I feel terribly inadequate in most areas of my life, but especially when it comes to sharing my faith in the world in which we live. Don’t you?
When I write a devotional or prepare for a message, I pour over the words and sentences for hours, contemplating how they will be perceived and received. I often wonder if my words will sound wise, inspire, convince, or stir the faith of others. But if this is truly my aim, then I will indeed fail. Why? Because I can’t make any of those things take place in another person’s life.
Far too often you and I are spiritual posers, pretending we have wisdom and power but not genuinely connected to a source beyond ourselves. As a result, we craft lofty words, present well-planned messages, even have pointed and particularly parsed conversations, all in the hopes that our “wisdom” will somehow save someone. We are mistaken.
Paul understood that what hindered so many in his culture was not the lack of good rhetoric, teaching, or prose, but people’s desire to create their own wisdom or truth. Greek and Roman scholars and philosophers would often debate freely and fervently. Paul was able to engage in these activities as he was well educated, a Pharisee among Pharisees, and a student of Gamaliel (Acts 22:3). Paul knew, however, that his faith did not rest in the wisdom of men, but the power of God. In 1 Corinthians 2:2-5, he states it plainly:
For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God).
As I read newsfeeds and social media post from liberals to conservatives, Christians to atheists, I see lots of the “wisdom of men.” Our world is hungry for the next great sound bite or turn of phrase. We look for bits of wisdom, but rarely for the source of all that is wise. As a result, our world is filled with an ever-increasing division between (for lack of better identifiers) “left” or “right;” “conservative” or “liberal.”
In trying to stake out claims and positions, we overlook the demonstrations of God’s power seen all around us. We miss God’s power in the transformed lives like those who attend LHM. We miss the beauty of God’s people giving sacrificially and generously towards those in need. We overlook the kindness of God through the believer who personally feeds the poor, invites others into their home who feel displaced, or who simply sit by the side of one who is hurting or grieving.
Let’s be honest. It’s easy to scream at problems everyone sees and make a name for yourself. It’s not easy to live a life fully surrendered to a Savior who gave His life for your redemption. The former only must be loud in the moment to be heard. The latter must be submitted every second of the day for a lifetime.
If we want to change our world, we must do so through our faith consistently demonstrated. We need to worry less about our wisdom or abilities and more about the power of God. We must continue to speak of Jesus and Him crucified and the amazing ways the gospel has radically transformed our lives. We must be like Paul who was eager and willing to risk all to share the power of God he had personally experienced so that others would trust, believe, and follow Jesus and thereby be transformed!
Do you believe God’s power is sufficient for the hurts and needs of your life? Are you sharing what God has done in you and for you with others so they may see the power of God at work? Are you living a life dependent upon your wisdom and cunning, or trusting in the power of God?
The truth is, we are all inadequate to do the God-sized things we are all called to do. I know I am. But I have a God who is more than able, more than capable of taking my inadequacies (and yours) and turning them into trophies of His power and wisdom. As we submit to Him and follow Him, we will be blessed beyond measure, and God’s power will be on display for all the world to see and believe.