I read an amazing book awhile back called, ” Reaching For An Invisible God”- (its a must read for anyone, with questions or without)
There was a part in one of the chapters that told a story of a pastor that was to give a message to a room of people less fortunate in a physical way.
The pastor walked in confident about his message he was about to give, he thought it was simple,
” I’ll just let them know they are victorious where they are regardless of the wheelchairs they are sitting in.”
However, when he gave the message, expecting smiling faces…he noticed that there were only blank stares.
A woman came up to him after everyone had left and said, ” We don’t understand what you mean, we don’t understand it at all.” and she walked away. The pastor was left stunned.
So he decided to try another time, he started to prepare and research, but something just didn’t stick; he found himself in front of those same people with almost the same blank stare they had given him.
Finally he spoke, ” I am sorry, I don’t know what to say, I am confused without a message of victory.”
The same woman spoke up from the audience, ” Now we can understand you, now we can listen.”
I began with this story, because I felt that in order for us to grasp how we can be humble in listening and learning from all messages; is to realize that the person up there giving it is human.
This person gets up in the morning, and he sits down and starts to research the next part of his message.
He has read several books around the room, and he has greek and hebrew translation, as well as concordance by his side. Perhaps, he has commentaries of certain book of scriptures. He has most likely not just one translation of the Bible but two or more. He has spent hours going through every resource possible to prepare a message that is as less about him as possible.
He gets up there on Sunday, after spending 30-hr praying that God’s hand would be on him and help him deliver the words he is to speak. He has had to forget about the car breaking down an hour before, or the phone call he got the night before of his sick relative, or the fact he wasn’t able to get much sleep because the message he was going to give really hit close to home.
Taking a breath he greets and asks you how you are doing, maybe talking about something previously during praise and worship or a conversation he just had with a fellow member.
Regardless, he lets God take the stage through him.
Did you ever hear, ” Always give a penny to the poor, because it might be Jesus in disguise.”?
Well, that was something I was taught as a child. I know now that it can most relate to Hebrews 13:5,
” Don’t forget to entertain strangers for some have entertained angels without knowing it.”
Did you ever think your attitude even listening to the message at church was a test of faith?
We aren’t just there to sit and learn, we are there to take God in. It is a privelage in itself!
You may not quite understand exactly what I mean, because some of us were raised to just ” deal” with the messages. It isn’t about ” dealing” with them at all. It is about loving Jesus enough that you want to hear it.
And whether you realize it or not, what you learn every Sunday is to be applied into your own life. You are to be the teacher of what was taught to you. You are an example just as much as your pastor is.
You are an example of Jesus. Isn’t that enough to want to sit and listen to a message regardless of what its about?
I hear people say sometimes, ” Well, that message wasn’t really for me today.”
Have you ever said that?
And what if I said it was untrue.
EVERYTHING God ordained in our lives was placed by God for us to hear, and if we are hearing it, then God wanted us to!
This part of humility is not just about respect to our God, but it is the difference between being a ” Hold my hand across the street” Christian to a ” I can walk across on my own, but I still need the counsel at my side.” Christian.
What I have learned from the verse memorization that I am doing with the LPM blog is that I no longer need someone to hold my hand for me to ” find” the words God wants to speak to me.
Instead of sitting in your seat on sunday thinking about what you are doing right after service or whatever you may be thinking; I encourage you to force those thoughts out of your mind in the name of Jesus until the service is over.
So you say your church is 2 hrs long with their messages. Do you know that there are some countries that would die literally to just hear the word of God for 30 seconds?
We have as a nation come under the belief that its okay to put God on the backburner. He most definitely does not belong there, or inside a cute little box.
When a message is spoken, we need to be willing to listen, and expectant for a blessing.
Word of God WILL speak.