I don’t get this preaching thing. I don’t get it at all. I’m afraid of it. But it’s all I want to do. I’m inadequate to do it. But somehow I think that helps me. So much of the time I feel like Indiana Jones in that I’m just “making it up as I go along.” I don’t know what I’m doing. And I’m not sure that I ever will. This preaching thing is so huge and so powerful and so wonderful. I’m so honored and so privileged and so blown away by the fact that our Sovereign God is using me in this way. And I’m so worried about messing it up. I’m so burdened sometimes by the things I know I’m supposed to say; so relieved when they come out the right way and so discouraged when they don’t. The calling is so demanding and so satisfying; so right for me in that I feel capable of study and public speaking; so wrong for me in that I am so selfish and sinful and insignificant.
It’s so up and down. It’s so exhilerating and frightening. All at the same time. All the time.
During the down times—the times when I’m doubting myself—I go to Terry Rush’s blog, “The Morning Rush.” Terry is the preaching minister at Memorial Drive in Tulsa and a wonderful encourager of preachers. His words never fail to inspire me and lift me up. I’ve shared his blog with other preachers in the past couple of years. But I want to share some of his more recent words with everybody this morning. His words echo my heart today.
For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust…II Peter 1:4.Does partaking of His divine nature ever mess with your thought processes? I mean we are each spiritual Gideons doing more than we can imagine (Eph. 3:20) while being reduced to complete nobodies (II Cor. 12:11). How can such nothingness like us participate with the Complete One in His true and glorious work and stay sane?He called the foolish, the weak, the base, and the “are not” (I Cor. 1:26-28) to complete His work. So how do you feel participating? I feel foolish, weak, base, and not fit. It bugs me. It increasingly weighs on me. Yet that’s how God used Gideon. God reduced Gideon’s armies that the glory would be of the Divine. I feel so strange being visible in the church. I love the work, adore the people, and move with contagion for His theme. Yet, I feel so terribly and visibly inadequate.
For me, it’s embarrassing to step up in front of workshop crowds being so weak and foolish. I am a saved, gifted, blessed goof-ball. I am shallow, vain, and so far behind the church learning curve. I often wonder if my Memorial friends wince at such silliness which comes from me. I’m guessing they do and love me anyway. Yet, the Word says I partake in the divine nature. How can that be? I have a harder time making introductions and announcements than preaching.
It can only be possible as our confidence is in His Spirit and not in ourselves (II Cor. 3:4-5). It must be true. My role is to believe it. If you struggle with being you…and I’m assuming some are just like me…continue to serve. He is the goal. He is the glory. He is the life. He invited the weak and the base to partake. So? We do…gladly!