When I came to you, brothers and sisters, announcing the mystery of God to you, I did not come with brilliance of speech or wisdom. I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. My speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of wisdom but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not be based on human wisdom but on God’s power. (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)
Your faith should rest in Jesus Christ alone and in the power of his Holy Spirit. Never, never let your belief in Christ depend on the wisdom, strength, or eloquence of another human being. I understand that is easy to confuse the message with the messenger. Pastors, preachers, evangelists, and teachers are instruments used by God to proclaim a glorious message, but they are as prone to sin as anyone else. Sometimes we hear of the fall of some preacher who has a secret life or was found in some sin. We should certainly grieve, but we should never be shocked.
When Paul first came to Corinth, he made a critical decision to abandon every trick of the trade of public speaking and simply speak the truth. Perhaps this is what is most needed in today’s world, where we are inundated with slick marketing techniques used to sell substandard products. Are we really surprised when things don’t turn out the way they were advertised? Even the church sometimes employs these tactics. Sometimes it’s hard to see through all the hype, yet the truth of God remains as constant and available to us as it was in Jesus’ day. If we are going to grow well, we will need to learn how to relate to the Holy Spirit ourselves.
Lord, thank you for revealing your Truth by the power of your Holy Spirit. Let me never trust in the clever works of man but only in the power and wisdom of God. Give me wisdom to discern the difference between the message and the messenger and let me trust only in your message. Help me to hear your voice amidst the many voices continually clamoring for my attention. By the work of your Spirit, instill within my soul the precious principles of the kingdom of heaven so that I might abandon the superficial values of this fallen world. Teach me how to sit at your feet each day, hear your voice, and learn your truth as your faithful disciple.