Overcoming the Obstacle of Self

Healing of the Lame Man, Raphael, public domain
Healing of the Lame Man, Raphael, public domain

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” 1

And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. 2

One of the biggest obstacles that gets in the way of myself living missionally is myself. By that I mean, I try to do it myself. I may enlist the help of friends, family, and followers of Jesus, but I am trying to act under my own power.

While my name is Peter, I identify more with Paul. Like Paul I have a strong religious heritage and education. While I don’t know my Bible the way that Paul probably knew his, I identify with that kind of background. The problem with this kind of background is that it can produce a pride in self and my ability to know scripture. When acting out of this pride, it’s easy to think that I know what is right in every situation. What we need to learn, however, when we come to a situation where we want to be in control and do it ourselves is to turn instead to God’s power and God’s direction.

Much like Peter in Acts 3 and Paul in 1 Corinthians 2, we do not offer what we ourselves have, but we offer what God has to given to us in order to give it to others. We participate in what God does and are used by him for his work. He has gifted us to serve in different ways, but even when we are skilled or knowledgable in a specific area we need to give God the control of the situation. Don’t let yourself and your plans get in the way of what God wants to do. While what I plan to do for God may be okay, what he asks me to do and empowers me to do for him is always what is best.

1 The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Acts 3:6.
2 The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), 1 Cor 2:1-5

2 thoughts on “Overcoming the Obstacle of Self

  1. Cantrell, Aaron 06/26/2014 / 10:11 am

    Great article Peter.

    • Peter S. 06/26/2014 / 11:51 am

      Thanks, Aaron.

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