Our Surprising Superpower

“What is your superpower?” This is the “surprise” interview question everyone has come to expect. For hiring managers, it is an engaging means of testing candidates’ creativity, agility, adaptability, and composure. Job applicants, on the other hand, can seize upon the question as a fun way to feature their primo professional skills and character traits. If one possessed unshakable focus on mission and dogged pursuit of its aligned objectives, for example, he might light-heartedly claim Superman’s laser-like “heat vision” as his natural superpower and proceed to explain why. But what about “superpower” in a spiritual sense? Well, that’s different. Let’s see how.

Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians was, in part, a defense of his personal integrity and authority, for the church had been infiltrated by false teachers speaking against him and leading the believers away from truth. In response, Paul confessed his counterintuitive superpower before all: “I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses.”1 What might inspire this bold apostle to glory in his deficiencies? Jesus had counseled him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”2 By grace, God freely flows His power through us for His purposes—anything “more” is actually less. Concluded Paul in humble submission, “When I am weak, then I am strong.”3

Over the past two months, we have been exploring “God’s grace in its various forms”4—His favor that overflows in abundance to us and through us to others. Strength is one such expression of grace, equipping us for a variety of purposes. From God’s “glorious riches,” for instance, He strengthens us “with power through his Spirit . . . so that Christ may dwell in [our] hearts through faith.”5 In inexhaustible measure, “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”6 He gives us endurance in mission, “for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus.”7 And even when we suffer, “the God of all grace” himself restores us and makes us strong, firm and steadfast.”8 Then let us, like Paul, “strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in us.”9 For our superpower is no longer a natural “what” but a divine “Who.” He is Christ in us.

So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.” —Zechariah 4:6

Father, out of Your glorious riches, strengthen us with power through Your Spirit in our inner being, so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith.10 Work powerfully through us, Your church, and be glorified. In Christ we pray, Amen.

1 2 Corinthians 12:9b
2 2 Corinthians 12:9a
3 2 Corinthians 12:10
4 1 Peter 4:10
5 Ephesians 3:16-17
6 2 Corinthians 9:8 ESV
7 2 Timothy 2:10 ESV
8 1 Peter 5:10
9 Colossians 1:29
10 Ephesians 3:16-17