Don’t you just wish you could know how something is going to turn out before you do it? I really do. I’m a terrible over analyzer of my decisions. Oh how I wish I knew the outcome of my action before I follow through with it. To know if I will regret it. To know if it’s worth it.
So many times the things the Lord whispers to my heart to do just seem hard to move forward in without knowing these things. And yet, he’s asking me to. Trust him, seek him, lean into him, obey him. Trust him some more.
As I was reading 1 Corinthians recently, a few things stuck out to me about Paul’s example and his words:
1 Cor. 1:2-3 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified together and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ….
I wonder if Paul could ever truly imagine the full weight of these words. How far and wide and long in time this instruction and encouragement would span? The generations they would reach, the continents they would cross, that they would come to you and to me.
He was simply obeying God.
Sitting down and writing to the church in Corinth at the time God had shown him it needed to be done. Yet the impact of his obedience is eternal, and I would guess reaches far beyond what he would have ever imagined.
The next thing I wonder as I’m weighing up stepping out in something is….will I even be able to do it? Do I have what it takes? As I looked at the verses that followed, I realized they address this very thing.
Paul was equipped and so are we.
1 Cor. 1:5-7 For in him you have been enriched in every way– in all your speaking and in all your knowledge- because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.
5:8 He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Turning our eyes to our Savior and focusing on him and his return, we will not lack any spiritual gift. We can accomplish what God has set before us to do in his strength, in his knowledge, with his words, by his grace.
And yet even after all of these wonderful truths, there’s always this little question of doubt in the back of my mind that remains….still, what if I fail?
There’s one more thing I noticed about Paul as I was reading through these verses.
He is human, but he’s on mission.
1 Cor. 1:16 (Yes I also baptized the household of Stephanas; but beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.)
I have always loved this verse and been intrigued by why it’s here. Maybe it’s because I can relate to this style of communicating ha! It’s just him and that he’s human….he’s right in the middle of proving a point, and then he starts ranting a bit, he doesn’t remember if he baptized any of the rest of them. It doesn’t really matter because it’s not what Christ called him to do.
1 Cor. 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel- not with words of human wisdom lest the cross be emptied of its power.
Paul is focused on the mission the Lord has given him to do. He’s not worried about his humanness, his weakness. Because what God has given him to do does not need to be done by his own strength or his own wisdom.
If we are seeking God’s will, turning our eyes towards him, our Lord will keep us strong to the end, because the One who calls us is faithful.
1 Cor. 1:9 God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.
Is there something God is calling you out into right now? A task that seems daunting, a gift he’s revealing to you that he wants you to focus on, maybe someone he wants you to help or encourage….I know it’s hard and I’m right there too, especially during those times we don’t really feel equipped for what’s ahead or even feel worthy of being used for what God has planned. But we are created in God’s image, and he has bestowed gifts on all of us to be used for his glory, so his power will be shown through us.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
1 Peter 4:10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.
Galatians 6:9 Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
So let’s keep going friends. Let’s keep on looking up to the One who is faithful, and always with us. To the one who has called us to do good things for his beautiful purposes. We can’t always see what’s up ahead or how it will all turn out in the end. But our God is full of grace and mercy, and we can trust that he has good plans for us.
The Lord was bringing this to mind as I wrote too….I love this song. The link is below if you’d like to listen.
“How Deep the Father’s Love For Us” by Stewart Townend
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom