Wednesday, April 03, 2013

I Needed This

Hosea 13:1 KJV
When Ephraim spake trembling, he exalted himself in Israel; but when he offended in Baal, he died.

In an Old Testament illustration of our Saviour's words in Luke 14:11, "He that humbleth himself shall be exalted" Hosea cites Ephraim as evidence. When Ephraim spake trembling  he exalted himself. But when he turned from God to Baal; when he became his own master of good and evil, then he died.

I had the occasion to speak at a Pastor's fellowship yesterday. I have never felt like I do well in those settings. There have been times when my messages were well received but as often as not I stick my foot in my mouth or just do poorly. Yesterday was supposed to be a tribute to a pastor who, at age 80, is retiring from the pastorate. I struggled with what to preach for a number of reasons, but circumstances just previous to my preaching caused great nervousness. I used to overcome those nerves with excitement. I don't like doing that any more. I want to be excited about my message but I don't want to manipulate my flesh to produce something that might not be of the Holy Spirit.

For one thing, I felt pressured for time.
My slot for preaching had been pretty well eaten up by a presentation from a charitable giver. I entered the pulpit fully aware of the limitations of my time.

For another, the preacher before me brought a message that could have been construed as an opposite of mine.
While his message was on target in many ways, he came across from the perspective that if we didn't get busy, God was going to miss out. My message approached the ministry from the perspective that God doesn't need our work, but takes pleasure in our faithfulness.

At any rate, I came to the pulpit nervous and never overcame it through the message.
I needed this verse today.
I needed to hear that speaking with trembling is more than all right. 

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