Do you ever feel like an undercover operative for the Lord? Do you listen to the people living around you voicing their opinion and rhetoric, but keep quiet yourself? Why is that it? Is there a time and place to speak up? Is there a time to stay silent?
Yes, yes and yes. Paul ran into the same thing, for that matter so did Jesus Christ. Did they always speak up about their faith? When was it appropriate and how do we know? Here is a section of verses where Paul explains how he did it.
“And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.” 1 Corinthians 2:1-3
Paul is talking about how he came to the Corinthians. He wasn’t hot-headed or arrogant. He was an outcast from the Sanhedrin after he was redeemed, and then he went to the believers who would’ve been very upset at him for what he did to some of them back in his hunting Christians day. If he was going to do the will of God, there wasn’t room for arrogance, he had to be humble to God and his fellow believers. Aren’t we just as lost? Aren’t we today just as redeemed? Sin doesn’t have a level or gray areas. It’s sin. We are just as out of fellowship with God when we do it, and just as forgiven when we ask. He goes on.
“And my speech and my preaching [was] not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” vs 4-5
Wow, these verses throw the oration and delivery out the window. What changes people’s lives? The demonstration of the Spirit of God and the power. What should we strive for then? I’ve heard many Christians tout their evangelical skills and speeches but what does Paul say it comes down to? The demonstration of the Spirit and the power. So whether you’re good at speaking up or not it doesn’t really matter. Are you striving to walk in God’s love and power? Our emphasis should be to bless not impress. To strengthen and mature our own walk and help those walking in love around us.
The latter verses in this chapter explain why.
“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (WOW, OH WOWZAH!) But God hath revealed [them] unto us (Who? The believers!) by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God (But God). Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost (Spirit) teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” vs. 9-12
(My notations are in parenthesis throughout.) We have no idea the great things God has in store for us. But we can begin to know as we walk with Him.
There is a Greek word I’d like to show you that demonstrates this point further. It’s the Greek word pletho or used in the form of pimplēmi. (For you who use the Strong’s or Young’s Concordances you’ll find that it’s used as pletho and the definition filled to overflowing.) These two words mean the same, but in the Greek the word Pletho is much more accurate. It’s like when a cup is filled to overflowing. When we are born again of God’s Spirit by believing Romans 10:9-10, we are filled to capacity, pleroo (another Greek word). When we demonstrate God’s Spirit and power we are filled to overflowing, pletho. Here is a verse where it is used.
“And they were all filled (pletho, filled to overflowing) with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:4
Why would it overflow? Because we were filled to begin with and then like a fountain it bubbles up and out when we manifest it. We must first be filled before we can overflow. Here’s another few instances.
“Then Peter, filled (pletho, filled to overflowing) with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,” Acts 4:8
“And when they had prayed , the place was shaken where they were assembled together ; and they were all filled (pletho, filled to overflowing) with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:31
“And Ananias went his way , and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, [even] Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest , hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with (pletho, filled to overflowing) the Holy Ghost.” Acts 9:17
Paul could only be pletho, filled to overflowing, if he had already been plaroo, filled to capacity. He had to have believed on Jesus Christ prior to Ananias returning his sight to him. After that miracle is when Paul spoke in the synagogues. Isn’t this an exciting word study? It goes hand in hand with our point of when do you speak out. You speak out when God directs it. You speak out, without fear because perfect love casts out fear, when you are walking–to the point of overflowing, in the love and power of God. How exciting! Should you speak up when your pastor/mother/friend/fellow deacon gives you a guilt trip? Should you speak up when an unbeliever picks a fight? Or should you speak up when God says, “Speak up”?
Do what Peter did when the Pharisees told him not to speak.
“But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:19-20
Just talk about the things which you’ve seen and heard. If there hasn’t been a miracle around you, get around those who have. It’s a lot easier to be a living testimony when you are living in the midst of the power of God.
God bless you today!