Text: 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
If there is one thing I absolutely adore about this God we serve, it is this: His ability to do the extraordinary through ordinary people. Like you. Like me. Regardless of our past, no matter how short of the mark we fall, and in spite of our weaknesses – God chooses us to do His awesome work on this earth and bring Him glory. Stop and revel in this amazing truth with me for just a moment.
Such wild grace, isn’t it?
To go a little deeper here, jump over to Hebrews 11 and read all of the names listed in the “Great Hall of Faith.” We see imperfect, doubting, sinful people who BY FAITH, did the incredible because they believed God and surrendered to His will for their lives. Had they not followed Him and accomplished what they did, where would we be today? I shudder to think of the answer had these saints before us not submitted to God’s will for their lives.
But the same is true for us and our generation, friends. We have a thrilling opportunity before us to take God for His Word, believe Him with everything we have within us, and let Him work in and through us for the power and glory of His Kingdom. Our lives, our stories, our NAMES can be added to this account – “By faith, (insert your name) … ” – and leave a remarkable legacy for others in their faith journey. I don’t know about you, but I want this to be the story of my life.
With that said, let’s now turn to our text for today …
And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.
1 Corinthians 2:1-5, NIV
Yet another personal account of God using an ordinary person to do incredible things. Before Paul was Paul, Paul was Saul, and he was quite the persecutor of Jesus’ followers. You can read more about his change of heart here. Paul is one of my all-time favorite people in the Bible and what I have come to so appreciate about him is his honesty and vulnerability as a leader and follower of Christ. In this passage, he speaks to the Corinthians, fully acknowledging that he was scared out of his wits to preach and share the Gospel (probably even more so given his past and lack of knowledge). But what made it all possible was his sole focus on Christ.
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
Paul didn’t have fancy blogs or bible studies or books or podcasts to guide him in his journey. He didn’t have a master’s degree in theology or divinity. Heck, he didn’t even have a Bible. What he had was a personal encounter with Jesus that literally blinded him to everything else in his life. An experience that transformed him, changing the course of his life and the course of many others’ lives forever. He was given a new name and set out to build the body of Christ. And so that’s what he did; eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of his faith (Hebrews 12:2).
I find this encouraging because Paul’s mission was solely for God. Although he was reaching out and touching people’s lives in his mission, He worked for an audience of One, not worrying about others’ opinions or comparing Himself to them. In our age of mass communication and social media, are we living like Paul? I confess I struggle with this. It’s hard not to get caught up in what others are doing; and looking for “likes” and comments on the various social media outlets can be addictive and a major distraction.
Paul’s message is clear: When our focus is on God and the work He has called us to do, the Spirit shines through, giving us everything we need to accomplish the plans and purposes He has for us. It is for His glory alone that we do this work. Nothing else is as important or as valuable as His fame reaching all the ends of the earth.
With this said, I propose that we examine where we are at in our race with God (Hebrews 12:1) and that we let go of everything keeping us from our best lives. Let’s surrender to Him and boldly ask Him to set us ablaze with purpose and passion and inspiration and influence for Him. Listen for His voice. What is He calling you to do? What gets you excited and keeps you up at night? What dreams and desires has He placed in your heart? Whatever it is, go do the thing!
And if there is one thing you take from this devotional today, let this be it: God loves you. Fiercely and passionately He pursues you. No matter where you’ve been, no matter what you’ve done, He is ready to rescue you, to make you new, to set you free. And your freedom is for the purpose of setting others free too.
He’s got a unique job for you to do while you’re here on this earth. Christine Caine teaches that “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.” Therefore, don’t worry about other people or your past or your sins. Once you are free, you are FREE (John 8:36). Your belief, faith, and surrender are what qualify you and will take you to the finish line of your race.
So, be you, on fire. Burn your lamp bright and strong to show the world what God can do through ordinary, wonderful you (Psalm 139:14). There’s no better way to live.
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
2 Corinthians 4:6-7, NIV
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Today’s post ends the #SheReadsTruth #SheSharesTruth Lent devotional writing challenge. It has been my pleasure to share with all of you what God has spoken to me through each passage of Scripture these past five weeks. Thanks for following along!