Antietam & DC 018We are surrounded by people.  Some of the people who fill our days or mar our past have been people of power and influence.  They have made us fearful and unduly altered our lives. 

The temptation in life is to seek after that kind of power so that we can protect ourselves from being victimized again.  Then, the Spirit of God convicts us for our fleshly intent.  We shake our head and wonder what recourse we have.  God gives us a solution that will be far more satisfying and guilt free. 

Paul tells us about his boldness.  It is a different kind of power than the world’s.  When it is experienced, nothing in the world can compare to it.

First, there must be an honest appraisal of personal intent.  By worldly standards, wisdom or skillful articulation is not competitive.  Even though his message was eternal, it did not measure up to human standards.

Discernment is critical for a spiritual vitality that matures properly. 

Second, there was a deep-seated conviction on the Apostle’s part.  He personally resolved to concentrate his focus on knowing Jesus Christ and him crucified.  This includes both academic and spiritual knowledge.

Paul could have pursued education and prowess to impress the world.  He knew what that path required from his extension educational background.  However, he chose to forego that route and gave himself to personally know His Lord and Savior instead.

The pubic demeanor of leaders is usually perceived as confident and gifted.  But, Paul shows us the hidden heart of a leader.  He admits his feelings of weakness and fear.  He emphasizes that to the point describing his mood as trembling.

According the world’s standards, Paul knew that his performance was not acceptable.  From a worldly professional viewpoint didn’t measure up.  Paul could admit that.  He could recognize and accept the bad review.  But, his values were elsewhere.

The apostle was interested in putting the Spirit of God on display.  He wanted all of the glory to go to God.  Preaching is effective when the Spirit is depended up for His eternal impact.  If the Spirit makes the preaching successful, then, He alone should receive the credit.

More than credit, Paul had an even deeper interest.  If the preaching that He did was accomplished by the Spirit’s power, then, the effect would be spectacular.  God alone deserves the credit, the loyalty and the trust through faith.

1 corinthians 2.1-5

photo credit: brucefong photography