. . . I did not come to you with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God . . . I came to you in weakness and in great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not wise wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that you faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.
. . . “what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him — these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. . . . no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. . . . The person with the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God,but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?”
But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Cor 2:1-5, 9-12, 14-16)
Human hearts have an innate yearning for worship, which they attempt to satisfy in various ways. For those who worship God, the human mind appears to have a further need to figure Him out, to analyse why He does — or allows — what He does. We have a strong tendency to rationalize what we can’t figure out, instead of admitting that we just don’t know. We want answers that make sense to us, or we may decide to turn away.
But does it make sense that God would send His own Son to die a cruel death in the place of such stubborn slow-learners and repeat (and repeat, and repeat) offenders like us? Does it make sense that God would continue to love and reach out to people so determined to marginalize/ridicule/reject Him? We should thank Him every minute that His thoughts aren’t our thoughts!
So often, we shrink from testimony about our faith because 1) we fear being ridiculed and avoided like the plague; 2) we fear we won’t “say it right”; 3) we fear we won’t be able to answer the questions that may ensue. Paul tells us here that he didn’t convert anyone because he spoke eloquently and persuasively. In fact, he was scared and painfully aware of his own weakness. But again and again, as he responded to God’s leading and depended on the Holy Spirit within him, the power of the spirit reached hearts unconvinced by human wisdom. Paul knew that faith based on human understanding wouldn’t endure. We need a faith that rests on God’s power — not our reasoning.
But once we have that faith, we have access to a much higher source of wisdom. What we could never see, hear or dream of — these are the things God will reveal to us by His Spirit. We begin to see, hear and understand His Word as the Spirit opens it up to us in new ways and with infinitely greater depth. All the works of theology put together can’t equal the infusion of light and growth of one personal revelation of the Spirit. We can open up a book of theology and learn theory, or we can open our very selves up to an intimate relationship with the Spirit of God and experience the most powerful relationship possible.
As we embrace the Spirit, we accept what the world considers foolish or fantastic, because mere human minds can’t absorb their truth. Others may judge us as small-minded, delusional or even dangerous, but they are not the ones to whom we will answer. We have been given access to the mind of Christ — why should we regret that the world won’t understand our thinking? Instead, we judge things through the filter of the Spirit, using God’s Word and His character as the measuring stick. This is real discernment, real wisdom, real life.