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Official Joseph Prince Sermon Notes

His Strength Flows In Our Weaknesses

Sunday, 23 January 2022
 
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These are notes on the sermon, His Strength Flows In Our Weaknesses, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, 23 January 2022, at The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!

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Overview

  1. Introduction: Rely on God’s strength instead of your own
  2. Every time you come to God, you receive His life and restoration in areas of defeat
  3. Rejoice in your weaknesses because that’s where God's strength can flow
  4. Make the move from self-dependence to God-dependence
  5. Follow God's leading and experience unspeakable joy and peace
  6. God is rebuilding the areas of your life where your strength has failed
  7. Put Jesus at the center of your career, marriage, parenting, and ministry—and He will hold all things together
  8. Closing Prayer
  9. Salvation Prayer
  10. OWN THE WORD (life application)

Introduction: Rely on God’s strength instead of your own

Pastor Prince opens the service by encouraging us to always be eager to grow in our revelation of Jesus. When He comes again, He will reign at the center of this earth.

But before His second coming, we are still living in the dispensation of grace—the time when the free favors of God abound.

This is also the time when the prophecy of Amos 9:11–12 is taking place—God is restoring the tabernacle of David (a picture of the church that is under the new covenant of grace). The main characteristic of the tabernacle of David is that the ark of the covenant (a picture of Jesus Christ) is front and center.

“In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:
That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the Lord that doeth this.”
— ‭‭Amos‬ ‭9:11–12‬ ‭KJV‬‬

the remnant of Edom” — This mention of “Edom” calls to mind Obed-Edom. Obed-Edom was an important character in the story of David bringing the ark of the covenant to the tabernacle of David in Jerusalem. Along the way, the ark was placed in Obed-Edom’s house, and the Lord abundantly blessed him and his whole household. So this mention of “Edom” suggests that when God restores the tabernacle of David, we will experience the blessings of Obed-Edom—family blessings.

What happened before the ark was placed in Obed-Edom’s house on the journey to Jerusalem was the Perez Uzzah incident (2 Sam. 6:8). Instead of transporting the ark on the shoulders of the priests as was God’s ordained way, David transported the ark on an oxen cart. As a result, the oxen stumbled, and one of David’s men named Uzzah (whose name means “strength”) reached out to steady the ark and was struck dead. David then named the place “Perez Uzzah,” which means “the breaking of strength.”

In this journey of restoring the tabernacle of David, we will see the breaking of human strength (man’s pride). It is only when man sees that without the Lord, he can do nothing, that he will be able to trust and depend on the Lord’s strength instead of his own.

Without Jesus, we can do nothing (John 15:5). Sometimes we think we need God for the big things in life but we can handle the small things. Yet the Bible tells us that without Jesus, we can do nothing. We need Him in everything we do.

When we place our trust in our own strength, we open the door to failure.

This is also what happened to the Israelites in the wilderness. Before God even gave them the Ten Commandments, they trust in their own strength and said, “We can do it.” Right after that, they broke the first commandment by building a golden calf to worship.

“For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”
— Romans 5:6 NKJV

Christ died for us who were without strength. We are actually without strength and we cannot save ourselves. We need Jesus.

When you trust in your own strength to keep the law, you will fall into sin. The law was designed to be like a mirror reflecting mankind—sinners who can’t help but sin. The strength of sin is the law (1 Cor. 15:56).

Thank God that because we believe in Jesus and all He has done for us at the cross, we are now under the new covenant of grace and no longer under the law. When we are under grace, sin will not have dominion over us (Rom. 6:14).

Every time you come to God, you receive His life and restoration in areas of defeat

When David brought the ark of the covenant to the tabernacle of David on Mount Zion, people were still worshiping God at the tabernacle of Moses on Mount Gibeon.

The tabernacle of Moses had all the furniture in it except the most important one—the ark of the covenant.

There are important differences between the tabernacle of Moses and the tabernacle of David. In the tabernacle of Moses, God’s people were afraid to draw near to God because there was always the chance of being struck dead because they were judged on their behavior and performance. But in the tabernacle of David, God's people could come freely before the ark to worship Him. The main characteristic of the Tabernacle of David is praise and worship before an unveiled ark.

When Jesus gave up His Spirit in His final moments on the cross, God tore the veil in the temple from top to bottom—He removed the separation between Himself and man.

Because of Jesus’ finished work, we have a “new and living way” to approach God (Heb. 10:19–20). The more you come to God, the more you live! The more you come to God, the more you experience His life flowing into every area of defeat or death.

Jesus came to release us from sin as well as death (the consequence of sin). Physical death is the final enemy but before that, there are also different forms of death we may see in our lives. Depression is a form of death. Marriage breaking down is a form of death. Any kind of destruction you see in your life is a form of death. The more you come to God, the more you will see His life swallowing up death!

