Is Anything Too Hard?

Is anything too hard for the Lord? [Genesis 18:14]

As we walk with God there will be all sorts of moments. Think about your own walk and your experiences with God, the Words from God, the way you have grown. I’m sure like me, there have been some glorious life altering moments, some powerful Holy Spirit moments and more than likely, some frustrating, confused and questioning moments. Maybe you have even had some moments of unbelief too.

For Abraham and Sarah this is one of those moments. Put yourself in their shoes. Gods talked about an heir before but now He is saying that the son will come from them, a couple of very old people, they were in their nineties. That’s not a union I really want to think about, yet God spoke the birth into being.

However, knowing how easy it is to look at certain characters in the Bible as always being great and amazing, I am encouraged once again that these are just ordinary human beings, with the same kind of flaws that I might display from time to time and I can learn quite a lot from them. In this case about unbelief.

Unbelief comes to everyone. None of us are so close to God that we don’t have moments where we wonder if God we actually come through for us, that what He has said, can and will come to pass. Like Sarah, we have laughed at the thought. Our realistic view of the world has reminded us that such things are just not possible even though God says they are.

Unbelief can go one of two ways. These moments are pivotal moments. Right now the trajectory for Abraham and Sarah is going in one of two ways. Unbelief doesn’t make you a bad person or a bad Christian but we have to be mindful of it. Behaviour is influenced by our beliefs, so realistically that means that unbelief will have an impact on us in some way.

Unbelief might lead us away from God. How might we react in the same situation? Really God? I just can’t believe for that. We begin to doubt Him, we begin to drift a little, then before we even realise, that moment of unbelief has drawn us away and we are not walking with God in the way we once did.

Unbelief can bring us back to our knees. Maybe we recognise that we can’t solve everything and that the best place to find ourselves is on our knees before God, crying out in a moment of honesty, and ultimately of trust. Maybe there is someone who will challenge our response and keep us on our walk with God. Either way, whether we can believe it or not, God will and that’s the most important truth to grab hold of.

Wherever you are when it comes to waiting on God for some miracles, choose to fall on your knees. Don’t allow the seemingly impossibility of them draw you away from God but instead towards Him. After, God knows what He is doing and nothing is impossible for Him.

The things which are impossible with men are possible with God [Luke 18:27]

My Week: Friday

Friday is usually a prep day for Sunday. First I needed to sort out the service boxes and runsheets for each location and then I could give my full attention to the message for this week.

I am convinced that every preacher has their own peculiar way of preparing a message. Once you find that rhythm it’s difficult to change and I don’t think it should be either, unless God helps create a new one.

I pray for a hook, a thought, a question to answer, a verse. Just something that will become the one thing I want to leave with those who are listening. Not sure if this is right but it works for me. From there I can dig a little, take as much time as is needed to understand the verse, and allow God to lead me in my thinking as I meditate on it. Sometimes this is with a blank piece of paper and writing what I feel God is saying, other times it involves commentaries and following where that first thought may go.

This week we begin a new series as we head towards Easter. It’s called ‘Love Ran Red’. So my question is this ‘What happened at the cross when love ran red?’ This opens up lots of thoughts but I got 3 words quite quickly which meant I could move away from the books and mull them over for a while.

I always take a break during prep. I cannot sit at the desk for hours on end. Go get a coffee, go for a walk, or for a drive. This space gives me a chance to talk it through. It may look like I am talking to myself but I’m just dialoguing with God. Is it right? Does it make sense? What do you want me to say God?

Once the message is together, all it needs is writing up. Then I just keep praying about it over the weekend. Asking God to speak through me. Asking for the extra that only God can bring. After all, it’s more important that I am sharing what God wants to say, not just what I want to. That can be difficult to know until you are up on the platform sometimes. I remember hearing a preacher say that you should always be about 80% ready, as this means you have to rely on God for the other 20%. Sometimes it feels more like the other way round.

Looking forward to being with our Darlington congregation on Sunday – maybe I’ll see you there.

Add to the mix today we had a birthday in the family. My beautiful wife was another year older. We enjoyed a very early start to open presents for Kerina before the girls left for school, college and Uni. Then she went back to sleep as she wasn’t feeling great.

If you are preacher, what’s your preparation routine? I would love to learn from the collective wisdom of those who read this blog. Thanks