We had a visiting minister today at my church. It wasn’t a great surprise to me. I remember my pastor taking a couple of Sundays off this time last year, and I pretty well knew he would this year too without being told. So, what does this matter? Throughout the week I pray for my pastor to speak words with the Holy Spirit that would open and move hearts to God as he prepares Sunday’s sermon. When I know someone else will be speaking, I change my prayer to pray for them.
Did you notice I said I pray for the words from the Holy Spirit for hearts to open and move to God? I don’t think I ever prayed that the words spoken by any minister would be for my heart to open and to move closer to God. Although I do pray to God to guide me, to teach me, and to open my eyes to the thing I need to change in my life. My heart has benefited from sermons spoken many times on Sunday, but I never expect it to. I go to church knowing that I need to be with other believers. That my soul needs refueling after a week of facing the world…. But I never prayed for the words that are spoken on Sunday would be for me. It has always been with the thoughts of opening and moving other people’s hearts.
Today was no different. I went to church with no expectations of the sermon to open my heart and move me closer to God. I just knew I needed to be at church as I’m normal am every Sunday. But it happened as it does sometimes; the minister spoke words I needed to hear. Some of the words were hard to listen to, and I knew the Holy Spirit had given him the words to speak to me. I thought, “man this guy is hitting me hard and it’s like he knows what my heart’s condition has been like lately.” He talked about some things that I’ve only said to God.
A God thought entered into my mind, “What are you complaining about? You asked for the sermon to be spoken through the Holy Spirit to move hearts closer to God. Your prayers are being answered….. It’s your heart that needs the words….” I’ll be changing my prayers to including my heart on Sundays too.
2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that the man (or woman) of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work.…”