make it, & that's when He can make it through you. It's then that you trust in the Lord, & through your weaknesses you find His strength.


14. The biggest temptation for people who have a lot of natural talent, drive, dynamism & abilities is to just boom, boom, boom, push things through in their own strength! Such natural human force has its limits. "Men of force are men of faults," & their biggest fault is when they keep on going in their own strength, their own force, instead of letting the Lord work through them!

15. Having so much natural ability, strength & drive is often the very thing that stands in the way of the Lord showing His strength. It's more difficult for such people to just depend on the Lord because they've got so much natural strength that they're used to leaning on.

16. Like I said, my own Mother had a lot going for her in the natural, a lot of God-given natural talents, abilities, drive, personality, looks, etc. But look what the Lord had to do to her before He could really use it all! He practically had to almost kill her—put her in bed & in a wheelchair for five years! God had to break her back in order to break her will & finally get her down to where she had to just trust the Lord. She didn't have anything else left!—That's when God was able to really use her. Of course, she still had the natural talents & strengths & abilities He'd originally given her‚ but she learned to lean on Him & let Him use them, & to then give Him all the glory for whatever got accomplished.


17. Of course, all of us lean on the arm of flesh to some extent at different times.—And this is a very big part of our Christian life: To learn to lean on the Lord & to not do things in our own strength or depend on our own natural abilities & talents. The Lord wants us to rely on Him & His strength.—The kind of strength that is strictly from the Lord. You get it mostly when you're just down & out or almost dead! It's times like that when you realise how much you need it & you turn utterly to the Lord.

18. This is something you must learn before He can ever fully use you: That you're never going to be able to do what the Lord wants you to do by yourself or by your own will & own strength & self-control & determination or merely making up your mind that you're going to do thus & so. It's going to take prayer & faith & trust & utter reliance & dependence on the Lord!

19. I don't think I personally ever felt like I had very much natural strength, & I think that's why it's easy for me to depend on the Lord.—I had to! I've always known I had to because I felt like I was nothing & that I had nothing. All I had was Jesus!—And I knew I could never do anything without Him & His help. Because the Lord was all I ever had to lean on, I think it was really easy for me to depend utterly on Him & His strength.


20. It's been said that, "Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees." Well, that certainly is the truth because when you're weak in yourself, that's when you can be "strong in the Lord & in the power of His might!"—Eph.6:10. However‚ the Devil might not tremble so much if you're one of those who thinks that you're such a "strong" saint.—If you think you can make it on your own & you feel self-confident, that you're so strong, that in itself is a major spiritual weakness! (See 1Cor.10:12.)

21. But if you'll just give up on yourself & completely throw yourself on the mercy of God & just depend on the Lord, & realise you have nothing left but God, that's when He will mightily empower you & give you strength that you know not of! As Martin Luther wrote‚

"Did we in our own strength confide,

Our striving would be losing!

Were not the right Man on our side‚

The Man of God's Own choosing.

—Dost ask Who that may be?

Christ Jesus it is He!

Lord Sabbaoth His Name,

From Age to Age the same,

And He must win the battle!" PTL!

22. We cannot strive & wrest in our own strength—we must look to the Lord, & He must win the battle! You don't have to try to win victories by your own striving‚ struggling & working in the flesh! Just do your part by putting your will on God's side, & God will do the rest, which is virtually everything!—PTL!


23. It's one thing to admit & confess your weaknesses, but it's another thing to just complain or murmur about them. You need to go on the attack & praise the Lord for the strength you do have! And once you've confessed weaknesses, you've got to "fight the good fight of faith" (1Tim.6:12) & strive to overcome them with the Lord's help. When you make the right choice, the Lord will step in & help you to overcome your weaknesses, & will manifest His strength through you.

24. Of course, some people don't want to overcome their weak areas. They'd rather excuse all their faults & weaknesses by saying, "Well, I'm just that way, that's just me, I can't help it! My dad was that way, or my mother was that way, & it's just born in me‚ I can't overcome it. I've got that weakness, that personality trait, it's my Starsign, my Sunsign" blah, blah! Phooey! That's just not so! God's Word says, "Be not conformed to this World, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind!"—Rom.12:2.

25. If necessary, God can completely transform your personality despite any & all natural influences!—You've just got to do your part by putting your will on God's side, & then depending utterly upon the Lord!—On His Love, His power, His Strength‚ His Spirit & His Word, which are stronger than anything the Devil can muster!

26. You've just got to really look to the Lord in very earnest prayer for His strength & Spirit & inspiration & power to pull you through!—Otherwise, you'll never make it. He says, "Without Me, ye can do nothing!"—Jn.15:5. If you don't really trust the Lord & rely on Him to carry you through, but you just keep struggling & pushing in your own strength, you're apt to wear yourself out & be headed for a nervous breakdown before you know it!

27. "Finally, my brethren‚ be strong in the Lord, & in the power of His might! Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil!"—Eph. 6:10,11. Don't let the Devil take an inch! "Neither give place to the Devil!"—Eph.4:27. Don't allow any little chinks in the wall to let him in, but resist him & he will flee if you really fight! PTL!

28. Bless & strengthen them in the power of Thy might, Lord, not their own flesh. Not in their own strength, but Thy strength.—Not their own self-confidence, but confidence in Thee! Bless them, Lord, & keep them humble, close to You, Jesus‚ totally dependent on Thee & Thy Spirit.

29. Bless & strengthen & keep each one. Give each one the faith & strength to stand against all the fiery darts of the Enemy! Help them to put on all the armour of God so that they will be able to stand against any onslaughts of Satan.

30. Help them to know that without You they can do nothing‚ they cannot do the Master's Work without the Master's power. Strengthen them, Lord, by Thy Word & by the Sword of Thy Spirit that they may be able to fight the Enemy & defeat him by Thy power!

31. We know‚ Lord, that You always provide the strength & the wisdom & the power for the tasks & challenges before us as we lean hard upon You & Your Word, so help us all to continue doing that. In Jesus' name‚ amen!

32. God bless you & keep you & encourage you & comfort you‚ strengthen you, help you & love you with all His might! PTL! Amen? ILY!

(To be continued!—More "Strength/Weakness" Letters coming soon! See also Sara's reactions to these Letters in FSM 153.)