Saturday, October 14, 2017

Nothing More Than A Mouthpiece

There are verses we read that comfort us because they absolve us from a responsibility that we put on ourselves but weren't meant to carry. One of my favorites is 1 Corinthians 3:7 ~ So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who makes things grow. We can be the hands and feet, we can speak truth in love, we can share the reality of what Jesus has done in our hearts, but we can not make another person accept or believe. We might want to, but we can't.

But before Paul wrote these words, he penned something else equally as powerful. In 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 Paul said 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 human wisdom, but on God's power.

Hannah Anderson in Humble Roots explains it this way......In other words, Paul didn't want people to make decisions based on his personality or persuasiveness; he wanted them to be convinced of the power of God. But this meant that Paul had to trust the power of God himself. He had to humble himself to be nothing more than a mouthpiece. He had to wait on the Holy Spirit to change hearts. (emphasis mine)

She goes on to write....Humility teaches us that we must pray and speak the truth in love, but must not nag and pressure and guilt and manipulate. Humility teaches us to trust God. And suddenly a burden rolls off our back. 

So, either I am really slow on the uptake, or what I realized yesterday is going to knock your socks off, too.

We can't be the Holy Spirit for someone else but

I have repeatedly nagged, pressured, guilted, and manipulated myself into doing things that in my mind are exactly what I am supposed to do. Not things that God asked of me or the Spirit stirred in me, but my own personal version of this is what the woman you dream of being would do, so do these things and be this person. 

But inherently there is something very wrong with this plan. If I am playing Holy Spirit, I can't distinguish between my voice and his. 

Now, I have most definitely felt the conviction of the Spirit before on things I knew I absolutely needed to do and change about my life, but there are also a lot of things I've added to the mix in an effort to improve on the fast track. Unfortunately the fast track doesn't work because when God isn't the driver behind our actions, guess who is? We are....along with our ego, our pride, and our selfish desires.

Reading those words yesterday truly did allow a burden to roll off of my back. I have been trying to make so many changes at once (and beating myself up in the process over lack of progress) that I didn't even think to factor in that maybe God wasn't ready for me to 'go big or go home.' 

If this sounds familiar, let's resolve to pray and speak the truth in love to ourselves, and then get out of the way to let the Spirit complete the work he is planning to accomplish in us. As Hannah Anderson writes...humility could free us from obsessing.....about how we feel about ourselves.

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