Saturday, August 18, 2007

What Do I Know?

I preached for a friend of mine today. Tony Magar is the pastor of Calvary Fellowship Monumnet in Monument, Colorado. Tony has viral pneumonia and I have preached for him last week and tonight.

Earlier in the week, I was praying over what to share with this body of believers if I was going to share with them this week. I felt the Lord lay something on my heart. Tony called me yesterday and he sounded like he still needed time to get better. So I began getting ready. He called me today and told me he needed me to fill in for him.

As I gathered my thoughts today, I started to think maybe I should preach something else. I thought, "Maybe this sermon would be better. Maybe this one is more convicting. Or maybe this one would preach better." What a dangerous trap preachers can fall into. I realize what I was doing and prayed, "Lord, I have no clue what these people need. What do I know? You know what has happened in their life this week. You know what word they need. I will preach what I thought you were leading me to preach."

So, I preached Psalm 119:73-80. I entitled it "Three Thoughts to Help in Times of Crisis." These three thougts are:

1) The Creator has a plan for me (73-74)
2) The Lord will do what is best for me (75-77)
3) Prayer is good for me (78-80)

When one is in the midst of trials or crisis, these thoughts will help the believer get through them.

Driving to the church, I prayed that God would just allow these words encourage someone. When we got to the church, I prayed with the worship band. We prayed God would work in the peoples lives through the worship service and sermon. I preached and I felt that overall it went well.

After the service, a man told me that the sermon was exactly what he needed to hear. He had lost his job this Tuesday and was going through this "trial." God gave me what I needed to preach so that at least one of His children would be encouraged with the truth that God is in control of his circumstances.

I was so happy that I listened to God and not to me. And I was reminded, again, of the awesome responsibility pastors have to submit to God's prompting instead of preaching whatever they feel like preaching. I know this and practice this. Today, I was just reminded how important of a lesson it is.