Cultivating Faith – Human Wisdom or God’s Power?

This past Saturday night I had some spiritual amnesia again as I stepped away from the worship set feeling like it “wasn’t good” because we made a few mistakes musically. Then, God reminded me that His power goes beyond those mistakes when a few people expressed how good of a time of worship it was.

Before bed that night, I was reminded of 1 Corinthians 2:1-5. In this passage, Paul expresses that he came to the Corinthians not with “eloquence” or “human wisdom” – in fact he says he came with nothing besides “Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” He continues on in saying that his preaching was “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 seems like Paul actually avoided being slick in his speech so that he would not draw people to him; all he had to offer in and of himself was human wisdom. Rather, Paul decided to preach not with fancy rhetoric, but a demonstration of the Spirit of God, so that the faith of the Corinthian church would rest on God’s power, not his (human) wisdom.

What a great reminder! Preachers, teachers, worship leaders – are we giving people a faith based on God’s power or our human wisdom?

Sometimes my education and experience can accidentally lead me to rely too much on what I know as opposed to letting God’s power take over on a Sunday morning.

My prayer is that I’ll always lead in such a way that there is a demonstration of God’s power, not Andrew’s wisdom. This is what people need – this is what will build genuine faith in the body of Christ.

In the meantime, what do you think? Do we toss out our training of writing and delivering a sermon? Do we let musical skill and knowledge fall to the wayside in worship leading? I don’t think so – at least not completely. Scripture also speaks of skill and order in worship.

I think it’s a balance. We don’t want to throw those things away and become distracting, but we definitely don’t want them to become the focus. Jesus and Him crucified needs to be the focus always. We plan and prepare, but we pray fervently for the anointing of the Spirit on our words and songs so that the Spirit of God will move powerfully – in this demonstration, the faith of our  congregation will rest on our faithful God, not our finite human wisdom.

But if I must err one way or the other, I’ll choose to be less slick and more in the Spirit – at least it seems this is what Paul would say.

Ok, now it’s your turn. What do you think?

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2 thoughts on “Cultivating Faith – Human Wisdom or God’s Power?

  1. Interestingly, I wrote a post yesterday on this exact same topic. I don’t think we have to toss out our training (I really don’t want to toss out 4 years of seminary studies!). In fact, I believe we should make good use of our education. But we have to be careful not to manipulate people with fancy words. Only the Spirit has the power to change lives. However, I believe we can still make good use of our training to communicate (or sing) the message well.

    1. Hey Brian! Great comment. I agree with you. I have a bachelors and masters and definitely believe we need to keep learning and growing as we move along in ministry…it’s just easy to let those same tools lead to manipulation like you said above. But I agree that we can use those tools in junction with the Holy Spirit to communicate well. I’m grateful for this conversation and your comment – keep serving Jesus with fervor!

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