The Bible messages at the conference seem to be touching many hearts, praise God. Anyone reading this, keep on praying for the rest of the weekend!
Reflecting more during the message this morning on how God called me to preaching in this very place all those years ago. I have been trying to find a way to email Terry Virgo from here and thank him for being open and used by the Lord, but can't figure it out. If anyone is in touch with him would you pass it on from me?
My whole life was changed in the space of minutes. I walked in with one set of ideas about my future, my ambitions, my dreams, basically what my life was for, and walked out (actually staggered out!) with all of that blown out of the water by the Holy Spirit using the biblical message. I thought I had life so sorted, young though I was. God had completely different ideas. Much more costly ones, much better ones, much more challenging ones. The only thing I knew that morning 23 years ago was a certainty in my mind that I wouldn't be able to escape them - and, scared witless and uncomprehending though I was, that I didn't want to.
I've occasionally wondered what if I hadn't gone to the conference? What if Terry hadn't preached that message? Two thoughts come to mind
1. God is capable of turning stones into worshippers for his praise if he wants. If He hadn't done what he wanted inescapably through Terry he would have used some other means. I don't really think I was going to get away
2. But just supposing for the sake of argument that God hadn't met me like that that day, it is impossible that I would be here today, preaching grace and reflecting on his goodness. The fact that I am, I take as God's demonstration to me of just how wonderful his sovereignty is
He knew I would be here 23 years ago. In fact before the creation of the world. Which gives me great confidence in being used by him. Today finds me abounding in thankfulness to my wonderful Lord who has my life unmistakeably in his hands - all the good bits and all the bad bits.
Let's never think that we have our lives all taped and planned out. That is faithless thinking. Its the perfect way to step out of the adventure that God might step in and do something immeasurably wonderful and more than we can ask or imagine. Let's be people who, in prayer, are expectant "more than we can ask or imagine" people.
Oh, the depths of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgements, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counsellor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory for ever! Amen. (Rom 11:33-36)