Sunday sermons are a unique experience. As a preacher, I have delivered thousands of sermons over the years, and each week is still an amazing event.
Take yesterday, for instance. During the sermon, I looked out on my congregation and saw people sleeping. Through the years, I have become used to being the soothing sound that ushers people into a restful nap. I don’t like it, but I have gotten used to it. Well, yesterday, for whatever reason, lots of people were napping during the entire sermon.
After the program was over, I was walking through the lobby, and one of my leader’s wives grabbed me and said, “I heard it was a good sermon today, but I didn’t get to hear it yet, and I am excited to go home and listen to it online.” She went on to tell me that two ladies came out of the first program raving about what I had said and how meaningful it was to them. There was laughter about the enormous differences in response to the words I preached in the back of my mind.
The fantastic part of the story to me is that events like this happen all the time. Some people sleep, and others are awakened to spiritual growth. A preacher thinks his sermon bombed, and someone heard something that altered their views for a lifetime.
The wonderful thing about serving a living God is that he has the ability to speak his truth to people at unexpected times. I firmly believe that if you are looking for the will of God in your life, his voice will tell you what you need to hear even while other people sleep through it.
I praise God that the ultimate success of a sermon does not depend on me or any other preacher. God is in control, and he patiently uses us to communicate his message at just the right time to some faithful heart. If you keep listening and opening your life up to God, you will hear the words you need to hear one day.