The “Man of Steel” movie has so many Jesus references. I really like that. At one point he says he has been waiting for 33 years for this moment. At a critical decision moment he sees the priest and asks for direction. Behind him in this scene is a stained glass window depicting Jesus in prayer. That is cool stuff. His life on our planet has made him so strong that he can’t be hurt or at least there doesn’t seem to be anything that can kill him. Still the man of steel has a weakness. When he gives himself up (Jesus ref) and submits to their plan (ref) and goes the to the enemies spaceship, he breathes their atmosphere and is vulnerable. He sheds blood for the first time (more Jesus ref). The Superman story tradition is he is weakened when he is around Kryptonite. These meteors from Krypton just seem to surface and Lex Luther gets one and puts it on a giant chain and…well you know the rest.
Have you ever felt like you have a Kryptonite equivalent? Is there something that really scares you? For some people it is speaking in public. For others it is a fear of being rejected. Maybe it is being picked to lead something. How about doing math in public? Some Krypton stones are really big ones and some are these little dinky things but to you they are all a weakness that you just try your best to avoid. I’ve got mine. If there is Karaoke and dancing in public, somebody else is going to have to pull Lois Lane out of the party. I’ll be in the car outside or hiding in the bathroom.
You know this is not a new thing. This is one of those things that God has dealt with regarding us from the beginning. I believe it started with eating from the wrong tree. When pride and selfishness stepped in we became aware of our weakness, our capacity for shame. Adam and Eve ran to the bushes in shame. Adam blamed Eve for the whole thing when he was standing right there. Later even a guy like Moses had a weakness. He was a man who desperately wanted to help his people so much so that he killed a man. So when God calls him in such a dramatic way you would think he would jump for joy at the opportunity. There was one problem for Moses however, his Kryptonite:
Ex 4:10 But Moses said to the Lord, “Please, Lord, I have never been a skilled speaker [ man of words]. Even now, after talking to you, I cannot speak well. I speak slowly and can’t find the best words [have a heavy/slow mouth and a heavy/slow tongue].” (EXB)
It makes you wonder what idea Moses had? He obviously thought that if God used him it would be in a very different way. Moses was terrified of public speaking. This was his one thing, his one weakness that, guess what, God intended to use! Check out what God told Moses.
Ex 4:16 Aaron will speak to the people for you. You will tell him what God says, and he will speak for you [He will be your mouth and you will be like God to him].(EXB)
Not only did God have an amazing plan but it would elevate Moses in his standing way above any idea he had. He would be like God to Aaron. Not only that but like God to Pharaoh too.
Ex 7:1 And the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet.(ESV)
God is actually in the business of taking our weakness and showing His strength. Remember this from Paul?
2 Cr 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (ESV)
I believe God works this way so we don’t try in our own effort. If it was something we could do well then who would get the credit? I don’t mean that God needs the credit or wants the credit. He loves us so much that He wants us to rely on Him. When we rely on ourselves we are missing out on the benefits of having a glorious intimate relationship with the creator of the universe. Jesus understands this concept. Look at what it says in Hebrews about why Jesus is qualified as our great High Priest.
Hbr 5:2 He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness.(ESV)
Jesus was completely reliant on God and the Holy Spirit. As an emptied, humble, surrendered, obedient to the point of death, man he had to rely on His relationship with His Father and the Holy Spirit for all things. The best part of the story is we are in Him and He is in us and He is one with the Father. God does the same thing with us today. The word Paul uses for weakness is the same word in this passage.
Rom 8:26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. (ESV)
The Holy Spirit knows where we have weakness. Not like “weakness for chocolate” but like where we don’t have talent for a something or aren’t qualified for something (at least in our own minds). For Paul I believe his weakness was actually preaching. He says often that he didn’t have eloquent speech but relied on the Holy Spirit so they would know it was God’s power not Paul’s power. The “thorn” or “tormentor” or “messenger from satan” was constantly reminding Paul of how inadequate he was. Maybe he had a speech issue like Moses? Could be.
God reminds us that it is in the intimate relationship that we find His intercession.
Rom 8:27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (ESV)
The word “searches” in Rom 8:27 is not some impersonal examination or a test or a sterile probing. The Greek word is eraunaō which has a root word eipon which means to speak or utter. The “searching” is an intimate conversation. God loves to have talks with us (see this post). When God steps in and we rely on Him it always turns out good.
Rom 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (ESV)
And this word good isn’t just “God makes bad stuff turn out to be good stuff.” In the context of this passage it is that in our weakness God is seen. When we move people see God, His good. Check out this verse:
Luke 18:19 Jesus said to him, Why do you call Me [essentially and perfectly morally] good? No one is [essentially and perfectly morally] good—except God only. (AMP)
Jesus uses the same word for good. So now you should be amazed. Now you should be encouraged beyond words. Now you should feel a lot like Jesus. When you know you can’t do it like Paul you know that God is going to show up and use you to bring His good. Can you imagine anything more rewarding on this planet? Can you imagine anything more unbelievably satisfying? I can’t. Check out what the Message translation says next in Romans 8.
Rom 8:29-30 God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun. (MSG)
Come on! That is awesome! We get to be like our brother Jesus, the first fruit. There is no Kryptonite for us. Our weakness is His opportunity. We get to see what God can do in and through us. We get to be a willing participant with the Creator of the universe. We get to host the very Holy Spirit that resurrected Jesus from the dead. We get to host the very source of love itself. We get to walk in His love and bring His love. We get to do it in His power and not our own. I bet Moses got it after a while. I bet Paul believed what he said about weakness:
2 Cor 12:10 So for the sake of Christ, I am well pleased and take pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities and distresses; for when I am weak [in human strength], then am I [truly] strong (able, powerful in divine strength). (AMP)
Bring it on! Try your best Lex Luther. There is no Kryptonite for a child of the Most High God. Or said differently “have you met my Dad?”