1 Corinthians 2 1-12 v 4 “And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit.”
When Paul first came to the town of Corinth, he decided to trust the Holy Spirit for the right words to address the people. He didn’t plan great speeches with fancy words but focused his thoughts on Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. Paul was timid, even trembling as he spoke but wanted to show the power of the Holy Spirit, the power of God.
When Paul is with more mature believers, he can speak with a deeper understanding but not of this world but of the mystery of God. God hid his plan from the beginning of creation. But the spirit shows us God’s deep secrets, although God is the only one who knows His own spirit fully. God allows those who receive His spirit to know the wonderful things God has freely given us.
Over the years I have spoken in many different places to different groups of people. My work involved teaching students, those learning new skills for the first time, and one student frustrated at their own difficulty “getting things right” asked “when was he going to know it all?” “How could he know all the things that I was showing him?” Just as Paul says here, beginner learners need plain speeches and more complicated understandings come with practice and growth over time which is what I said to the student. Time and practice lead me to greater understanding.
When it comes to talking to others about God or working with God in the community where He is we are blessed to have the gift of the Holy Spirit helping us. I remember listening to a minister preach without notes and he told us that he did not start out that way. But eventually over time he was able to plan his sermons then trust the Lord would give him the right words and no longer used notes. When talking about my time overseas as a missionary I decided that I would let the photos I had taken guide my words and talked for over an hour without notes. I wanted to make the people listening feel like anyone could do what I had done with God’s strength, and the support of prayer. Afterwards someone came up to me and thanked me for the talk, they said they felt like they were in their living room as they listened to me talk. Although I started talking with a nervous stutter, God not only supported me through the talk but provided the feedback I needed to know it was what He wanted too.
Having conversations with people who are new believers and more mature believers may require different styles, but the gift of the Holy Spirit turns our timid trembling into strength so that others can begin to understand the power of God.
Prayer: Holy God who gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit enable us to talk with the right words to those we meet today so that your plan can shine through for all to see. Amen.