Friday, January 09, 2009

eloquence and wisdom

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 men's wisdom, but on God's power.
1 Corinthians 2:1-4

Tomorrow, I'm teaching a devotion for children's ministry volunteers based on this verse. I am having a terrible time organizing my thoughts into something concise and intelligible. I will be going to the front of the room in weakness and in fear, with much trembling. I have no wise or persuasive words. In other words, I'm about to live this verse out loud.

All of my favorite moments as a speaker have come when I'm in this exact same sort of situation... when I have nothing but a verse and an audience, and I am pretty sure I'm going to fall on my face. It's not just nerve-racking and scary, it's also a phenomenal opportunity to watch the Lord at work. There's nothing like listening to something come out of your mouth that you've never even thought before. More than once, I've been standing with a microphone in my hand in awe at what God made come out of my empty brain.

I'm thankful to have this verse as a reminder that all I have to know is the simple truth of Jesus Christ. It's actually healthy for me to not have a bunch of brilliant things to say. This ensures I won't walk around, strutting like a peacock, thinking I'm the cat's pajamas. Instead, I get the honor of resting on the power of God, which is much bettah than anything I have in my repertoire anyway....

which is good, since another hour has passed, and I've still got nothin'

Your prayers are appreciated.



Vindiciti said...

Praying for you, that God speaks through you if he isn't going to give you the words beforehand. :)

You'll be fine.

Liz said...

2 Corinthians 12:9 - "And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for your for my strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

Gretchen said...

What Liz too.

But you don't have nothin'.

You just don't know what you have. There's a difference. :)

Blessings on your talk. xxxooo

Gayle @ thewestiecrew said...

Yes ma'am! It's when we feel the most weak that God rocks it.

I guess He just needs our cocky selves to get out of the way.

Praying for an AWESOME, God-breathed message for you tomorrow, Amber.

Halfmoon Girl said...

That is so true. I thought of 2 Cor 12:9 too. It is hard to live it sometimes though! I will never forget a childhood memory of our pastor getting up in front of church and confessing in a shaky voice that he had no sermon. Nothing. He battled and struggled all week and brought nothing in terms of an organized message. BUT, it ended up being a powerful time, as members of the congregation stood up one by one to pray for him. Was something I still remember. Hope all went well today! I think your job sounds really interesting, though I don't know about the public speaking part.

Elizabeth said...

Your words and these comments have blessed me! I don't even know what to say b/c everything else is so good.

I am a new reader but I wanted you to know that I mentioned you on my blog yesterday. Blessings!

truth said...

I agree. This is a scary, but amazing place to be. Sounds like you have just enough faith to go forward and let Him do what He wants to do.

Dan R said...

Strangely enough, I too stand up in front of groups rather poorly prepared and get away with it. Perhaps ironically, since I don't assume the assistance of angels, I call it 'winging it', and I don't put this miracle down to divine inspiration - just nervous energy.

Where you marvel at God, I am equally amazed by the way the fight-or-flight reflex, evolved in mammals, reptiles and fish over epochs, designed to protect me (and cats and geckos and salmon) from predators, can respond to modern stimuli that have existed for no more than the blink of an eye in our history. In response to the stress of the situation, mistaking the minor horror of standing in front of all those expectant people for life threatening danger, we ride an endorphin rush our bodies make for themselves (and incidently which chemists can replicate with drugs - as many kids on a Saturday night will attest) and the heightened senses we feel free our unconscious to do what it does to save us - in this case freeing up access to those parts of our memory that house all the content we've carefully loaded up and helping us to string something cogent and relevant together to wow our audience (well, in my case I'm happy if they don't drift off to sleep).

It's interesting that the outcome for both of us is identical, yet we assume such different paths to the same place. I'm only sorry that your parents brainwashed you so that you can't see the beauty of the world for what it is, and instead you see ghosts from a period before we were civilized.

Sorry, I don't troll sites like yours looking to make trouble - I was looking for an extension to the open source app Moodle, called Moomis, which I think is a pet name you use.

His Girl said...

Dan R~
I think it's interesting that you would think my parents brainwashed me. My faith is not based on things I was told as a child, rather, I've had the amazing honor of discovering a relationship with Christ based on experience and nearly 20 years of studying the Bible. I am not a blind follower~ I made an educated decision to follow Christ because I know for certain that He first loved me.

I agree, many of the chemicals that run through my body when I arrive on stage and 'wing it' are natural. They are a part of the intricate system that our Creator designed for just such occasions.

It takes a LOT of faith to be an atheist. You have to trust that you are a product of chance, that there is no grand plan for your life, and that there is no God who loves you. You have to believe that there will be no judgment day,and that the intricacies of the universe are accidents. I think it's fascinating that you think your faith is more 'civilized' than mine yet you feel a passionate loyalty to coincidence.

I'm closing comments on this topic so we don't get a flame war happening here, but please know you're welcome to come back anytime. This blog is created to tell the story of God in my life... and it's my pleasure to share it with all.
-His Girl