Relax and listen. Consciously prepare to hear God’s Word. Clear your mind of the worries and tasks that lie before you. Open your heart and allow it to refresh.
1 Corinthians 1:18-31 (NRSV)
For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.
Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, in order that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
Recall your school days when captains chose team members for games and sporting events. For me, it was a dreaded time. I knew that I would be one of the very last ones chosen because my abilities weren’t likely to contribute much toward a win for the team.
God does not make choices based on human standards. Who would choose fishermen and a tax collector to head up a major evangelistic crusade? God’s list of who’s who rarely includes the rich and famous or the influential. When it does, a major life change is in store as was the case with Paul, a Pharisee.
I find great encouragement in knowing that God calls and uses the foolish, the weak, and the lowly for service. If you are struggling with a specific call on your life and you find yourself questioning whether you are qualified enough, smart enough, strong enough, or whatever your insecurity may be, remember God’s standards are different from yours. “For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength” (verse 25). God’s wisdom and strength will enable you to fulfill your calling.
God of all wisdom and strength, help us to trust in your promise to provide all we need to follow you. Forgive us for making excuses and for centering our qualifications on the standards of this world and not those of your kingdom. May we delight in knowing that our only boast is in the Lord. Amen.
Go with God.