Where the Real Power Resides

1 Corinthians 2:1–5

THE GREAT APOSTLE PAUL was just like you and me. He had a love for God blended with feet of clay. Great passion . . . and great weakness.

The longer I thought about this blend, the more evidence emerged from Scripture to support it. Read Paul’s words to the Corinthians:

When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan. For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.


“Aw, the guy is just being modest,” you answer. No, not when you compare these words with the popular opinion of Paul in his day:

Some say, “Paul’s letters are demanding and forceful, but in person he is weak, and his speeches are worthless!”


Clearly the apostle Paul struggled with human weakness just as you and I do. He didn’t have it all together—he wasn’t perfect—and (best of all) he didn’t attempt to hide it! He admitted to his friends in Corinth that he was weak, fearful, and even trembling when he stood before them—and that he relied completely on the Spirit’s power. I admire such transparency. He didn’t want the people he served to continue to trust in their own resources. He wanted them convinced of the power and provision of God.

Feeling powerless in your own weakness? Frustrated by your inability to bring something to pass? Follow Paul’s example. Embrace your weakness and put your trust in the Holy Spirit. That’s where the real power resides.

Has God worked in your life in a significant way through Chuck Swindoll and the ministry of Insight for Living? Whatever your story, we’d love for you to tell it to us! Psalm 9:11 tells us to “declare among the peoples His deeds” so others can be encouraged. Submit your story.

Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord . . . Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved. The full devotional can be purchased at tyndale.com.

Posted in Bible Characters, Holy Spirit and tagged .

Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.