was i vacillating when i wanted to do this? do i make my plans according to the flesh, ready to say “yes, yes” and “no, no” at the same time? [2 corinthians 1:17]


this text is so easy to breeze through and miss any sort of meaning, and i doubt that i’ve ever looked specifically at this verse by itself. so to give it some context, we can look at the conversation on the whole. paul is defending the work the Lord is doing, calling out specifically the false teachers who have infiltrated the church, trying to nullify paul’s ministry by saying he is untrustworthy. he said he would come visit, and now he is going back on his promise. he can’t be trusted, therefore his teaching can’t be trusted.

so as paul redirects their focus to the sovereignty and faithfulness of God, he reminds them that it’s the Lord who directs his steps, not his own wavering desire to serve the church. he’s not planning according to the flesh, saying, “yes, i’ll pay them a visit unless at the time i don’t feel like it, and then i’ll cancel.” 

so as i read this verse, i have to ask myself the same question about the plans that i make. when the Lord calls me to serve in some way, do i go back and forth as to whether or not i really want to do it? do i go ahead and make the plan, but allow myself with a way out just in case i don’t feel like it? when i cancel plans, is it because i was more concerned with my own comfort and desires rather than the glory of the Lord? so many times, the answer to these questions is “yes.” as americans, our level of commitment rides the waves of our emotions. we only do what we want to do. but as believers, we’re called to a different mindset.

1 peter 2:9 says, but you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

we represent a holy God to a fallen world. so as he calls us to minister, we have to surrender our own comforts, desires, time, and preferences. we can’t be vacillating (going back and forth) on whether or not we answer the call to serve. if we let the Lord direct our actions and not our own feelings and motivations, we will be seen as representing a reliable God in an unreliable world.

as we sit in the presence of God today, let’s ask him for a greater desire to obey his calling. 

Father, give me grace to represent you to a hurting world. i confess that i put my own desires above your calling for the gospel.  help my unbelief. give me love for the lost, give me compassion for the hurting, give me passion for your glory. amen.

~arwen eastman