I clearly remember the day I was sitting on my couch panicking and praying that God would give me a clever and eloquent sermon for an upcoming speaking engagement. I would be speaking to thousands of people—many of them pastors themselves. Fear began to creep in, and I was afraid I would not measure up.
As I sat there with my nerves frazzled and my mind going in every direction imaginable something wonderful happened. The sweet and precious voice of the Holy Spirit whispered in my ear something that would change my whole outlook. He simply asked, “Are you willing to look foolish for Me?” I hesitated for a moment wondering exactly what that would entail. It’s not a popular thing to look foolish.
As I looked down at the Bible laying open in my lap, these two highlighted passages leapt off the page at me.
“For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.
1 Corinthians 1:25-29 NIV
“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.”
1 Corinthians 2:1-5 NIV
After reading those words a definitive “Yes,” arose in my heart! I declared, “Yes Jesus, I am willing to look foolish for You!” As I went on to prepare my sermon, God gave me one of the simplest messages I have ever received for that congregation. It certainly wasn’t clever or eloquent. But, the Holy Spirit moved in power like I had never witnessed before. I stood in awe as the Holy Spirit swept through the congregation and performed absolute miracles. Out of a simple message devoid of human wisdom—one that many would consider foolish—God’s power was displayed.
There are still times that I long to come up with an earth shattering intellectual sermon that will amaze the hearers. I have to battle with my flesh often. I have to realize that being obedient is far more important than sounding like a famous theologian. I have to remind myself to be obedient to speak what God wants me to speak no matter how simple I might think it sounds. I would much rather speak with the Holy Spirit’s anointing and see a demonstration of the Spirit’s power than to rely on my own human wisdom.
As we move into the New Year, I have one question for you. Are you willing to look foolish? Are you willing to speak Truth when it’s not popular? Are you willing to totally rely on the Holy Spirit and rest in His wisdom rather than trying to prove your own intellect? Are you willing to lunge out in faith when it would be much easier to play it safe and save face? Are you willing to look foolish for Jesus?
I’m ready to see God move in power like He longs to! I believe 2020 will be a year of miracles for those who dedicate themselves to studying the Word and praying like they never have before. I’m not making a New Year’s resolution, but I’m making a promise to God to seek His face more than ever before; to look foolish and to do whatever it takes to see the lost and broken come to Him. I’m ready for an end-time revival of epic proportions. Jesus is coming soon. It’s not time to merely step out in faith, its time to leap out in faith! What will your 2020 look like?
Donna Sparks is an International Speaker and Evangelist. She is the Author of Beauty From Ashes: My Story of Grace, and, No Limits: Embracing the Miraculous.