SEEKING GOD’S FACE
I spent Wednesday through Friday of last week alone in a cabin that was graciously lent to me by members of our congregation. I try to seclude myself like this twice a year, when it is time to plan for upcoming sermons. Doing this gets me away from ringing phones, unexpected interruptions, and even (to the extent possible) the distractions of electronic media.
During these times I will often fast; otherwise, I will eat simply. I will take long prayer-walks to pray for things affecting the church, for our staff and leaders, for any specific needs I am aware of, and for wisdom to know what God wants me to say to the congregation. When I am not praying, I will usually be jotting down ideas on pads of paper or typing on my laptop. I always hope to emerge from these times with a clear idea of what passages I will preach on in the next six months.
Why do I do this? I do it because I don’t have the wisdom on my own to know how to lead or what to preach at Bethel. I do it because Bethel really is God’s church, and it is only as His Spirit is guiding us and actively moving in our lives and ministries that we will thrive as a Christian community. I am inspired by the apostle Peter who entrusted other important ministry to capable people so that he and the other apostles could give their attention to “prayer and the ministry of the Word” (Acts 6:4).
I have my specific role to play at Bethel. You have yours. Let’s always do what we do in conscious dependence on the Lord, seeking His guidance and relying on the power of His Spirit for our success. Thanks for all you do as part of this special body of believers. --Pastor Tom
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