Last week, I wrote about the revival taking place in the chapel at Asbury University in Kentucky. There are many opinions circling the Internet about it, and as I said, its legitimacy will be seen down the road by the fruit borne from it. I am praying for great things to happen as a result!
Some back stories are starting to come out about how all this began. One of them comes from the preacher on the day the revival began, February 8. A volunteer soccer coach at the university gave what news reports are calling an “improvised sermon” about real love, and invited students to come forward if they wanted to receive prayer to experience a better love than the world (or, sometimes, even the church) had shown them.
He closed by saying, “I pray that this sits on you guys like an itchy sweater, and you gotta itch, you gotta take care of it.”
The soccer coach-preacher, off the platform, then texted his wife to say his sermon was “another stinker” and that he would be home soon.
As the last couple of weeks have demonstrated, though, that sermon was anything but “another stinker”. God showed up and moved in the hearts of those present, and those who would come later, even days later.
I tell you this to remind you that words matter.
Whether you’re a preacher or not, your words have an impact on others. And when your words are spoken to the glory of God, the Holy Spirit can take your efforts and multiply them many times over.
I’ve experienced this myself. There are weeks, as a communicator, that I don’t think I’ve offered the best I could give. Yet, invariably, when I feel that way, someone will express to me how the Lord moved that person because of what I said (or, sometimes, what she or he thought I said!).
As I often tell students and preachers alike, what happens from the time the words fall out of your face and into the ears of listeners is not up to us: the Lord can do amazing things.
That doesn’t mean we should be less careful with our words, whether spoken publicly or privately; we should always give our best, and speak to the glory of God, all the while understanding that in the end, it’s not up to us.
Who knows? Maybe the Lord will use your words to spark a revival in your home, or your school, or your church, or your community!
“[W]hatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father” (Colossians 3.17, NLT).