We each come to everything that we face in life with strengths, gifts, and some amount of knowledge. In most circumstances, we use the skills, gifts, and knowledge that we have in order to do our best and to succeed in what we are trying to accomplish. Serving Christ, however, does not operate on these principles. Like many things presented in the Bible, serving God is done in a way that is truly upside down compared to what we are used to seeing in the world around us. 2 Corintians 3:4-5 NKJV reads this way “And such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God” This verse flies in the face of each one of us being capable to serve God and do ministry. So we face this battle daily of whether we are going to try to run things in our own strength and wisdom or whether we are going to allow the Holy Spirit to provide the knowledge by working through us. Martin Luther makes some comments on this struggle in a sermon that he gave on this text. In that sermon he says with regards to his role as a minister of the gospel:
“Of ourselves – in our own wisdom and strength – we cannot effect, discover nor teach any counsel or help for man, whether for ourselves or others. Any good work we perform among you, any doctrine we write upon your heart – that is God’s own work. He puts it into our heart and mouth what we should say and impresses it upon your heart through the work of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we cannot ascribe to ourselves any honor therein, cannot seek our own glory as the self-instructed proud spirits do; we must give to God alone the honor…”
Luther goes on to say that “Man’s achievements, Man’s reasoning and power are of no avail save in so far as they come from God.” I want to be a person who lives and serves others in a way that it is not my suffieciency and knowledge that is coming through, but it is the work of the Holy Spirit that is done in such a way that only He can get the glory. I want to not be driven by my “wisdom” and “strength” I would much rather tap into the source of all true wisdom and strength.