|Taken at around 6:30 in the morning at a location around 2 hours away from Baguio's Central Business District, with my trusty D80+18-200mm combo, while burdened with exhaustion. Keep on keeping on, as a guard in Fallout 2 said.|
"Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples!"
- Psalm 105:1
Before I was assigned to be a pastor, I thought that public speaking was pretty easy for me. I mean, I enjoyed that subject so much during college that I took it twice - that's because I had fun the first time around... Too much fun, apparently. When I was working, I also was quite passionate about speaking before an audience - it was mostly about discussing quality guidelines to trainees. I became pretty enthusiastic about it, especially since I saw that I was able to leave an impact on those I spoke to.
It's a whole new ball game, however, when you speak to people about Jesus Christ. It was quite unfortunate for me to learn a bit late in the game that whenever a follower of Jesus Christ speaks (or in this case, writes) you are not just representing yourself, but Jesus Christ.
I know that this shouldn't be an issue. I mean, the pressure to exhibit excellence in all we do is present... but we know that as we represent Jesus Christ in all that we say and do, we are empowered to excel, not by our own strength, but by the power of the Holy Spirit working in an through us.
So that was the lesson I took in and tried applying in all the messages I was led to preach, mostly during our 5pm services on Sundays. However, it wasn't till recently that I found out how it really worked.
Ever since I've tried my hand in sharing the Word to a congregation I've had trouble in balancing out two things: Stepping out in faith, and letting the Holy Spirit speak through me, and making preparations for the preaching. Looking back at previous messages I've shared, I found that if I underprepared and stepped out too far, the service ended a whole lot earlier that it did. On the other hand, if I prepared too much I would have a whorl of all sorts of ideas, cluttered and unorganized, and I would be more disorientated than before I 'prepared'.
It is definitely possible to keep our minds too focused and occupied in the wrong things. Before last Sunday, I had the same problem of 'preparing' too much, reading, writing, praying, and fasting. Not that any of this was wrong, but it was just that I did it all for the wrong reasons - I wasn't really making any progress; I was just waiting for the Lord to make me 'feel' good, before and after the preaching of the message.
I came to my lowest last Friday, when I fasted for the second time, trying as much as I can, calling out to the Lord for 'inspiration' and 'motivation'. At one point I was going through the Word, and then I felt sleepy. I gave in to the urge to get some shut-eye, a good part of me thinking, 'The Lord talks through dreams, too.'
Obviously, I wasn't able to sleep because I was thinking about the message to preach. Then, some time between me lying down and making the place where I slept, a thought came back to me so clearly, a message our senior minister told us, a message I wrote down and even flaunted on Instagram last October 13, "JUST DO IT."
Just do it. Prepare as far as the outline goes, and leave time to testify. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit as He moves...
..And I sincerely believe He moved in a mighty way in our congregation last Sunday, when most, then all of them came in front, desiring the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This was a topic I was most nervous about, and 2 days after it was discussed, I am still in so much awe towards how the Lord moved at the time.
I posted this the night after that preaching, and I'm posting it again:
"Faith does not come before action. Rather, it is edified after execution. To God be the glory!"
God bless us all.
Shared in http://jibee.blogspot.com/. יהוה bless you!