For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:2-5
I had the privilege to share at the 20th Anniversary Celebration of Women of Character/ENRICH at America’s Keswick. It was a reunion for women who have been involved in the women’s ministries over the years. It was a wonderful time for the women, staff, and committee.
The morning that I was scheduled to speak (2nd session of the morning) as is my usual practice during message preparation and before I speak, I was praying an adapted version of 1 Corinthians 2: 2-5: For I decided to know nothing among [them] except Jesus Christ and [You] crucified. And [when] [I am] with [them] in … um…weakness and in fear and much trembling, then I paused, “Lord, I don’t feel weak, I’m not fearful and I am not trembling”, then I continued, but I pray that my speech and my message [are] not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that [their] faith might not rest in the wisdom of [wo]men but in the power of God.
I finished my prayer and headed over to the meeting. I sat through the worship which was wonderful, and then my friend Stephanie got up to speak. From the moment she started there was a holy hush in that room. You could hear a pin drop. All of us hung on every word from her mouth. The presence of God in the room was tangible.
Then I started thinking…”Lord how am I supposed to follow that?!” I didn’t come with a personalized message, my message was more of a teaching. I was… well, I can’t describe what I was, undone? I don’t think there was a single woman in that room that was unaffected by her deeply personal message. It had a profound effect on everyone, myself included. When Steph completed her message we went to break and I was chatting with another friend and tears unexpectedly sprung to my eyes. “Ellen, how am I supposed to follow that?”
I wrestled with my message, detracting from what the Holy Spirit was doing in our midst. I was unsettled. I’m not sure I have ever experienced anything like it in the 20+ years as a speaker.
We reassembled in the room and we started with worship again. As Joyce sang the special music – I was so humbled to be in that room with God moving in such a significant way. I sat and prayed, “Lord, how do I follow that message? What was I thinking having her speak before me?” Then I remembered the prayer that morning where I stumbled over the section about weakness, fear and trembling. I felt as if God said, “I’ve taken care of that for you.” I felt weak in myself. I was keenly aware that I was in the holy presence of God. I was in awe.
God used Stephanie’s message and Joyce’s special music to strip away my own self-confidence. I was not fearful but I was very aware of my weakness and my desperate need for Him.
God got me out of the way so I stepped onto the platform in Christ-confidence assured of His presence to communicate His message to His daughters. He didn’t really need me, but He allowed me to be a part of what He was doing.
It was an experience I hope I never forget.
Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness! Psalm 115:1
I share it that God would be glorified.
Written By Diane Hunt: Diane Hunt serves on the board of America’s Keswick and provides ministry support from her home in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.