“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.” II Corinthians 4:7 (NKJV)
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (NKJV) The words of Jesus resonate in the backdrop of our devotional passage. If you believe that you can be successful, fulfilled, complete, whole, blessed, healed, prosperous, victorious, holy, and righteous without the person and the power of Jesus Christ our Lord, then think again. If this is what you have been thinking then you have already been defeated long before your attempts to succeed. Your business plans mean absolutely nothing without Christ. Your vain attempts to not make the same mistake again in life are quite mundane unless you understand that you cannot do it by yourself. It is not about me, and it is not about you. Apart from the power of God and our relationship with Him, no matter how we hope and wish things to come to pass, it will not be done without Him.
The power of God is incomprehensible. “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God. How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways are past finding out.” Romans 11:33 (NKJV) However, He places this power that we cannot explain or comprehend in us, mere “earthen vessels.” He does so that the power that He grants us will be of Him and not of us. The Apostle Paul was well aware of His limitations, and as result he fully understood where the source of his power came from. Think about it. God places His power in earthen vessels. This He has done on many prior occasions. When Joshua encountered Jericho and the walls that surrounded the city, God asked Joshua and his army to shout on the seventh day and He would do the rest. When Gideon faced the Midianites, he started out with 32,000 men. God reduced the number to 300 and He did the rest in bringing Gideon the victory. It is never about us, but it is “always” about the power of God. It is reminiscent of what my mother would often say. “Whatever you do, don’t lose the power.” It was her way of saying that never underestimate, disavow, or fail to rely on the power that comes from God because it is never about you.
Paul pens this particular portion of his second letter to the church at Corinth to somewhat validate his ministry. His reputation had preceded him and many knew far and wide of his past history. Yet Paul could not take any credit with regards to what God had done and was doing in his life through the power of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It would be absolutely blasphemous not to mention foolish for Paul or any of us to believe for one moment that we deserve or merit the power of God working in our life. He has placed a “treasure” in each of us. Here the idea of “treasure” implies metaphorically that we have “spiritual treasures that pertain to eternal life.” God does not place these treasures in vaults, compounds, Fort Knox, or any other physically fortified location. No, He places this treasure in earthen vessels. In the life of every blood bought believer.
Therefore, we must acknowledge the power of God that as an act of His grace He allows himself to be placed in the compartment of “earthen vessels” which is to say our flesh. Don’t you think for one moment that your recent victory, deliverance, or accomplishment had anything to do with you. You are merely an earthen vessel without power. But God in His awesome and miraculous mercy has allowed His power to rest on us. Not just for us but that He would be glorified though our works. Whatever you do don’t confuse His power. Don’t abuse His power. Don’t misuse His power. It is always and will forever be about God’s glory and not about us. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (NKJV)