The Spirit in our Teaching

I'm studying through J.I. Packer's book "Knowing God" with several guys on Tuesday mornings. This week's chapters contained a quote I think is pretty important: 

"Do we remember that the Holy Spirit alone, by His witness, can authenticate our witness, and look to him to do so, and trust him to do so, and show the reality of our trust, as Paul did, by eschewing the gimmicks of human cleverness?" 

This is important for two different groups of us. First, those of us who struggle with talking about spiritual things with others can take some great comfort in what Packer is saying here. We don't have to stress about using all the right words to be used of God in speaking Truth to another person's life. In fact, in my case - some of the times I have felt my communication was a jumbled mess have been the times God has used my words most powerfully.  The Holy Spirit works in and through us to reveal Jesus Christ to others. It isn't our responsibility to open the eyes of our friends - it's our responsibility to be available and faithful tools of the Holy Spirit as He does His work.

Second, some of us could use the reminder that our creativity isn't the clincher with people. I spend a lot of time thinking about how to communicate creatively, speaking Truth in a relevant manner. I spent a good deal of Saturday mulling over a single sentence in my sermon on Sunday because I wanted to say it in just the right way, and that's a good thing. We should value creativity, but never to the point where we feel as though our creativity replaces - or even helps the Spirit's role in our teaching/preaching/sharing/whatever you call it.  If God doesn't work in the lives of people, it doesn't matter if you're the most creative, articulate, intellectual person on the planet - lives won't change. Sometimes I wonder functionally whose role we value more: our creative team, or the Holy Spirit. 

Just something I'm thinking about this morning...


chloeadele said...

love this