However, when we put forth our own strength instead of relying on His, death comes in (like what happened at Perez Uzzah).

There is a special law only recorded in the book of Numbers, during the time when the children of Israel were wandering in the wilderness and sometimes touched unclean things.

““This is the ordinance of the law which the Lord has commanded, saying: ‘Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring you a red heifer without blemish, in which there is no defect and on which a yoke has never come. . . . ‘He who touches the dead body of anyone shall be unclean seven days.”
— ‭‭Numbers‬ ‭19:2, 11‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

He who touches the dead body of anyone shall be unclean seven days” — There are still things in the world today that bring death when we expose ourselves to them.

that they bring you a red heifer without blemish” — This is a picture of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and it is the answer to removing “death” from a situation.

Pastor Prince shares an incident when he read an occultic book that caused him to have a headache. He pleaded the cleansing blood of Jesus (the red heifer), and just like that, the headache left. This is an example of how we can go back to God and experience a new and living way.

Rejoice in your weaknesses because that’s where God's strength can flow

“And when they came to Nachon’s threshing floor, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error; and he died there by the ark of God. And David became angry because of the Lord’s outbreak against Uzzah; and he called the name of the place Perez Uzzah to this day.”
— 2 Samuel 6:6–8 NKJV

Perez Uzzah” — This name means “the breaking of strength.” For the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown up man’s weaknesses and limitations. Man has seen a breaking of strength and also the need for God’s power in their lives.

It is not necessarily a bad thing when you see your strength broken. When your strength is broken in any area, that is where you get to see God’s strength come in.

The apostle Paul talked about having a “thorn in his flesh” and asking God to remove it. But God said to him:

“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
— 2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:9‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

My strength is made perfect in weakness” — The Greek word for “strength” is “dunamis,” and it refers to God’s power. Because God’s power flows into our weak areas, we should celebrate the areas where we’re weak.

Where your weakness is, there God’s strength is also.

We are people who are so used to showing our strengths (e.g. on social media). But as sons and daughters of God, let’s remember that we do not have to think or function like the world. We can rejoice in our weaknesses because that’s where God’s power can flow.

“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
— ‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:10‬ ‭NKJV

Pastor Prince shares his personal testimony of how he used to be a stutterer in his youth, but God used the very area of his weakness to now preach the gospel and see many lives saved. In the past, the more he tried to fix his stuttering problem, the worse it became. But God asked Pastor Prince to give that weakness to Him, and when he did, that’s when the transformation started taking place.

When God releases His power into your areas of weakness, you may not always see it or feel it immediately or tangibly. Sometimes you may not even be aware of the Lord working in you. But you will find that there are good results in time to come, or people will come up to you and tell you that something has changed. And you’ll know that the power of God was released.

Rejoice in all your areas of weakness and in the breaking of your strength. God is rebuilding those areas.

Make the move from self-dependence to God-dependence

God's desire is always to bless you. But He wants to do it His way. If God allows you to get the victory with your strength, then you get the glory. If God wants to get all the glory, let Him do all the work—in, through, and for you.

This doesn’t mean that you become passive or lazy. Look at Jesus—in 3 and a half years, He finished all the work His Father had assigned Him. There was no one more productive yet more restful than Jesus.

We can be restful and still see acceleration.

We are to rest from our human strength and start trusting the Lord.

Rest is not inactivity but Spirit-directed activity.

When you let the Lord lead you, you are depending on His strength. And when you follow His leading, His strength will continue to support you on the path.

However, when you follow your own leading, you have to depend on your own strength, smarts, and abilities, and the result is death (like what happened at Perez Uzzah).

When the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they followed God’s ordained way of transporting the ark on the shoulders of the Levites (the priests). As the Levites carried the ark (a picture of us carrying the name of Jesus and following Him), God helped them (1 Chron. 15:26). It was as though the moment the ark touched the shoulders of the priests, God lifted them. They felt light and easy.

In the same way, when we do things God’s way by trusting His leading and trusting His strength to support us, we will be empowered and supplied. There will be life, not death!

Follow God's leading and experience unspeakable joy and peace

“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
— Matthew 11:29–30 NKJV

My yoke is easy and My burden is light” — This is what the Lord says it is like to follow Him. The devil wants you to think it is hard to serve the Lord, but easy to live in the ways of the world. But that’s a lie. The truth is that “the way of transgressors is hard” (Prov. 13:15b KJV). Sin makes life hard. There are pleasures of sin, but they only last a season (Heb. 11:25). On the other hand, following Jesus gives you joy unspeakable (1 Pet. 1:8) and shalom peace.

