If you teach, you know how God has you go through the stuff that you’re teaching? Sunday was a really tough message for me. It was one of those, “What happens when God doesn’t answer in the way you wanted Him to?” types of messages. But the response was unbelievable! People were so moved as I shared my story about how God hasn’t answered me in the way I’ve wanted Him to at times. I was teaching on John the Baptist being in prison (I’ve been doing a series of messages on John the Baptist’s life) and he waited and waited for Jesus to rescue him, but there was no rescue.
Sometimes as teachers we present the Christian life in this “vending machine” type of way, where if you put in a certain amount of quarters and press “E-6”, God is then obligated to obey our commands. I’ve been guilty of this at times. Where I only present the benefits of knowing Jesus and not the reality that becoming a Christian doesn’t mean everything is going to work out on earth.
So I ended the message by saying, “We need to get to the point where we say, ‘God, take my life and do whatever you want with it. It’s OK with me.'” I don’t know if I’ve ever seen so many tears in a church service before. But everyone was happy afterward. Why? (Besides the obvious, that I stopped talking) I think it was because people didn’t feel alone in their struggles. They didn’t feel like they were the only ones who struggled with God in that way or who doubted if the christian life was really worth living. I think people appreciate it when we agree that life is complicated and everything isn’t like Tetris that fits into a nice, neat, little box.
I guess I’m just saying that it felt great to just be real…