Friday, December 7, 2007

Thankful for the Struggle


The message I preached last week God really used. People came up to me and said it really helped them keep the faith. I get really excited when God uses the messages in this manner. That's what I pray for every week. I pray just before I get up each week, "God I love these people, you love them even more, let your love be shown today!"

This particular message though stands out to me. I really struggled in developing this message. In fact I wrote this message four times! I would pray, study, work, get done, and say that isn't right! I was really fighting it and really getting frustrated with myself. I thought why can't I be happy with what I just wrote. It's good! But I still wasn't satisfied. So back to work I would go.

Jeremiah talks about having a message burning in his bomes. Well, I had a message burning in my bones but I had no clue what. Finally, after all that struggle I finally was satisfied with I had wrote. Sunday was a comin' so I thought God you just need to take this and do your part for sure. I've done all I can.

On that note I would like to say something. You would think the lesson here is I needed to do that in the first place. I just needed to get out of the way of God, so to speak. I understand that line of reasoning but it's wrong. Here is why I think it's wrong. In preaching there is the God factor and the preacher factor, and the two work in partnership. The God factor is God doing what I cannot do. The preacher factor is what God will not do without me. In other words God expects me to do my part. He expects me to study, pray, and work hard at my messages, then he takes and does with it what he can only do (which is a lot). If I don't do my part God will not do his part through me. Simple as that.

Back to my story. I preached the sermon that Sunday and we had a first time guest that told me I was speaking right at her. Well, I wasn't. God was. He did his "thang" again and amazed me! God is so cool like that.

I want you to realize that preachers everywhere work hard at their messages. It is not a casual thing to them. They honestly seek to being God's word to thier flocks each week. I had to go to the hospital a couple months back and the nurse began telling me about her preacher. She didn't think he spoke from God each week because he spoke through series. She was concerned that a person might say something and he might need to say but he would be limited by his series. I understand her concern, albeit misplaced.

She asked me where I got my messages and I said "God" and she said "good." But I wish I would have said I get my messaages from God's word. Everything I say I seek to verify from the Word. This is the authority that I speak on, not just on my relationship with God through Christ. Without the Bible I have no outside authority.

I say all this to encourage you, no matter what church you come from, to not listen to your preacher and worry about whether he speaks through series, a book in the Bible, or stands and reads a manuscript or yells and jumps. The real matter is determining what is God saying to you through this man. He's prayed and prepared many hours for God to speak through him. Are you listening to God or are you listening to your preacher?

That's enough for this week....Have Yourself Committed!


No comments: