It happened. The one thing I fear each Sunday happened yesterday. I spend hours in preparation and study so that it doesn't happen. I know my subject inside and out hoping that it doesn't happen. I pray as often as I can, begging for mercy and grace to prevent it from happening. I acknowledge my absolute dependence upon God and His word in order for it not to happen.
But it did. It happened.
The service began normally and according to our custom. Nothing seemed to be different or out of the ordinary. Unless of course you count the privilege of gathering together with God's people in His presence to offer worship and praise to the God of this universe extraordinary. I do.
As I began to teach the word of God it seemed as if God was no where close to our zip code. You preachers know what I am talking about. You know when the Holy Spirit empowers God's word and when He doesn't. And yesterday, he doesn't.
When this happens to me, and thank God it does not happen very often, I don't know what to do. Half of me feels like apologizing and shutting up and closing the service. The other half of me believes that these people came to hear from God and not me anyway, and His word will accomplish its divine purpose.
I decided to fight through my empty and seemingly Spiritless exhortation of the word of God. I brought the message in total. I was never more thankful for the end of a service than I was yesterday.
This I know:
- the message was well prepared
- the message was biblical
- the message was designed for God's glory
- the message was designed for His people's good
therefore I hold to these promises:
"So shall My word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to Me void. But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it." (Isaiah 55:11, NKJV)
"And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness..." (2 Corinthians 12:9, NKJV)
"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty..." (1 Corinthians 1:27)
Although I am weak and foolishness and merely an instrument, He is wise, powerful, strong, sufficient, and will accomplish His purpose with His word. Therefore, even thought the thing I fear the most happened yesterday (and it will happen again) I will continue as long as God allows to open God's word to His people and preach with confidence.