Today, I had one of the strangest experiences in ministry to date. It started like any other Sunday when I am preaching. I got up early, went to Starbucks to get a few more minutes of study time, then I went to the church to make sure everything was ready to go with my powerpoint… Just like clockwork.
At the end of the second to last song of our worship set, our power went out suddenly. Turns out someone hit a pole down the street and it cut power to our whole area. We were left in the dark… no lights, no A/C, no video screen, no sound equipment… all of it was gone. Our worship leader is a pro, and led us in a final acoustic song, then I was up to speak. Nothing gets your nerves to multiply like being caught off guard, and feeling unprepared. However, everything went fine, and I now have an interesting story to tell.
The most interesting fact of all of this was my sermon topic was on the goodness of God. We are in a series in the book of James, and I was assigned James 1:16-18, which says:
16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
The power outage was a perfect illustration of His goodness. It doesn’t matter what we think we need in order for God to move, He impacts people even without these things. Today, we didn’t need a video screen, sound equipment or stage lights for God to show up and start moving. We just needed to be willing to be used of God, and He does the rest. God’s goodness and faithfulness isn’t reliant on anything, because God never changes. These things are available to us all, but we have to be willing to allow God to pour His goodness into our lives.
Psalm 34:8 says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.” As weird of an analogy as this is, God’s goodness is like scallops… stay with me.
I watch a lot of Food Network, and they are always making scallops on the show. They say scallops are incredible, and most chefs prepare them regularly. I always thought scallops looked really good, but I had never tried them. So they can look good all day long, but until I taste them, I would never know (they are incredible by the way).
Psalm 34 says that God’s goodness is the same way. We see it in Scripture, and even see God move in great ways in other’s lives, and we see how good God is. However, until you allow Him to step in and pour out His goodness into your own life, you’ll never truly know how good He is. That’s what James is all about. James is saying the basis of practical faith is found in tasting and seeing that God is good.
Until you allow God to move, you’ll never know how good He is. James teaches us that God is good, He gives good gifts, and that doesn’t change. However, there isn’t room for God’s goodness if we are trying to be good on our own. We can’t be. God is good, and we are not. The best part is, this doesn’t surprise God. Thats what the cross was for. To allow Christ’s perfection to cover us.
The thing I would challenge you with is simple: why aren’t you allowing God to pour out His goodness on your life? How long will you keep trying to be good in your own life instead of allowing God to be good? He is longing to pour out His goodness on you. He wants to be in right relationship with you so He can do that. Will you let Him?
Trust the process. Take your next step. Now is your moment.