I shared a message at my youth group last night. I didn’t feel as prepared as I would have liked, so took some time out from the youth games to try to prepare myself. And as I sat there reading through what I’d prepared I started to feel increasingly nervous and my mind was all over the place. It didn’t feel like normal nerves though, so I sent a quick message to two friends to ask them to pray.
Before it was time for me to share we spent some time in worship, but I didn’t find that participating settled the nervousness much. Between the worship and my speaking we watched a dramatized bible reading, and about halfway into it my suspicions (and fears) were confirmed, that the ‘nerves’ were a God-thing. The ‘nerves’ were replaced with a sense of calm and a sense that God was wanting me to expand on some of what I had prepared and he was highlighting which parts and what to say. Normally I have my sermons written out word for word of what I’m going to say, but God was asking me to ad lib. (And so I did.)
As part of my study I’ve recently been reading something Origen (185-254CE), an early Christian thinker, wrote on the topic of prayer. He wrote about that there are some things that are impossible for humans to understand, but that by God’s grace it is possible by the Spirit. That the Spirit intercedes for us and reveals things to us, and that we see an example of this in prayer.
I wonder whether last night was an example of this too. Of the Spirit coming in, and revealing the right words to me, so that I might then reveal them to others.
What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. (1 Corinthians 2:12-13)
I pray I never cease to be amazed by the way that God works, that he can take someone who can find it intimidating to talk in a class setting and give them an experience of calmness whilst preaching. That I need only give him a little trust and confidence and he can grow and multiply it, all for his glory. It’s a reminder that I don’t need to try to do everything in my own power, or try to understand or explain everything on my own, but simply be open to what God wants to reveal and how he wants to use it.