There is an important little vignette in the Old Testament, book of 1 Chronicles 13:9-11. The Ark of the Covenant is being brought to Jerusalem. It is on a cart and is going to tip over. Uzzah reaches out to stabilize it.
9 And when they came to the threshing floor of Chidon, Uzzah put out his hand to take hold of the ark, for the oxen stumbled. 10 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah, and he struck him down because he put out his hand to the ark, and he died there before God. 11 And David was angry because the Lord had broken out against Uzzah. And that place is called Perez- uzza to this day.
Uzzah was just trying to help, to keep the Ark form falling on the ground. What did God strike him dead?
Uzzah’s sin is presumption. He presumed that he was clean and the ground wasn’t. But the ground it clean, in the sense that it is exactly the way it is supposed to be. It is the way God made it and intended it. Uzzah on the other hand is a sinful man, he is unclean. Touching the Ark was prohibited because no man was clean.
Paul also reveals us something important.
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Notice what Jesus tells Paul. His power is MADE PERFECT in Paul’s weakness. Thus we see that God’s power is perfecting us. When God says his power is “made perfect” in us, it cannot be that his power was not perfect before it came to us and we somehow are adding to or perfecting God’s power. That cannot be what is happening. What than can being made perfect mean? It seems to me that it means that we are demonstrations of God’s power and that in our weakness we become purer, more perfected examples of that power.