Making life-changing decisions is sometimes easier to do when we are alone, whether walking through the hills or at home in our prayer closets. But the hard reality of these decisions always hits us when we leave our private place of prayer to face life head-on. That’s when we must follow through on our resolutions — and when we find out whether or not we were really serious about them! This is true for any area of our lives, no matter how important or insignificant the decision might seem.
For instance, let’s say you’re lying in bed one night and you say to yourself, Tomorrow I’m going to start a new diet. Then tomorrow comes, and your friends invite you over for a big, juicy hamburger with lots of delicious, greasy French fries. That’s the moment you face your point of no return head-on! You’ll find out then whether you were really serious about your commitment to change or your decision was merely a wishy-washy fantasy.
Paul made his decision alone in the hills on his journey to Corinth. But when he first arrived in that city and began to preach in public — gazing upon a crowd of staring faces — he suddenly became aware of the seriousness of his choice.
In the past, he could have easily resorted to his natural powers of persuasion, rhetorical abilities, and intellectual prowess — but no longer. He had made a commitment to the Lord, and he was serious about carrying it out. Paul couldn’t speak to them with “...excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto...[them] the testimony of God...” (1 Corinthians 2:1). Nor could he determine “...to know anything among...[them], save Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).
Thus, when Paul found himself face to face with the Corinthians, he stood there “...in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling” (1 Corinthians 2:3). This is what Paul felt at that critical moment. As he looked into the faces of those Corinthian pagans, he knew that if God didn’t do something wonderful soon, he was in big trouble! Paul felt a new helplessness and utter dependence on the power of the Holy Spirit. Most likely, he was tempted to lapse back into his previous mode of ministry, but that was no longer an option. Paul had crossed the point of no return.