How do you feel when you fail?

It’s a fair question in light of the fact that I was unable to give the third point of my four point sermon on Sunday.

The answer is … lousy. It was not like I hadn’t studied and it was not like I hadn’t a third point. I did have a third point … it just wasn’t on my iPad … or in my memory. Which resulting in me asking myself, and indirectly God, “so why is this happening?”

Have you ever wondered what a preacher is thinking while he is preaching? Well, I’ll tell you. Moments after feeling lousy the question hit me, “do I really believe that God is stronger?” I think it was the Holy Spirit that reminded me of my second point: God is stronger than we care to admit.

God uses the weak and foolish things to overcome the strong things and confound the wise things. I guess God thought my sermon could use a better illustration of this very truth. So I showed weakness and foolishness. The truth preached is overwhelmingly more significant that the preacher preaching and Sunday was a good reminder. We’re not listening to be entertained or educated, but to be transformed—something only God’s truth can do. Preachers just cannot do that.

“What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.” – 1 Corinthians 3:5-7

But preachers can be used by God to plant and water, even in illustrating their own sermon. This is good and gracious of God.

I won’t be planning to forget points in my sermons every Sunday, but I do thank God for it this Sunday, because I needed to better understand God’s strength. God is stronger than I often care to admit.

Oh, and by the way, point three was: God is more complex than we can imagine. Imagine the God who made the amazing and vast heavens being mindful of weak and foolish man. It doesn’t make sense, at least not to foolish me.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9