I've known for a long time that God is faithful but yesterday He reminded me yet again. Allow me to explain.
Thursday is typically my last day in the office and therefore it's a good week if my sermon is done by the time I come across the Ohio River on Thursday evening:) But going into Thursday I was majorly behind. I knew I was to stay within the Holy Spirit series but beyond that, I hadn't a clue where God wanted me to go. To make a long story short, God gave me direction early on Thursday and convinced me that I was to talk about the joy the Holy Spirit produces but I didn't make much progress. I had MAJOR interruptions (and this isn't always a bad thing) all day and found myself nowhere close to being finished by the time I left on Thursday. Oh well...been there before. God is always faithful to get his message done.
Regardless of how behind I am, I try hard to give Friday to my family. They need me and I need the break. Jennifer and I took our two youngest to McDonalds and as I left I knew God had just given me my opening story (you'll have to listen to the message).
Saturday I got up early and headed to Southeast to finish my sermon. It provides a semi-quiet place and it somewhat close to home. I finished at about 2pm but if I can be honest, I just didn't feel great about it. It felt undone and incomplete. I felt like there was more...but that's all I had.
That night I slept horrible. I woke up numerous times feeling very nervous. Each time I would pray, asking him to comfort me and praying for empowerment as I shared the message He had laid upon my heart. I felt sure it was spiritual warfare.
Sunday it continued as I awoke and didn't get my normal quiet time as Jalen had a friend over and they were sleeping downstairs, meaning there was not a room in the house (other than the bathrooms) that was available for my normal quiet, alone time with God. So I gave the Lord what distracted time I had, admitted that I felt off my game and was unusually nervous but begged him to use me. I ran to 1 Corinthians 2:3-5 (as it has become one of my favorite scriptures to inspire me to prepare my heart to preach) and God reminded me of 2 Corinthians 12:10, then it was out the door.
Upon arriving at church I found my friend Bill and told him I needed to pray. I knew he would understand the attack I had been under and would go to the Lord with me. He did and God was so faithful. As I stood up to preach it felt like an out of body experience. I knew that I knew that the Holy Spirit was just borrowing my body to speak to the people of GCC. And He did it twice (9am & 10:45am)! All I can say is that the Holy Spirit was saying things through me that I hadn't written in my notes.
As I look back, I'm confident the message on joy was not a message the enemy wanted out. I could feel his attacks. But my God was faithful as He always is! When I had little to give, when I was weak, when I was empty, He came through in a big way! Praise Him!