“Now it was told King David, saying, “The Lord has blessed the house of Obed-Edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with gladness.”
— 2 Samuel 6:12 NKJV

So David went and brought up the ark of God . . . with gladness” — The first time David tried to transport the ark using man’s strength (not doing it God’s ordained way), there was death and fear. But now that he did it God’s way, there was gladness.

When you are led by the Lord, there will be joy and gladness. All the billions of dollars in the world can’t buy you that.

Don’t let the devil tell you the Christian life is a hard life while the way of the sinner is enjoyable.

The Christian life is full of joy unspeakable. It is easy and light. We have responsibilities and tasks to do, but when we allow the Lord to lead us, they become easy and light.

The moment you take the direction the Spirit is leading you in, His power starts flowing and carrying you.

The key is to keep your eyes on Jesus. When you are conscious of His love for you, you end up loving others. 2 Corinthians 5:14 KJV tells us that “the love of Christ constraineth us,” and “constraineth” has the idea of us being carried away by a current. The love of Christ is the motivating force behind everything we do. When we know His love, we act in love toward others. We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). That’s why the devil always tries to cut off the sense of being loved by the Lord.

God is rebuilding the areas of your life where your strength has failed

This year, as God rebuilds the church, He is also rebuilding the broken areas of your life.

When God restores something, it is always greater than what you originally had in quality and/or quantity.

If you have lost something, or something dear to you has been stolen, know that it is not the Lord who took it away (Ps. 69:4).

The devil is the one who steals, kills, and destroys while Jesus comes that you may have life (John 10:10).

“Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest . . .”
— Hebrews 4:11 NKJV

This year, let us labor to enter into His rest. We are to work at resting. We work at not reacting to everything that happens with our own strength.

How do we do this?

A practical way is to work at not reacting to everything that happens. Many times, we react to situations based on our emotions or intellect.

If you know that you are someone who reacts out of your flesh, know that the Lord doesn’t want you to be someone who is so easily controlled or manipulated by their buttons being pushed. So instead of reacting, let the Lord be the One to lead and guide you. When you feel like reacting, take some time to pause and tell the Lord, “Lord, You’ve got this. I trust You. I’ll rest in You.”

If you have a problem with a colleague at work, don’t try to force yourself to love that person. Just say, “Thank You, Lord. I trust You with this situation/this person. I will rest.”

Your areas of weakness are where God’s strength flows, so don’t try to be strong. A drowning person can’t be saved until he has lost his strength, so just allow the Lord to save you.

This is not a life of laziness or passivity. When you trust the Lord, you end up being very active without tiring out because the power that energizes you is not your own. You’ll be like the burning bush—burning up but not out.

Put Jesus at the center of your career, marriage, parenting, and ministry—and He will hold all things together

After David took the ark from Obed-Edom’s house after placing it there temporarily, he changed the way he carried the ark to Jerusalem. Instead of placing it on an oxen cart, he put it on the shoulders of the priests and he also offered sacrificial oxen and fatted sheep every six paces (2 Sam. 6:13). This is the first time David offered blood sacrifices as he brought the ark to Jerusalem. It is likely that he learned this from Obed-Edom, whose name means “servant of the blood.” Obed-Edom had the ark in his house for three months and saw immense blessings come upon his whole household.

When God restores the tabernacle of David, he will restore your family as well.

It’s the broken areas of your life that invite God’s repairing.

“And the ark of the LORD continued in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months: and the LORD blessed Obed-edom, and all his household.”
— ‭‭2 Samuel‬ ‭6:11‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Notice the Hebrew letters Aleph א and Tav ת that remain untranslated in this verse (Hebrew reads from right to left).

Aleph and Tav are the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
Aleph and Tav are the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”
— Revelations 22:13 NKJV

I am the Alpha and the Omega” — Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. But when Jesus said this, He would not have spoken Greek but Hebrew. In other words, He would have said, “I am the Aleph and the Tav.” The את (Aleph Tav) is Jesus’ signature. When we find His signature hidden untranslated in Bible verses, there is significance to it.

We find His signature right in the center of Genesis 1:1. There are 7 Hebrew words in this verse, and the word at the center is את (Aleph Tav). There are 28 Hebrew letters in this verse, and the letters את (Aleph Tav) are at the center.

Know that if Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, and Aleph and Tav, then every other word that comes from the letters in between (like “COVID” or “DELTA” or “OMICRON”) do not have the last word. Only Jesus, the first and the last, has the final say.

Genesis 1:1, the verse about creation, shows us that God wants us to live our lives with Jesus Christ at the center. All things were made by Him.

