As I have said before, I felt the anointing of the Lord on me every time I preached except one. It was nearing the end of my two year "assignment" as Pastor. I had studied diligently, prayed sincerely, outlined meticulously, and entered the pulpit confidently. I preached exactly what I had prepared, but there was a noticeable element missing. I had no power. My brain was preaching, but my spirit was totally catatonic. By the time I had finished, I was physically and emotionally drained. I felt so weak that I didn't think I could make it to the car. As we were driving home, I told Judy about it, and her response was immediate and rather matter-of-fact. She said, "Well, did you notice who was there tonight?" It was so obvious once she said that. In the congregation sat someone who had never wanted me hired as Pastor. He had not been to church for quite some time, and although I had been pleased that he came, we honestly believe his presence was evidence of the working of Satan (1 Thes. 2:18). In Joshua Seven, there is the story of how one man hindered the success of the entire nation of Israel by his heart being evil. Praise God, he did not return again, and I never again experienced the feeling of being deserted by the Lord. That is, until yesterday.
As I sat down to write my daily "edition" of the adventures of the Lord in my life, I felt something was wrong in my spirit. There was no one there but me, so I can not blame it on anyone else. Something was wrong in me. I had written almost the entire entry on the events that resulted in my being terminated as Pastor. Then, all of a sudden, it disappeared! I am hardly a computer expert, but I know that "something ate my work." After trying everything I could to retrieve it, I finally gave up and took a break. As I thought on what I had written, it dawned on me that I still held bitterness toward those who sought my resignation. I thought over what I had said, and became ashamed. My facts had certainly been accurate, and the events were an essential part of my testimony, but God was showing me what He saw in my heart. I confessed my attitude toward those folks was sin, and I repented. I asked God to forgive me and help me forgive them. As you might surmise, I rewrote yesterday's post. Perhaps all who read what I write might begin their reading by saying a little prayer for me. It will definitely be appreciated, and who knows, it may prepare your heart for what you are about to read.
I came to know Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior in 1971, and nearly forty years have passed. What must seem like a long testimony to most of you is actually the "Reader's Digest" version of God's work on me. Many of the events that occurred have been left out because the Holy Spirit apparently did not want me to remember them. Wow, did I just attribute my poor memory to God? I did. After all, it is His job to bring all things to my remembrance (Jn. 14:26). I have always taken seriously the Word that says I am to rely upon the Holy Spirit to speak through me (Lk. 12:11). And He often does, whenever He can get a word in edgewise. God bless every one of you and all those for whom He wants you to model Christ. Amen.