Only God

“Neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who makes things grow.” ~1 Corinthians 3:7

I had prayed the prayer of Terry Rush all week long.

“God, just please do that thing you do.”

Every day this past week as we geared up for our first bi-lingual Sunday assembly here at Legacy I asked God to overcome our (my) inefficiencies and our (my) shortcomings and our (my) mistakes to make something really spectacular happen to his people here. I was confident he was going to do something. He always does. But I really wanted God to do something big this Sunday. Something huge. Something powerful. Something so unmistakably beyond our (my) capacity that we would be left with no choice but to give him all the credit.

“God, just please do that thing you do.”

I knew he would. So we planned and planned and planned. A dual welcome and call to worship with Manuel and me. Seek Ye First in Spanish. Both languages on the screens for Scripture readings. A completely bi-lingual communion time with Spanish and English readings and prayers. A double-barreled sermon, me setting up Manuel to knock ’em dead! And, finally, we’d bring the house down with my all-time favorite song, It Is Well. Estoy Bien!

It was all lining up perfectly during the week. There was going to be a baptism, maybe two! A baby blessing! Maybe two! This was going to be a watershed assembly for us, maybe for all of NorthEast Tarrant County! What a great day for God’s Kingdom!

And then the service began. Six minutes late. I froze while trying to welcome the crowd with a Spanish rendition of 1 John 3:1 I had practiced all week. I actually had to pull out my cheat sheet and read it. How embarrassing.

There were other miscues and mistakes. But overall everything was great. The singing was great. The prayers were great. The Bible passages were great. Manuel was great. Gordon was great. I was great. The babies weren’t crying. The teenagers weren’t texting. Nobody looked at his watch. It was perfect!

And then God said, “OK, Stanglin, you finished now?”

“Check this out.”

And Antonia Moscada came down the aisle. Back in November she had read on our guady flashing sign out on Mid-Cities Boulevard that we offered Spanish language services. She’d been worshiping and studying with our church family for three months. And she wanted to put on our Savior in baptism.

Then Ana Loneli came down the aisle. Back in October she had shown up at Legacy for Give Away Day. Homeless. Sleeping in her car. Manuel and Yvina and Mike and Judy St.Clair had prayed with her that day. They helped her. They got her an apartment and a job. She’s been worshiping and studying with us for four months now. And she wanted to put on Christ in baptism.

Antonia was driving down the road and saw our sign and now her sins are being forgiven by the Creator of the Universe! Ana came for free clothes and groceries and now she’s being given eternal life by Almighty God! Are you kidding me? The sign? Give Away Day?

Tracy, a visitor, comes down the aisle. A baptized believer. A child of God. A subject in the Kingdom. Tears streaming down her face. She wants to start over. She wants to confess her sins and ask God for forgiveness and for a fresh start.

Nobody could have planned this. It was too wonderful. Only God.

Our God is still so very powerful. Our God is still so very, very active in this world. He still saves people. He still reaches out and rescues people. He still forgives. He still loves. He still moves. He still creates. He still changes people.

Our God uses flashing signs on the road and benevolence programs and mediocre preaching (mine, Manuel, not yours). But let us always remember, it is our God who does it. Nobody and nothing else. Our God has been working on Antonia and Ana and Tracy for a long, long time. We are only privileged to be able to witness it up close and jump into his work as his partners by his grace.

Hallelujah. God saves.

Allan

2 Comments

  1. Caleb Courtney

    That all just gave me chills. We serve an indescribeable God.

  2. Jenn

    That is so cool….Aaron was telling me the stories and I love it! See, that flashy sign is doing some good AND people DO read it!!! 🙂 Thanks for this post!

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