All in One Shot
Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. – Ephesians 3:20
Eighteen months ago, my time as a pastor came to an end. It was a hurt that I didn’t think I’d ever get over. I was crushed as badly as I’d ever been crushed. I had chances to do the rebound thing and preach at another church. I also had the opportunity to become a worship leader. But for some reason all I could think of was “Go into the wilderness.” I had no idea what that looked like, but I was willing to go. I wanted to go.
Tonya and I, on a cold and rainy Sunday morning went to Jocassee Valley Brewing Company and sat under a tent in nasty weather. Honestly, I felt kind of foolish. I thought that Tonya and I would just end up praying together and we’d go home. While we were praying, a couple pulled up. After that, another pulled up. The six of us met with God . . . it was pretty wonderful. God did exceedingly abundantly all that I could ask or think.
A handful of us have been meeting in the wilderness since October. I believe that God wants me to spend 40 weeks there. The Israelites had to spend 40 years wandering there. Jesus spent 40 days. I believe that He told me that I’m to spend 40 weeks there. After I receive more confirmation, I will tell you where we will spend the remaining weeks and how only God could have worked it out. I think it is just amazing.
What I wanted to record in this WMD though is something that I want to never ever forget. A few Sundays ago, I was preaching for my friend, Shaun. Because he posted a video of a tornado touching down at his church, Fox News happened to visit him that Sunday. While they were there, they went ahead and streamed the whole service. It has ten thousand views. Now, I know that 10,000 people probably didn’t watch the whole thing, but I’m still amazed at how these numbers work out. At my previous church, attendance would be around 140 people on Sunday mornings. Now, check out this equation: 18 months x 4 Sundays x 140 people = 10,080. I got to preach for just as many people in one shot as I would have if I’d been preaching every Sunday for the last year and a half. To me that is God doing exceedingly abundantly above all that I could think or imagine.
One more thing that someone else pointed out to me: I spoke on the Beatitudes, which is the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount. Here is what the Bible says right before He began:
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him, and He began to teach them. – Matthew 5:1-2
There I was thinking that I was only teaching disciples inside that church building. But that Fox News camera was rolling. There was a crowd that I couldn’t see. How crazy is it that right before Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” there was a multitude? Right before I spoke the same words, Jesus worked it out so that a multitude could hear.
Lord, I couldn’t dream up some of the things You’ve done for me if I tried. Most of the time when I pray, I ask for simple, doable things. But You . . . You Lord do exceedingly and abundantly more than anything that I could ever dream up or imagine. Continue to do so, Lord. Show all of Your followers just how great and how mighty You are. Help us to fall in love with You so that You are the greatest in our hearts, minds, and lives. No body and nothing could ever deserve that spot but You. I’m sorry when I let the cares of this world creep in, and I forget. Thank You that You have always been faithful to bring me back home. I recognize just how poor in spirit I am, Lord. Keep me and everyone reading this on the narrow path that leads to life everlasting. Amen.