This past Sunday seemed like an “off week”. I sensed it earlier in the week during my sermon preparation. Then again when I was putting final touches on my sermon Friday/Saturday. Then again when I heard our Worship Director had the flu and would not be there, which meant changing some things in the worship service. Then again while I was delivering the sermon. Have you ever had those days (weeks—> I won’t ask months or years)?
I can imagine that those in the congregation might have felt something like this:
All in all, when I sensed this early in the week I should have attacked it with prayer. I should have gone on the offense rather than wait and pridefully think that I could outlast the enemy’s arrows. I should have followed this preacher’s advice when he says, “
Some of our toil is wasted, because we’re toiling believing that these things [sermon prep and church services/programs] change people.
I believe a lot more of our work needs to be put into prayer, study of the Word, and trusting God. I could spend an extra ten hours on every sermon, trying to get every word just right, but my time would be much better spent out sharing the gospel with people and praying.
Now, I do study hard, because the Scripture tells me to and because I want to be accurate in my teaching. We should work hard “as unto the Lord,” but we have to let our theology guide what we work hard at. And you have to be led by the Spirit on how much time to spend crafting a sermon and how much time to spend praying for a movement of the Spirit.
My practice needs to follow my principles and my theology! I also need to realize that the results of the Word of God being preached are not dependent on my delivery or anything about me. God can use any foolish preaching (1 Cor 1:18) Nonetheless, I’m starting this week off right. Will you join me in praying this week?