I was sitting in my office early one Sunday morning, preparing to preach the first of three sermons in a series called ADVENTure. The message was a simple one—Immanuel, God with us.
Like most Sunday mornings, I was at the church by 5:45am. For some reason, as I prayed and looked over my notes, I felt like I was in a funk. It wasn’t the feeling of being under the weather; it was something disturbing in my heart, and I couldn’t put a finger on it.
Around 7:45, I texted Kayci. We usually chat on Sunday mornings about that time. I texted her to see how she was doing getting the boys ready, and if they would make it to early service. I feel for my wife on Sunday mornings. She’s basically a single mom. I’m little help. I asked her to pray for me, because something just didn’t feel right. She said she would, but she also dug deeper. I’m grateful to have a wife who is very sensitive to the Lord. If she believes she has a word from God, she doesn’t hesitate to speak it. She prodded with this question, “Do you think there’s something you’re about to say in your message that God may not want you to say? Pray through your notes again.”
So, I prayerfully studied over my notes with that in mind, and then it hit me. It was as clear as day. I didn’t hear the audible voice of God, but there was clarity in my heart. It wasn’t that I was about to speak a word that wasn’t pleasing to God’s heart. It was something else. The word was this, “You are about to preach a message about Immanuel—with us is God. I need you to believe this message more in your heart.”
That was it. I need the message of the abiding presence of God to carry me through life in deeper ways. Though I sometimes run from, or ignore, the abiding presence of God, it continues to find me, to hunt me down, and to have its way with me.
The “God-with-us-promise” needs to be rekindled in my own heart, and in yours.
This series, ADVENTure, comes from the word Advent. Advent celebrates that something happened—God became flesh. And Jesus will come again to make all things new.
Let’s live in the Adventure.
Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2012
by Josh Ross