Sunday, September 21, 2008

Did I Do That? No- God Did!

Hmmm... I did something that completely unnerves me. I prayed about, studied, and prepared a message for the better part of 10 days and then DID NOT preach it. As I mentioned in Friday's post, I went to a funeral service on Saturday. While at that funeral, a friend and brother beloved in the name of Rev. Keith Sanders preached a message from Psalms 22 and entitled it "When Heaven is Silent." He shared some thought provoking comments and commentary. Quite honestly, some of it strengthened my understanding and some raised my theological brow. I was led to go home and ponder these exhortations and the subsequent "tension of the text." The Lord ushered me into a retrospective glance of Psalm 23 in response to this seeming "Silence" of our Lord. It overwhelmed me. So much so, that even up to the preaching moment I wrestled with these nuggets/inspirations. I was torn between what I feel I had diligently studied (Acts 6) and what I now know that Lord was leading me toward. (I am sure most preachers understand how it feels to be torn between two text)

The worship was warm and celebratory. Wow... The people of our congregation are really growing in many ways. One of those ways is worship "in spirit and in truth." I am glad to see them maturing to understand the importance of expressive praise, especially it's roll in preparing the heart for receiving the Word. Rev. Williams prayed mightily, the choir sung tremendously (I got a piece of the last, and it was time. What would I do??? I had my bible opened to Acts 6 with my outline (on a notecard) readily by. WOW... I turned away from it and followed the Lord.

{DISCLAIMER: Now, I must give reference to one of my preaching "Icons" in the name of Pastor H.B. Charles. He tells of a situation in which a fellow preacher told him "I don't do all that studying and stuff like you guys. I just pray, stand up, and wait for the Lord to speak." Pastor Charles said that one week he had been in revival and came directly back to meetings and other responsibilities and by that Saturday night he was spent. So, this preacher's words came to mind and he figured he would try it. So he went to bed, got up that morning, prayed, and he stood behind the pulpit and waiting for God to speak. Pastor Charles says, "He did speak, and you know what He said? 'H.B., you should've studied.'"}

I turned to Psalm 23... I directed the congregation's attention to this beautiful song of the shepherd David. Consequently, Rev. Keith Sanders who had preached the funeral was there. In my introduction I explained the premise that Rev. Sanders had shared about the "Silence of God" at certain moments of our lives. And proceeded with the message that the Lord gave. I am thankful that it was the Lord who "ordered my steps." He was faithful in speaking to the hearts of us all. Several souls were added to the church and others testified of the help gleaned from the message. I will admit it doesn't have the hermeneutical flare that we are accustom to. Even more, no alliteration to tickle the fancy of those who've come to expect this "art." But, I am just thankful that "flunkersville" was not a scheduled stop on today. I realize that these matters can go south REAL quick when we have not availed oursleves to the will of God and "studied to shew ourselves approved." A VERY BRIEF idea of the message:

"Actions Speak Louder Than Words"
Psalm 23

Intro: There are those times (Like Psalm 22) when we feel as if God has "forsaken" us and refused to speak. The reality is there are times when God is silent. David understood this, even in the context of some of life's greatest disappointments. The same David that sobs (in Psalm 22) sings (in Psalm 23). "The Lord IS..." There are times in life where we have to be in tune and in touch with the "is-ness" of the Lord. We have a Father whose intrinsic attributes are so absolute that His silence doesn't render them void... So, in essence, David comes to the realization that there are times in my life when I was looking for the father to SAY something when He was in the process of trying to DO something. Now I must rush to say that the primary idea is that we adore and serve God for who He IS. However, what I also want you to rejoice about today is the reality that "because of who He IS you can rely on what He DOES." David, in a way, reminds us today that "Actions Speak Louder Than Words."

What "actions" do we see in the text? I want to call them the "7 Sureties of my Shepherd." My Shepherd:

1. Makes Me
2. Leads Me
3. Guides Me
4. Restores Me
5. Comforts Me
6. Anoints Me
7. Follows Me

I would love to expand the points and give the explanation, illustration, and application of each one. However, I know this post is ALREADY to long.

God Keep,



At 8:34 AM, Blogger Pastor W.L. Pullam said...

A good post son. Once again this demonstrates the awesome power of "letting go and letting God." It is always a big plus to follow where the spirit of God leads. And, yes, he blesses our study even when He directs us not to use what we have studied and prepared for a particular occasion. Wow! His ways are truly not like our ways. I am blessed by the synopsis you shared in your post and I know that the saints at the "Ship" were blessed beyond measure. God bless you brother and keep on "preaching a little."
By the tie of Calvary,

At 12:29 PM, Blogger Keith D. Witherspoon said...

Trust in the Lord, with all thy heart and lean not to your own undersatnding in all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct they paths.

I do not recommend this practice, however God will move us off of our paper and into His presence to present what He prepared!

At 1:27 PM, Blogger Pastor Andre' A. McGhee said...

This is exactly why I look forward to reading your posts. I always come away with nuggets of inspiration. So good to have you back! Thank God for all the Shepherd does and is doing.

At 9:34 PM, Blogger Vietta P's Two Cents said...

There is a deep appreciation for this post and ALL posts which allows me to reflect on the hand of God. My mind glimsped back into a time in my life when the Lord didn't "say" anything, He just "did" something. In the process He taught me so much and I gained a great testimony that I share even today. Over and over again He proves to me (anew) who He is, I have no problem in relying upon what He does. I rest in His perfect will.

I wish I could have been there to here you. I'm quite sure you...
"preached a little"

I love you My Baby,


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