I'm sure every preacher has had the experience where a sermon that the preacher expects to be life-changing falls flat. I'm sure every preacher has had to deal with crickets when they intentionally left a pause for the laughter to subside. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has heard "nice sermon" after a tough, prophetic message. And I'm sure other preachers have written "the worst sermon ever" before. I have even had the experience where I have had a sermon all ready to go and God told me to preach something else (very rarely!). But something that has happened several times happened this week.
I wrote the worst sermon ever.
It was hard to write. I had a tough time concentrating on the text at hand. I had a hard time concentrating at all, to tell the truth. Sunday morning came around, and I wondered if God would suddenly give me an alternate text so I could bail on the sermon I had written. But God was "strangely" silent. So I delivered the sermon as written.
And it was just what the people needed.
Why should I be surprised? That's the way God seems to work - making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland, as He revealed in Isaiah 43:18-21 (which "just happened" to be the text I was preaching from). Why would God do this? To humble me, reminding me that it's not my words that inspire or change lives; it's His Word. Always.