Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The wind changed

One of the great privileges of my life was taking Church History at Dallas Seminary from Dr. John Hannah. He was and is a man of authentic faith and real piety, but besides that he possesses a deep well of wise insight into not only church history, but life in general. He would frequently get off to the side after talking about some historic incident and give us all some pastoral counsel.
I remember one particular day when we were talking about the Reformation, and Dr. Hannah said, You know, there were a lot of guys saying the kind of things Luther said back well before before Luther said them, men like Jan Hus and John Wycliffe and William Tyndale and even some of the earlier reform movements like the Cluny movement. But none of them ever touched off a Reformation like Luther did. Why not? Well those men were all spitting into the wind. And for whatever reason in God's purposes and plan, with Luther, the wind changed. Men, you need to remember that there will be seasons in your ministry when you will be spitting into the wind. But you need to keep on spitting, in faith trusting God for the day when the wind changes.
I have never forgotten that, though I can't be sure why. What I do know is that right now I am in a season of ministry where I am spitting with the wind. And for that, I am deeply thankful. I'm sure that it has very little do with me, and a great deal to do with the purposes and plans of God, but I'm really enjoying where we are right now with our church. We are growing like crazy: There are 23 adults in our new members class, and their kids bring the total up to 36 that we are feeding, teaching, and fellowshiping with. AWANA and MOPs are still growing, still reaching people with the Gospel, and still motivating our people to serve. I have begun discipling young men again, and they are showing real promise for future leadership. People are hungry to know God's Word and to start new ministries to reach the community and serve the Body. What has brought all these about? The wind changed. The Spirit of God works where He chooses, and He has, for the moment, chosen to work in and through us.
May God be praised and exalted for what He produces and enables in His people, and may I, as their shepherd, faithfully lead them closer to Christ, taking no credit that rightfully belongs only to Jesus, the Chief Shepherd.

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