“To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:
These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 8 I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. (Revelation 3:7-8 NIV)
Jesus is constantly exhorting His followers to be “victorious” in the letters to the seven churches of Asia Minor (Revelation 2:7, 11, 17,26, 3:5, 12,21). This charge may be intimidating to those of us who are used to failure. Yet, even the weakest of us can succeed spiritually, if we rely on God for our strength. Indeed, the church of Philadelphia proved this to be true. Jesus praises their successes, and never once in this letter accuses them of any failings. But their success is not based on their own power, because, as Jesus admits “you have little strength.” This small amount of strength they had was sufficient, because they absolutely refused to deny Christ, and therefore God allowed them to overcome their trials by His power. It is God’s will to use the weak, not the mighty, to display His power.
In II Corinthians the Apostle Paul Explained How God used his weakness for God’s glory:
And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 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.10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (II Corinthians 12:7-10)
Therefore, let us, as Christians, not try to revel in our own supposed power, because we have no power apart from God. But rather let us cling to the “little stength” that we have, resist evil, and trust in God to grant us the power to stay the course.