“All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”
— John 1:3 NKJV

“And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.”
— Colossians 1:17 NKJV

In Jesus, all things are held together.

Atoms are held together by a force that man doesn’t yet understand. What is the force that holds them together? The Bible tells us that in Christ, all things are held together.

“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.”
— Colossians 1:16 NKJV

All things were created through Him and for Him” — When you live for Jesus, He holds everything in your life together. When you give to Him your career, your marriage, your parenting, your ministry, you allow Him to come in and hold them all together. It is when Jesus is not at the center that things start to disintegrate.

Put Jesus at the center of all you’re dreaming about for your future. Make sure you count the Lord in your future.

The Lord wants us to be conscious that all things were made by Him and for Him (Col. 1:16). When you flow with His pattern, everything in life flows for you and not against you. You’ll be resourced, anointed, and gifted. Everything you do will shine for His glory.

Wisdom for parenting:

“Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: that your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth.”
— ‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭11:18–21‬ ‭KJV‬‬

And ye shall teach them ( את ) your children . . . that your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children” — In the original context of this verse, parents are encouraged to teach their children the law. However, under the new covenant, God has ordained for us to speak words about Christ. Today we can read the verse like this: “You shall teach Jesus Christ to your children, speaking of Him when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”

In your everyday life, follow the flow of the Spirit as He leads you to speak to your children about Jesus. Not just during designated devotional times, but throughout the day. Learn to speak to your children casually about the Lord—what you learned about Him from Sunday service or from your own personal study. Share with them whatever God shows you about Jesus. The Holy Spirit will be the One to give your words influence with them. You’d be surprised to find that they are listening even when they don’t seem like they are.

As you speak to your kids about Jesus more, your days shall be like heaven upon the earth.

Notice that it is also the Lord את (Aleph Tav) who blessed Obed-Edom. David heard about the blessings that came upon Obed-Edom’s house and he decided to take the ark to Jerusalem on Mount Zion, the center of God’s people, where God’s blessing could reach everyone.

“Now it was told King David, saying, “The Lord has blessed the house of Obed-Edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with gladness.”
— 2 Samuel‬ ‭6:12‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Notice the את (Aleph Tav) in this verse too. David had a desire to put the Lord Jesus at the center of it all. When Jesus is placed at the center, there will be gladness. And all the resources of heaven will come to you.

Ask the Lord for an area of ministry you can serve His Son. He who serves the Lord, God will honor. When you serve, look to serve Jesus, not man’s approval. Whether people recognize your service or not doesn’t matter because you will receive your reward and inheritance from Jesus.

Something happened to Potiphar’s house when he put Joseph (a picture of Jesus) at the center:

“So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had in the house and in the field.”
— ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭39:5‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Joseph is a type of Jesus. When you put Jesus at the center of your life, all of heaven and all the power of God will start to assist you. You’ll find the help of God in every area of your life.

Pastor Prince prays for people with these conditions:

  • Liver cancer
  • Restricted arm movement
  • Heart condition
  • Floaters in the eyes
  • Migraines
  • Depression / mental oppression

Salvation Prayer

“Lord Jesus, I thank You that You died on the cross for my sins. You rose from the dead, conquering death for me. I confess Jesus Christ is my Lord and my Savior. And Father God, You are now my Father. I am Your child. And I'm greatly blessed, highly favored, and I'm so loved by You. Thank You, Father God, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Closing Prayer

“I thank You, Lord, for everyone under the sound of my voice. And I ask in the name of the Lord Jesus that this coming week, I pray that they will see the blessing that You blessed Obed-Edom with rest upon them—upon all that they have and upon their entire household this week, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And let it be said of them, Lord, that they are so blessed because of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let it be a testimony to many, far and wide. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

OWN THE WORD (life application)

“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
— 2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:9‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

This week, allow the Lord to come alongside you in your areas of weakness. Whether it is in your job, a relationship you are facing difficulties in, or any aspect of your life where you struggle with a sense of failure—the Lord wants to be involved.

Would you take some time, even now, to pray and invite Him into that area of weakness? And be encouraged in knowing that the Lord’s dunamis power, His own strength that can accomplish far more than you can imagine, will work in you, through you, and for you when you rely on Him.

This week, when you face familiar struggles in that area of weakness, take time to pause and remember that the Lord is with you. You have given this situation to Him. You can pray under your breath, “Lord, You’ve got this. I rest in You and I know that You’ll help me. Right now, Your strength is being made perfect in my weakness!”

We hope these sermon notes blessed you! If they did, we encourage you to get the sermon and allow the Lord to speak to you personally as you watch or listen to it.

© Copyright JosephPrince.com 2022
These sermon notes were taken by volunteers during the service. They are not a verbatim representation of the sermon.


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