Well, now that I'm a full time teacher at Genesis, it is expected that I will attend devotions twice a week (chaple & prayer once a week as well) and, when i'm rostered to, actually do a devotion. When I took over from my predeccessor, I naturally assumed that i'd just take her rostered day for devotions.
When I realised that I would be doing this, I thought about what I would speak about, and it struck me that alot of the time, the teachers giving the devotions were using videos, music etc, and in a sense missing out on giving the devotion. I was honestly frustrated at this, and the judgemental part of me was quite harsh about the devotions I was listening to. Why were we hiding behind a clip of Top Gear rather than really getting into God's word?
So when it came to me thinking about what I would do, it was really on my heart to just speak. Not to have any flashy stuff, but just to speak God's word. Honestly, I was really cautious as I thought about this, becuase I didn't want to get up there and open my mouth and say something stupid like "Get it together people! I'm sick of hearing fluffy stuff - lets really get into God's word!" and have everyone hate me and my judgemental attitude. So I prayed alot about it and God really confirmed with me that he did in fact want me to get up and speak about how there is a need just to speak. That we need to stop hiding behind stuff, excuses and lies, and just speak his word.
So I did! Honestly, it was really amazing! I totally felt like God had the whole situation in total control. I felt like everyone really listened and heard what I had to say. CRAZY!! Afterwards, I had a number of teachers say to me specifically that it had been a good devotion. One teacher even said 'It was not good, it was Excellent!'.
Now thinking about it, I really hope that even though it might have been a "Good Devotion" that it was more than that - that it was a lasting devotion that really spoke God's word.
I'll copy a sort-of transcript in below, but I think it sounds quite ... weak... for want of a better word in the transcript. Imagine me saying it with passion and conviction, and I only did it from notes to, so it was better. :D
Hello all. I don’t have any pretty slide shows or videos for you today at all, because what I want to do today is talk. Just talk. Usually I love to talk, especially about Jesus. Get me started and I could go for days. It seems a bit ridiculous; that talking here should be hard, and it isn’t in a sense. I mean, apart from the fact that I’m up here in front of all of you who I’ve only known for a few weeks and you can all see glimpses of my teaching style, I do know that you are all on the same playing field as me. You love Jesus too. It’s ok for me to talk about Jesus with you.
I’m in a musical at the moment, Pied Piper, (Brisbane Arts Theatre, we play every Saturday, right through the school holidays, great show, bring your kids!) and I’m there, the first day at rehearsals, and I start talking to a girl about what she’s reading and she says to me; “I’m reading The God Delusion by Dawkins because I’m a recent convert to Atheism from a lapsed Christianity.”
Now, if God wanted me to witness to someone during this musical – I guess this is it. What else says “Witness to me” in big flashing letters except a statement like that? And knowing that this is it – God has thrown this person at me, given me the go ahead and is waiting expectantly for my response to it – all I can say is “oh… interesting.” Not “What led you to make that decision?” not “why atheism?” not even “Did Dawkins have any substantial points?” just “ohh…. Interesting.”
What is wrong with me! Why is it so hard that just speaking is impossible! I mean, God couldn’t have made it any clearer right? The cards were in my hands and I passed up the chance to lay them down for him. And, this isn’t the only time it happens.
When I knew I had to get up and give a devotion here, watching others with their music, visual aid and audio stimulus, it got me thinking about just this issue. Speaking. There is a Jimmy Needham song with the chorus, “We can love with our hands, we can love with our deeds, but how will they know if we don’t even speak?” How will they?
I’m also reminded of Jospeh’s response to Potipars wife at her suggestion she lie with him in Genesis. Is his response “oh, I’m too busy now” or “But what about your husband?” NO!! His response is “How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” Do my answers ever resonate like that?
I was driving a friend home from work, she lived literally a street away, and I knew if she took the bus, she’d have a 2 hr trip, instead of the 10 minute one I could give her. So I waited an hour for her to finish and off we went. “Why did you wait?” She asked me. Was my answer “Because God wants us to love people with our actions”? or even “God has good deeds planned for us”? Nope. All I could give was “oh, it wasn’t really that long, I don’t have anything to do at home anyway.”
Ahh!! When will I stop hiding and just open my mouth and speak!!
On the way to work now, my long 40 min drive after I drop my husband off, I’ve been listening to Ravi Zacceriahas. Something he was saying last week, as I was contemplating this talk, was that we can be trained in evangelism with the most amazing of credentials, but if we don’t have a burden on our hearts for the people we want to reach, it will never be successful.
My problem, I guess, is that I don’t have a burden for the lost. Those people that are out there without God, I know I want them to have God, but if I don’t say something, surely someone else will … right?
I think it’s time we start praying for that burden. That we ask God to put the burden for the lost on our hearts so that we can have the words to say and the courage to open our mouths and speak.