I need to apologize to a room full of teens.
I found myself enveloped in a passionate delivery of a powerful truth. It was just this past Sunday morning, and I was standing in front of a large room full of teenagers. I had the undeniable sense that God had put a message on my heart for them, and I was sharing it with them as strongly and clearly as I could. My heart warm with God’s Spirit and aching for them to understand the point I was sharing, I said:
“We treat God badly when we forget how powerful He is.
We repeat the same sin over and over when we forget how powerful He is.
We enter worship half-heartedly when we forget how powerful He is.
We live lives focused on unimportant things when we forget how powerful He is.”
I was wrapped up in a stark reminder of the power of God and how simply keeping the “Almightiness” of God in mind will often preclude us from making decisions that draw us away from God and His will for our lives.
I was explaining the concept of the “ex nihilo” creation of everything we see. “Ex nihilo” is the Latin term for “out of nothing”. God didn’t have a pile of playdoh to start with; no building materials.
He simply spoke and the Milky Way appeared.
He simply spoke and trillions upon trillions of stars hung in their place in the expanse of the universe.
He simply spoke and mountains rose up.
He simply spoke and mountain lions appeared on those mountains.
“Ex nihilo” is, to me, one of the most mind-boggling and yet awe-inspiring concepts about the creation account. But as I was rattling off the list of all that we see, standing in front of these students, I made a mistake. I added “man” or “humans” (don’t recall exactly which word I used) to the list of things created “ex nihilo” or “out of nothing.” It was moments later that I realized my mistake, but moved on into the next part of the message.
You might be thinking “what mistake?” and I guarantee most of the teens I were speaking to have no idea that a mistake was made. But I do. And I take the privilege of speaking God’s Word to His people with the utmost humility, respect, and severity. So, when I say something that is in any way inaccurate, I feel that in my heart–even if no one else does.
I often say to the students that I minister to just before I stand to speak in front of them on a Sunday morning, “I believe with all my heart that God has laid a message on my heart and as your pastor I’m charged to deliver it. If I did not sense God’s leading, I would not be here and I certainly wouldn’t stand and proport to speak for Him.” I’m dead serious about this thing of being a spiritual leader. I shutter to think that there are people entrusted to me by Almighty God, that I should help care for their spiritual well-being. Believe me, no one takes my ministry God has given me more seriously than I do.
And that is why I fully intend to take an opportunity to bring to light my own mistake and correct myself to the teens I serve. I want them to know that I’m listening to what God is saying, paying attention to each word that I am faithful to deliver it with His power and annointing. But the incredible thing is the partnership He allows; the Divine partnered with the human who is submitted to the Divine.
So, come if you like to “The Warehouse” to our “Mixx” student worship service on Sunday January 17, 2010 and sit in as I apologize to the students that I love, serve, and lead.