Encouraged and Empowered

I love how God always directs me within His Word to concepts, ideas, and emotions that will benefit my life physically and spiritually. He has never failed in doing so. Every single time I open up the Bible, I find something new and wonderful that I have never experienced before.

Today’s blessing came while reading in 1 Corinthians. In case you did not know already, the book of 1 Corinthians was written by Paul to the church at Corinth regarding correction of errors within the church itself. As he begins his letter, Paul takes some time to describe how he has come into apostleship and explains the authority of his words which proceed from the teachings of Christ. The Church was founded on and maintains its doctrine from the words of the apostles which were directed of the Lord. This holds true to my life spiritually as well. I just want to thank Paul for being so open, honest, and humble in his strength. Paul was a righteous man of God, but was only so because he allowed the Spirit to lead, guide and direct him.

In I Corinthians 2, Paul is describing the power with which he speaks; he also discusses how it is that he has gained the wisdom which flows from his words. I want to skip around a little and then come back to the beginning of chapter 2 a bit later. God really dealt with me on an emotional level in this passage. First, in verses 9-16, Paul reminds the church that the things of God cannot be discerned of a man who is of the world, for he has received the spirit of the world. We can know the things of God, for we have received the only thing which knows the mind of God, the Spirit. We have been given the Spirit, and as a result, we have the mind of Christ.

“9 But it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so, the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given unto us of God.”

We can know the things of God, for we have received the only thing which knows the mind of God, the Spirit. We have been given the Spirit, and as a result, we have the mind of Christ.

“13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritually judgeth all things, yet himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”

In order to know the fullness of God’s will, we must search the Spirit of the Lord which reveals to us these things. The Word is our light, it leads us and the Spirit guides us on the path of righteousness for the sake of God. This is a huge concept. Our lives are directed and called of the Lord and God actually wants us to find His will! He directs us to it for His name’s sake. Because we have the Spirit within us and the mind of Christ providing righteous wisdom, we can align our lives with the will of God. Once we determine His will, we must then begin to carry out that will while walking through the doors that He opens up for us: never forsaking to give glory and praise to Him that guides us through it all.

Here is where Paul’s words really hit home for me. I know that God has called me to be a missionary, to serve Him in service to others, and to carry His Word and let it speak for itself. I am doing my best to adequately prepare myself for what God has for me. I am sharpening my mind, and making tender the affections of my heart in order to show the love of Christ which has been shown to me. Despite my best efforts, I still feel somewhat insignificant. This insignificance streams from a current of fear which erodes my self-confidence- a fear that I will never know enough to present the Word of God to man as perfectly as it presents itself to my own heart; that my words will fail to capture the glory of a perfect God.

Paul describes this same feeling in the early verses of 1 Corinthians 2.

“1 And I, bretheren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5 that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” 

WOW. Thank you Paul! Thank you God for giving discernment and wisdom to Paul. I can learn so much from his experiences told in these few verses. Paul came right out and displayed his weakness to the entirety of the people of Corinth. These are people who he planned on correcting in a few chapters, yet he was willing to take himself off the pedestal and give God glory. His words were not his own. In fact, his words were not of excellency at all; rather they were of demonstration of God’s power as they were spoken of the Spirit through Paul. Paul was terrified- he trembled, he was afraid and he felt weak and insignificant. Like I have felt lately, his words could never adequately bring forth the holiness of God to a people who had been laid on his heart.

Paul’s powerful words of wisdom sprang forth from the omnipotent God that was guiding him. As a result of these words of humility, the people could know that Paul was not was worthy of praise, but that the strength and faith of the people might be found in the power of God. That is what I wish to communicate through my words. I am not my own man, but a man of Christ. My words are not my own, but those of a holy and loving God that guides me daily.


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