Preaching without His Presence
“I used to literally run to the pulpit,” the pastor said. “I couldn’t wait to start preaching the Word of God. I loved my people and I looked forward to every time we met,” he said reflecting. His tone changed when he said, “But then I began to notice that my prayers were becoming empty sounds. I had no awareness of the presence of God. I hated to preach on Sunday. I couldn’t think of anything to say. I had to force myself to get in the pulpit at all.”
He then confessed, “All of this caused me to examine myself. For four years I’ve been living in adultery. In my mind I had divorced the adultery from the pastorate God had given me. I was two people, and my Mr. Hyde side seemed to never meet my Dr. Jekyll side.”
Then with tears in his eyes he said, “No wonder God seemed silent. It has been as though Jesus Christ was totally absent, the Holy Spirit was not there, and the Heavenly Father had never adopted me as His son.”
Some time later that same pastor shared, “My prayers have been answered. I have left the pastorate. I’ve broken off the adultery. I’ve been forgiven by and restored to my loving wife. The Lord has forgiven me, and His wonderful presence is back in my life. I will never again shame His name.”
So true isn’t it? Walking with the Lord is far better than a pastorate without Him. God’s lovingkindness is better than life not only, but is far better than the most successful ministry in the world.
Do not cast me away from Thy presence, and do not take Thy Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation, and sustain me with
a willing spirit. Psalm 51:12-13