Wednesday, February 04, 2009
This past Sunday the Lord allowed us to experience His presence once again. It has been one of those times where I knew (if no one else) that HE did it, not us. And not knowing which direction to go in the message at 10pm Saturday night. After talking to a ministry friend and contemplating making a call to one of my ministers (I tell them to always be prepared!), I was led to stay up, pray, study, form my outline and C.I.T., write the message out, and stand on Sunday and preach THE WORD. Incidentally - the Lord not only led me by His Spirit to preach, but from Malachi chapter 3!!! I can not begin to explain the magnificence of following our awesome Father. Our worship seemed so pure, real, rich and refreshing. Before I even stood, God made it clear to me that HE intended to have HIS way. And He did just that. To be honest, the Spirit was so high and atmosphere so broken that I contemplated changing the message. (Interestingly I developed a habit of preparing an alternate sermon). But I prayed, our ministers prayed with me, and I delivered a message from Malachi chapter 3. I had everything but a title when I stood. But for some reason I blurted out a title that was kind of corny: God's Divine Stimulus Package. It was only after I got to the pulpit did I realize I didn't even have a title; I just knew I had a message! Strangely, it seemed to connect with the people, connect with the text; and paralleled with modern day context. God used the message!!! No one walked down to give their life to Christ, I am unhappy to report. But I do know that the giving was the best we've had this year thus far. Of course, it is not that the giving was so very high but that giving this year has been quite low. I have concluded that God is sovereign; and He is faithful - whether the people to whom God has entrusted to us do right by Him or not. If we remain faithful to God and His Word - He will still show up and show out - whenever He chooses to do so. Of course, I say this as I prepare to go into another Sunday that will definately be filled with challenge, testing and trial. My exhortation to remain faithful in Christian service is not only for those who read these words; but for myself as I reflect upon my own challenges; and seek to remain faithful and bloom where God has planted me.