Weakness For Power [1 Corinthians 2]

2For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.3I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, 4and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.

Paul looms large in my mind as some sort of super saint. He wrote most of the New Testament letters, traveled extensively spreading the gospel, suffered numerous persecutions, natural disasters and was imprisoned. And yet, here in 1 Corinthians, he explained that he came to the Corinthians in weakness, fear, much trembling and "not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in the demonstration of the Spirit and power of God. " Later, in the second letter to the Corinthians (12:9), Paul wrote "
And He (Jesus) has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness. " Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me." As it turns out, Paul was just a man with strengths and weaknesses like all men. However, he knew that it was futile to rely on his own strengths to do the work of God and that only as he acknowledged his weaknesses and gave them to God in exchange for God's power, could he accomplish the work God gave him. Amazingly, we have access to the exact same source of power that Paul had through the Spirit of God and God's grace is sufficient for us, too!

Here are the things Paul has to say about the Spirit in today's reading:
The power of God is demonstrated through the Spirit 
Reveals God's hidden wisdom through the Spirit
The Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God
Knows the thoughts of God
The Spirit is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God
We can be taught by the Spirit
A natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them
We have the mind of Christ (through His Spirit)

We praise You because You gave us Your Spirit to take our weaknesses and replace them with Your power and wisdom. Cause us to be like Paul and boast in our weaknesses so that Your power and wisdom can be manifest in us through Your Spirit.

Beth Warlick, 5/30/2009