Sunday, August 13, 2006

Spiritual Shock and Awe

Wesley penned his thoughts for August 3, 1759 in his Journal. Read the power of his printed words:

"I preached at Gainsborough in Sir Nevil Hickman's great hall. It is fully as large as the Weaver's Hall in Bristol. At two it was filled with a rude, wild multitude (a few of a better spirit excepted). Yet all but two or three gentlemen were attentive, while I enforced our Lord's words, 'What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?' I was walking back through a gaping, staring crowd when Sir Nevil came and thanked me for my sermon, to the no small amazement of his neighbors, who shrank back as if they had seen a ghost."

I won't try to beguile you with false humility--I'd love to preach with such power. To be so aided by grace and to be so forceful in delivery that people look "God smacked" at the conclusion. This isn't the power of charisma...this is the power of the Spirit of Jesus.

I confess that this never happened to me. In the history of my ministry nobody ever came to me after the service and complained about anything I preached. If anyone ever became angry about my words, nobody ever clued me into his ire. People have been nice and complimentary.

But I've never seen anyone "God smacked" after my sermons.

I need more grace. Pray for me.