If you were in church today you know that the service was different. If you missed it, let me explain.
I broke from the series on parenting in order to speak to our church about the need for some serious seeking of God. A number of events of late have caused me to take pause and consider the spiritual temperature of our church. Several people have spoken to me about various things in our ministry that concern them, and I have been prayerfully considering these topics as well.
Two weeks ago, while at the pastor’s fellowship meeting at the Independent Bible Church of Duryea, Pastor Joe LaCava preached from Luke chapter four. The truth that stuck with me and has continued to fill my mind is simply that Jesus – who is God- needed to fast for forty days at the beginning of his public ministry.
In that passage we read that Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit and was then lead by the Spirit into the wilderness for a forty day fast . During that time he was tempted by Satan, probably the entire time. But, when he came through that period, He was filled with the power of the Spirit!
My question is this, “Why did Jesus fast”? It was not to deal with sin. Whatever the reason, It was necessary and Spirit led, and the result was His receiving the power of the Spirit for His ministry. Might it have been partially for our example?
If Jesus needed that, how much more do I and our church need it? I know that I’ve often done ministry in my own strength, and I’ve often not seen the results desired. I need God and we need God.
So I really challenged you, our congregation, about this today and a great majority of you responded. I praise God and will be praying for you.
One of the last things I emphasized this morning was the reality of spiritual warfare. As I challenged you, and myself, I knew Satan would not be pleased. If Jesus faced temptations and trials, so will we.
I’m not ready to give Satan the credit, but I find it very thought provoking that as we are about to embark on a very serious journey of seeking God, I and my family became so sick that church had to be canceled this evening.
Let’s not jump to give Satan credit too soon. God could very well be testing me and possibly you. Are we serious about this thing? While I was at the peak of sickness this afternoon, I asked God to teach me through this. Yes, I felt as if I was about to die, but I also knew that this was a minor insignificant thing compared to what others have and do suffer.
It is now 11:15pm and I am feeling mostly better. However, while in the throes of pain, I tried to think of the real suffering of lost souls in Hell. That didn’t make the pain go away, but it did put things into perspective and God used it to channel my focus.
Let us do this thing together. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. I’ll pray for you, and you please pray for me.