June 6, 2020
1 Corinthians 2:1-5 (AMP) And when I came to you, brothers and sisters, proclaiming to you the testimony of God [concerning salvation through Christ], I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom [no lofty words of eloquence or of philosophy as a Greek orator might do]; for I made the decision to know nothing [that is, to forego philosophical or theological discussions regarding inconsequential things and opinions while] among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified [and the meaning of His redemptive, substitutionary death and His resurrection]. I came to you in [a state of] weakness and fear and great trembling. And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom [using clever rhetoric], but [they were delivered] in demonstration of the [Holy] Spirit [operating through me] and of [His] power [stirring the minds of the listeners and persuading them], so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom and rhetoric of men, but on the power of God.
When Paul was doing God’s calling and assignment, the challenges he faced was ‘quite burdensome’. Physical persecution was frequent, both from the Jews and the Roman government. They are all out for Paul’s blood. Even Paul once died when he was stoned, but rose up again and continued to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom, revealing that Christ lives within believers!
For those who undergo severe persecution, continuing the same work might not be easy. There is the feeling of fear and trembling to continue. Various thoughts and considerations are crossing the mind to stop causing controversy or to stop igniting the anger of a certain group, which could lead to loss of life.
Paul was in such a condition: weak, trembling, and fearful. That’s what Paul felt when he was in the midst of the Corinthians. But in the end, Paul didn’t ‘put himself first’. He took the firm attitude to not modify the conviction of the Word he is preaching. Paul also didn’t ‘use other teachings’ (Judaism) which could make him ‘safe’. Paul eliminated all other options and stay focused to preach about CHRIST AND THE CROSS amidst God’s church in Corinth.
Paul’s decision is very accurate. That’s what made his words so powerful! There is a divine dimension that backed up everything that Paul said, which instantly broke every speculation and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-6).
From this devotion, I learned something: when we are feeling weak, helpless, or even under the spell of negative emotions due to the situation and circumstances, what we need is to STAY FOCUSED on the calling God has set. Rise in the Spirit to finish that calling perfectly! Never modify the calling God has set just because the situation doesn’t seem to support it.
Maybe we ask, “How is it possible for someone who’s weak to rise up quickly to finish God’s calling?” And the answer is: yes, we can! Because for God, nothing is impossible! When we take the decision to stay focused in continuing our work and calling, that’s the moment Holy Spirit will give us the power and grace! We will rise up, stronger than before, to flow the life and mind of Christ within us.
2 Corinthians 12:10 (AMPC) So for the sake of Christ, I am well pleased and take pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities and distresses; for when I am weak [in human strength], then am I [truly] strong (able, powerful in divine strength).
I am very confident that this is the power of God’s divine calling when we walk in it faithfully. We will become the unstoppable generation manifesting Christ on the face of this earth. Negative facts couldn’t stop us, and neither could situations nor circumstances! We will finish God’s divine calling completely! Our part is to STAY FOCUSED to live in the CALLING God has set, and God will do the rest! #ILoveGod
Ps. Steven Agustinus