I found quite a contrast in Paul’s language this morning as I picked up an older Bible. I seem to be at a time in my life when I feel the need to reexamine my faith, to look again at the things that moved me as a young man and bring into accountability the final efforts of my Christian service.
Whatever the number of days that lie ahead, they must be effective, poured out with a heart toward Christ, as opposed to being steered by the needs of corporate America, public service or even the church community. This daily drives me back to his Word and my knees.
This morning it was First Corinthians 1:26-2:8. In the margin at verses 2:3-4 I found a note: Weak and trembling in power…what a contrast. I assume this note was a recorded aspiration from my early days in Christ? The verse also provides the stark reality of whom we are, given our calling? Lest we take ourselves to seriously and fall into pride: “not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.”
There was Paul, “a stumbling block to the Jews” and sounding foolish to the learned Greeks. That’s like being between a rock and a hard place, to anyone trying to impress!
Though God may place me in positions of influence among those overly religious or yes, even among those who detest religion (America sure provides that opportunity) it will never be my wisdom, nor position that affects change. It must be Christ alone, His presence in me, reconciling the world through love. That’s it!
Any other aspiration is in vain.
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” That statement in vs. 1:19 is foolishness to the learned, for who would not think that the wise and the prudent win!
To the religious, these words block our best design for plans and programs that might lure others into the sanctuary, or onto the church campus. We are effective in communicating the gospel only in as much as our daily walk demonstrates the love of Christ in real world circumstances.
Neither am I advocating that we act like fools when we are in the marketplace, nor be less prudent in our decision making processes within the church walls. We have the responsibility to be all things to all people. I serve my community as Mayor, and endeavor to be the best mayor possible given my limitations. However, “I can do all things through Christ, which strengthens me.” That’s my point, it is Christ in me that affords needed wisdom, not the fact that I was wise and thus He called and then placed me!
I am weak, but God let me tremble in power, prudence and wisdom when others need me to be strong. When the weak do exploits, while the strong and the wise observe, the latter are confounded. I must confound people everyday! I am weak but He is strong.
To God be the Glory.