It’s not appearance that matters in things of the Spirit…

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2 Corinthians 10:1 I myself, Paul, appeal to you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when I am away!— I ask that when I am present I need not show boldness by daring to oppose those who think we are acting according to human standards. Indeed, we live as human beings, but we do not wage war according to human standards; for the weapons of our warfare are not merely human, but they have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ.

We tend to judge a book by its cover. Paul was not an impressive looking person, having endured great suffering over the years of his ministry. As he says in v.3 “we live as human beings”. His body degraded over time like everyone else’s despite his calling as an apostle of Jesus. However, there is the rest of the verse,

“we do not wage war according to human standards, for the weapons of our warfare are not merely human, but they have diving power…”

I’ve seen this over and over. The most powerful Christian leaders I’ve ever known have not tended to be impressive looking in person. Few would fit the profile of what a Hollywood casting director might look for to portray a person of great spiritual authority. That said, the power of the gospel shone in them – in their humility, their grace, and most importantly their boldness in prayer. It is true that the Lord does not look upon the flesh, but the heart and the spirit.

Yesterday I had a conversation with a woman asking her to assume a leadership position in the area of prayer and spiritual discernment in the church I lead as pastor. I’m grateful our church leadership has recognized the need to re-connect with our sense of mission and purpose in the midst of a significant cultural shift (pandemic). That said, as we’re making plans and clarifying strategies we can forget that our work is fundamentally of a spiritual nature. More than we need a great strategy or flawless execution, we need God’s hand to move among us. Only God can remake our church to bear witness in the midst of a world being remade in real-time.

This woman doesn’t see herself as a person of spiritual authority, but other people do. Which simply reinforces for me that we have asked the right person. The eyes can be deceiving, but the Spirit reveals the truth. Lord give us eyes to see and ears to hear when we encounter those in whom you are moving with power. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

One thought on “It’s not appearance that matters in things of the Spirit…

  1. Lyn Roger Zastrow

    I can completely sympathize with the woman of whom you are describing. One of my many weaknesses as a Christian is the power of discernment. Christ hasn’t struck me down and put scales on my eyes like he did with Saul to be reborn as Paul.

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