1 Corinthians 1:17; 2:1-5
For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel-- not with words of human wisdom, lest the power of the cross of Christ be emptied of its power...
When I came to you brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I was resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.
If you have children, then you understand "the mother's curse." You know, when you get pregnant and are expecting your baby one of the baby's grandmothers will make the statement, "I hope you have a child that is exactly like you were."-- and then it happens.
We came to the sobering reality of this curse just a few weeks ago when our daughter, who at the time was nearing her second birthday spouted off the following words at the dinner table. "I'll do it, myself."
The same words had been spoken from my own wife's lips countless times as she grew up, and even now both Jodi and I struggle with the sense we should and the desire to "do it ourselves."
As I read this passage, I can't help but think that as believers, many of us have told God that even though we wear the badge of Christian, when it comes to living our lives, when it comes to working our jobs, when it comes to major decisions and minor decisions-- we'll just do it ourselves.
Sometimes we even succeed and things actually go as planned. We can look back on our life or on decisions we have made and see the human wisdom that took part in the decision. But what would God have been able to accomplish through us if we were simply willing to take a step back from ourselves and rely on His power.
I think this is a problem with people in full time ministry. We read books by prominent authors teaching us methodology for raising funds and reaching people, we listen to prominent theologians tell us about the original Greek words and their meaning, and then we use this wisdom to try to win people to Christ. Many times I think we are guilty of (as Paul puts it) emptying the cross of its power and replacing it with a horrible substitute... our own wisdom.
What are some areas of your life that you tell God, "I'll do it myself?"
What are some steps you can take to begin to rely on the power of God?