I’m convinced Paul wrote I Corinthians to me.
Well, also to you.
Even though he wrote to the believers in Corinth, these words are for all of us. But, sometimes verses stand out and you think, “Oh my gosh. GOD, seriously? You are speaking hard-hitting words to my soul right now!”
God’s Word is alive. Active. Sharp. Piercing. Cutting away flesh and leading us into life led by the Spirit, redeemed by Christ. (Hebrews 4:12) As we read it with a willingness to hear and receive what God has to say, various passages tend to stand out and speak to what our heart needs.
Oh yes, God. OK. Tell me what you want me to know.
When I read the first chapter of I Corinthians, I think of my heart as a writer/speaker. I think of others who feel called by God to minister in some way. I especially think of Rise Up Writers. Rise Up Writers includes hundreds of Christian’s compelled by God to write or speak or otherwise use their voice in social media.
We’re rising up in faith so God can transform us and use us.
A sense of urgency compels us to share God’s truth.
Fear (prompted by the enemy) urges us to keep quiet.
We wonder if we’re honoring God or ourselves. And if we can’t say it beautifully or with such charisma as to charm thousands of people, we deem ourselves unworthy of the calling we feel pounding inside, just waiting to get out.
I’ve wanted to share Paul’s words of encouragement to every Rise Up Writer, because He exhorts Christ followers to remember who they are and what they are called to do. My heart for every Rise Up Writer is the same, to remember God provides the gifts needed for the work He calls. That He is faithful. That He confirms our testimony, our story; it is not confirmed by the reception and approval of others.
Our First Calling
And this is so important, our first calling is not to become master communicators. Our first calling is into fellowship with Jesus, our Lord.
Without this foundation, the rest of what we do lacks kingdom purpose. Whether we write direct or indirect messages about Christ, what we believe and how we live impacts how the world sees Christ in us.
We want our influence in the world to be influenced first by God.
So I great you with Paul’s words now, as I did also in video. (Jessica also encouraged RUW members with the words of Paul from Ephesians here).
This message holds true for you whether you are a writer or not.
”I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge— even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you— so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.’ 1 Corinthians 1:4-9 (ESV)
You, as a believer (whether or not you are a writer), are similarly called.
In this passage, Paul exhorts the Corinthians to live faithfully in the midst of nonbelievers and the strife of believers. We face similar battles today. We feel this tension daily. We wrestle with our flesh and fears while longing to be used by God somehow despite them.
While we face numerous challenges and walk through a chorus of fears, we must first remember that our calling is to know Him more. As we pursue intimacy with God, our hearts are comforted, convicted, challenged, and given to courage. It is from this place that our calling for the kingdom becomes clearer.
We may need to work through pain and heal first. We might need to trust God in the quiet spaces of our hearts before openly sharing with others.
We will choose to know Christ crucified, and what that means for our own lives, before getting others to know us.
It’s a challenging journey and I fully believe it’s worth it.
Whether you are a writer or not, remember your first calling is into fellowship with Christ.
More about Rise Up Writers:
~ Join the Facebook Group here (and be sure to answer the questions or you may not be approved)
~ Subscribe to the Rise Up Writers newsletter and announcements (like our Zoom calls for fellowship and equipping).
NOTE: Be sure to select Rise Up Writers as a newsletter option.
~ Check out the Rise Up Writers Playlist on YouTube
This post is linked up to Jennifer Dukes Lee’s #TellHisStory crew. Jennifer shares from her journey and calling to write. It’s a beautiful and encouraging post for anyone waiting on God’s timing and God’s way.