I had the privilege of baptizing an 18-year-old young man a couple of weeks ago after he and his parents drove from Richmond to Thomas Road Baptist Church for that very thing. Even though they were a bit late and I had to run up to our baptistery right before I was getting ready to preach, I said, “Man, I’m going to baptize you.” And he was able to publicly profess his faith in Jesus Christ before a full house of clapping, rejoicing Christians.
After I baptized this young man, I told our congregation, “This church will always be a church that is never too busy to celebrate what God has done.” If you’re like me, you love those services where you see God moving and His wonderful Spirit just permeates all that is done. You can’t really plan for those times; you just wait for God to do His wonderful work. In this instance, it was certainly a joy to have this surprise baptism and our people got to experience that great feeling of God’s movement among us.
I remember Jim Cymbala, pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle, saying that he was preparing to preach one day and he felt that the Lord was urging him to give the invitation before the service even began. And he did. He wasn’t sure why, but he just felt that God was leading him to do it. And a man under deep conviction about the state of his soul came forward to be gloriously saved.
Friends, God has no timetable, no order of business. And I love that about Him.
We sometimes get locked in our schedules at church and in our lives, wanting everything to go smoothly and just as we have planned it, but isn’t it wonderful when things get out of whack and that’s when we see God’s wonderful hand of grace once again.
I sometimes think of the vast power of God. He created universes beyond anything we can imagine, speaking them into existence. He raised Lazarus and Jairus’ daughter from the grave. And He moves among us in such wonderful ways — still powerful, still holy, still amazing. I never want to stand in the way of what God has in store for me, whether in a church service or in my own life. God is full of such heavenly surprises and blessings and I want to see them all.
I got to thinking that there are several areas in our lives where we never want to get too busy to experience God and to live for Him. I came up with a list. As believers, we should never be too busy to:
- Invest our time in our families;
- invest our time in the Word and in prayer;
- notice that someone needs a helping hand;
- visit someone who needs a kind word or encouragement;
- express our deep thankfulness for all God has done for us;
- express thanks to Christian friends that encourage us and pray for us;
- tell a lost soul about Jesus;
- allow God to take us out of our ministry comfort zones;
- listen when the Spirit of God is moving within us.
Let’s close with a prayer: Lord, I never want to get too busy to miss out on all the things You have in store for my life. Fill me with Your wisdom and give me the desire to hear You and obey all that You would have me to do. Amen.