I am always comforted by 1 Corinthians 2:1-5:
“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 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 human wisdom, but on God’s power.”
It is a difficult thing to publicly share what one feels is the wisdom of God. Each week the leadership stands bravely at the front of the church and proclaims Biblical truths into our lives that we might grow in maturity and be transformed. I sit in awe, with great admiration, at their courage and wisdom. We are often tempted to leave it at that- with us in the pews, respectfully allowing the leadership to guide and direct us. But sometimes, frequently in our church body, individuals will step out from their seats and boldly declare what the Lord is speaking to them. I suspect I am not alone when I say that this vulnerable act, delivered in human weakness, with insecurity, is carried out with fear and trembling. It is much more comfortable to remain seated.
Why then do we bother?
“…You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
We bother because we are compelled. As we submit ourselves, with wholehearted devotion to the Lord Almighty, we are saying, “…Not my will, but thine, be done…May your power be made perfect in my weakness." (Luke 22:42, 2 Cor. 12:9).
A few years ago I had a vision from the Lord. Above each person in the congregation there was a funnel. Above the funnel was the Spirit of the Lord, a hovering ceiling of sorts, where the Spirit was pouring into each funnel, onto each individual person. While this was fine, I felt the Lord saying that He wanted to break free of the ceiling, to knock over the funnels and pour out in power over the congregation as a whole…that we would no longer function as individuals, rather we would be swept up as an entire body to be poured out.
Our current congregational transition, the merging of the various parts of the body, is perhaps the season when the ceiling will no longer exist, and the Spirit will flood from the Heavens into the surrounding streets. I believe this is the case, but I also believe that for God’s plans to come to fruition as He has purposed, there is always responsibility on our part to act as He has commanded:
“Even now, return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to me for I am gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and I relent from sending calamity. ”(Joel 2:12, 13).
We have been given the power of the Holy Spirit to express God’s love to our friends, families, neighbors and strangers in a “language” that each will understand and be amazed by. God has created each one of us, gifted differently, but by the same Power, to carry out His will: “…not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance,”(2 Peter 3:9).
We need to examine our hearts and remember the scriptures of this past month. Have we been convicted? Have we acted upon these convictions? Have we experienced the power of the Holy Spirit? Have we boldly shared this with another? United, in God’s awesome power, we need to allow ourselves to be used by God to build up the body and to be a witness to the world. Let us cry out together:
“Spare your people, O Lord,” and claim the promise that, “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Joel 2:17, 32).
- Rina Carbol