I went as a pulpit supply, this past Sunday, to a church that was not too big. I went in thinking it was good to preach somewhere outside of the church I’ve been serving for the better part of 2 years. I went in thinking I’d come in, offering something a little different then the every Sunday pastor, and preach something I’d preached on before (but this time better). I went in thinking I was getting better at this preaching thing…
I left humbled. I left rocked. I left questioning my sermon, my attitude leading up, my ability to be open to the guiding of the Holy Spirit, and even wondering if I had been fooling myself these years thinking I was drawing nearer to Christ. With no AC, a sermon that needed editing, and apparently some arrogance I was blind to going in, I hit a brick wall, flipped over the handlebars of life, and ended up on my backside with a bruised ego.
Although many of the feelings that came in the rush of emotion afterward and in the analytical thoughts for days after surely were of the deceiver and not of my King, I realized at once my pride. The thing that had been hidden from me, the very thing I have prayed for death to for months, apparently gained a toe-hold in my life recently. Maybe it never went away; others could tell you better than I. But isn’t that scary? I sure thought so.
So as I was reminded this week at my need to completely depend on God and how my best laid plans and efforts are merely dirty rags, I thank God for His forgiveness, His grace, and His righteousness that cover me upon repentance. I move forward, humbled and fully aware that God is all powerful, ever willing, and able to the utmost to live out this life through me, at this moment and every moment going forward, better than I can even on 10,000 of my best days.
O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me
thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need for further grace. I am ashamed
of my lack of desire, O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with
longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, so that I may
know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, “Rise up
my love, my fair one, and come away.” Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up form this
misty lowland where I have wandered so long.
– A.W. Tozer, “The Pursuit of God”