Last Sabbath I preached a Friday night special; actually it was a Sabbath morning special. I usually use my Fridays to finish my sermons, but last week my whole week including Friday was crazy, and I didn’t get in until 11:00 that night. So I woke up at 5:30 on Sabbath to finish my sermon.
I had considered recycling; there are three fresh sermons in my ‘garden’ that I haven’t preached at that church yet. But the Holy Spirit told me to preach another message this Sabbath, so I obeyed. The only problem, I didn’t have the time to properly prepare the sermon.
So I’m sitting on the platform, waiting for the special music to end, and hoping that the singer will drag out her notes just a little longer. I know the message I had was solid, but I didn’t have time to prepare it properly, not even a run through. So I pray to God, “It’s not about me; it’s about you. So Holy Spirit please come and make something of this.”
After the sermon a lady came up to me and said it was the best sermon she ever heard me preach; even the critical crowd at my church said it was a good sermon. Later that after noon I went over to visit a fellow at the hospital, and he said that everyone visited him before said to tell me it was a good sermon. The funniest part was that I knew it wasn’t because of anything I did; my preperation was terrible.
Actually, that sermon was good because my preparation was terrible, and that forced me to undertake the most important part of preparation. Acknowledging that it’s not about me; it’s about God and what He’s going to do through me allows the Holy Spirit to come in and do something that we are unable to on our own. And that’s true not just for preaching or even pastoral work but for anything.
And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)