Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Spontaneous Bible Study

Wow. Everyday here at STCC brings more excitement, more challenges, more lessons, more joy, and more God-filled-ness. God is so good. Sooooo good. I can't say it enough.

This past week brought an interesting challenge my way. I must preface this recollection, however, and say that my prayer (for the past week and a half or so) has been that God would help me really live into the truth that He alone is success. You see, with the HUGE amount of responsibility that I carry here at STCC, with the great amount of need present in the surrounding communities, and with my spirit literally being touched everyday by people's hope, pain, and smiles -- I have found myself wanting to plan this, and start that, and do this, and make that work. I have been ever so tempted to depend on me. I think, "If I can just plan the perfect revival, and make an amazing eye-catching flier, and save every teenager in Charlotte by August 17th -- then God will be pleased."

Hahahahahahaha. Yeh right!

Everyday I learn (anew) that if God doesn't do it -- whatever it is -- it isn't going to get done. God alone is the one who touches hearts, who brings in the people, and who meets the needs. I'm just a vessel -- useless really -- unless God molds me, fills me up, and uses me. I am learning that I can't get caught up in planning (as tempting as it is). I have to get caught up in worshipping.

With that said.....let's get back to last week's interesting challenge.......

I showed up at Bible Study on Thursday evening and I noticed a group of church members standing outside the church. I grabbed my Bible, exited my car, and headed to the church steps. As I walked toward the group, Ms. Ann said to me, "We're locked out." "No problem," I said, and I reached for my church key. But....why were they locked out? Wasn't Pastor Rivens here? And wait -- if Pastor Rivens wasn't there -- who was gonna teach Bible Study? Ms. Maggie then turned to me and said, "Are you teaching Bible Study tonight?" Well trust me -- I had not planned to teach Bible Study. As I pondered her question, I was informed that Pastor Rivens had had a death in his family and had to unexpectedly go out of town. Someone was needed to stand in the gap.

Just then -- my prayer came to mind and the Holy Spirit gently reminded me that God is success -- my plans do not make success. God's Spirit -- spontaneous and beautiful -- is the core of true success.


So -- led only by the Spirit -- I opened the church doors and led Bible Study. With an on-the-spot lesson and an on-the-spot hands-on illustration -- the church members and I excitedly walked through Ephesians 6 and the first two parts of the armor of God (the belt of truth and helmet of salvation). It was AWESOME!!!!!! We walked through the text together, asked questions of each other, and learned some really deep things!!



The experience left me speechless. First, I was speechless because of how God moved in spite of my lack of preparedness. Second, I was left speechless by the way the church members so warmly welcomed me to teach them. Third, I was awed by the way we came together as a community -- plans aside -- and just plain ole studied God's Word.

I told you God was good.

1 comment:

Sam Keyes, M.Div. '09 said...

Glad you enjoyed the spontaneous Bible study, Christian. A pastor at a church nearby quipped that we should be prepared (according to Wesley) to preach, pray, or die at a moment's notice. And I might add, talk to anyone about any subject, including but not limited to the Bible.

I suppose this necessary spontaneity (even in a prayer-book tradition like mine!) is one way the Lord guards us from boredom, from pride, and from those meticulously crafted personal heresies that (thankfully) fall apart when accidentally shoved into the real world.