1 Corinthians 2
It is so tempting to read Paul’s words and study his background and build him us as this well-trained, highly intelligent, gifted, full of confidence, fearless, unshakable man with the perfect words always rolling off of his tongue. He was many of these things. So we think, no wonder he can go all over the world and share the Gospel. He is a special case; exceptionally qualified and called. And I am nothing like this. The right words never come out of my mouth; I am terrified to talk in a crowd…I’m even a bit terrified to strike up a conversation with a new person. I don’t have a seminary education, debate skills, or much wisdom. I’m an ordinary homeschool mom with anxiety and lots of fear who can barely keep it together.
But look at Paul’s description of how he came proclaiming the Gospel to the Corinthians: in weakness, in fear, with much trembling, with no plausible words of wisdom. Not much different than we might feel, huh?
I tend to think when I have these feelings that I need to just hide in my corner. Not Paul. He pressed on, and he was bold in his teaching. But it wasn’t his impeccable pedigree, impressive education, or commanding communication skills. It was utterly the outflow of the power of the Spirit in him. It was his faith and belief propelling him forward.
And this is the way God equips and sends His disciples…SO THAT, faith will not rest in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. So there is no doubt where the source of power comes from.
“Many people use slick, entertaining, or even deceptive means to ‘lure’ people into the church, and justify it by saying, ‘we're drawing them in and then winning them to Jesus.’ But the principle stands: what you draw them with is what you draw them to.” David Guzik
Henry T. Blackaby says, “If we function according to our ability alone, we get the glory; if we function according to the power of the Spirit within us, God gets the glory.”
Look at the group God used to start His church and tell His story…there are no consistent skill sets…some poor, some wealthy, some education, some blue-collar workers, some introverted, some extroverted…the only consistent trait was faith in the work of Jesus to save. Blackaby reminds us, “God can do anything He pleases through an ordinary person who is fully dedicated to Him…The Lord never calls the qualified; He qualifies the called.”
We can understand things and do things impossible in our own skill set because we have the mind of Christ; we have God in us. Like Paul and the other disciples, this too will propel us forward when we are weak, fearful, trembling, unqualified, and don’t think we have the eloquent words and speech.
How encouraging for all of us also called to proclaim the Gospel! We don’t have to be at a place of fearlessness, meticulous preparation, hold a doctorate in theology, or even be skilled communicators and storytellers. We only have to have faith and harness the power within us.
In the pictures are a few of my favorite Henry T. Blackaby quotes. Save them as your screensaver to remember just how qualified you are in the power of Jesus!
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