And so, I preached my first sermon last night.
I was not as prepared as I could have been but from the feedback and how I felt standing up there, I think it wasn’t bad at least! :D Been praying a lot the past week and I know there were things I spoke about that I had not written down to share but I believe that the Holy Spirit was guiding my words and He knew what the people needed to hear last night.
However, I don’t think I’ll be preaching anytime soon! I’ve come to a new appreciation of pastors such as my Dad who preach week after week. Having listened to (I’m sure it’s something like) 1000+ sermons, I’d somehow come to the conclusion that it shouldn’t be that hard… but let’s just say, it’s not as easy as it seems!
If you asked me 5 yrs ago whether I would ever consider or see myself preaching the answer would have been a flat ‘no’. I did not like public speaking nor did I think I had anything anyone would want to hear. But a few years ago, the desire to be God’s mouthpiece to the people sprung out of nowhere. Actually, that’s not quite accurate. It was following the situation that had left me heartbroken and as God was guiding me through the process of forgiveness, I was brought into contact with many people who needed to hear what God was doing in my life.
As a person who didn’t like to stir up controversy, I had previously taken the coward’s way out and believed that if I just practised my faith through actions, then that would be enough for people to know Jesus and want what I had. And to an extend, people would comment about my positive outlook on life but I was often too fearful of what people would think of me that I failed on many occasions to point them properly to Jesus, the source of my joy and the strength for me to let go. Eventually, I could no longer stay silent. With my nerves and fumbling words, I began to tell the story of how He nursed me back into wholeness. How I experienced the forgiveness of God fully for perhaps the first time in my life. But I had learnt so much that I felt I was not doing my friends justice if I kept this Good News to myself. People say that actions speak louder than words but I think words must not lose their importance. How will the people know that it is the joy of the Lord that is your strength and not just your temperament or your personality?
OK, this turned into a bit a rant… unintentional. In a way this is a self-pep talk to keep going at it. I still have bouts of fear when talking to people about faith but I’m learning to block it out and just share what I know in my heart to be true. And at the end of the day, it’s not our words that will change their hearts but God’s Spirit that goes to work. And keeping that in mind, takes the pressure off. All we got to do is just be willing and do it.