You know, one way to "test" the realness of Christ is to be in ministry for Him. And especially when you are about to do something significant in ministry for Him.
I am a Young Life leader at a local high school in my hometown and last night it was my turn to give the "talk" or the "message" at club last night. This is the point in club in which, for the last 5 to 10 minutes, we get to talk about Jesus and what He has done for us in our lives. My talk was on the topic of Need - how we all have a need for Jesus in our lives and that nothing short of Christ will ever fill the desires, the holes in our hearts. Giving the talk is not my forte. I am not a strong public speaker and when I get in front of a crowd of people to talk about something I get really nervous and feel like my voice is completely shaky and weak and that what I am saying does not make sense. In short, I cannot give the talk on or in my own strength - it requires all the power of Christ within me and in the end, whether it is successful or not, it is because of Christ and my surrender to Him.
This particular talk I had been struggling with all week. I had been germinating ideas and trying to figure out what passage in the Bible would work well, but I wasn't able to solidify any of it until the eleventh hour Sunday night and yesterday morning - with the threads coming to together on Sunday and the writing it out yesterday.
I also was housesitting this weekend (and last week), and had to leave the house where I was staying yesterday morning. So after finishing my talk, I got myself ready and all packed up, and started taking some of my stuff out to my car. And when I opened my front driver side car door, I see glass everywhere and a huge boulder sitting in the front passenger seat. I was in a state of disbelief and shock. At first I thought that it was just a complete and random act of vandalism, but I realized today that something was stolen from my car - obviously not that important since it took me so long to realize it - which kind of makes it more logical to my head and (this will sound strange) easier to stomach. But I was a wreck with the initial shock and the "What do I do?" I hate feeling and being helpless in situations like these, but thankfully I have the wisdom of my dad who helped me figure out what to do, as he often does in times like these.
But in the midst of cleaning up all the glass I had to pray and pray hard to not let this distract and frazzle and stress me the rest of the day. I realized that whoever did this to my car, didn't know about Jesus our his or her need for Jesus, and that is exactly why, or at the very least, why I had to give my talk to my high school kids - so that they did not end up as vandals destroying and stealing people's property.
Then, all day, I was supposed to meet with my boss. But we didn't end up meeting until 6pm - which meant that I had to miss Campaigners. But then we didn't finish until 7:30pm - which only left half an hour for me to race to Club. It's the way things work with me and my boss and any other night it would have been completely fine and not a stressing point - it was just the fact that I was giving the message! But again, I prayed and God heard me - I asked to not let this frazzle and stress me, and it didn't. I was definitely running on adrenaline, but it all worked out for the best (besides me realizing the fact that I am seriously out of shape!).
And then finally, finally I gave the talk and it went well. It was the most that the kids have paid attention during a talk, and that is through no power but Jesus's. I can't claim any credit, because He was there and the kids were tracking with what I was saying. The nervousness was there in my voice, but God was there in spite of it.
So despite the attempts of Satan to get in the way and thwart my peace of mind in the process of giving my talk, Christ's power, which has already conquered Satan and all evil, prevailed. I got to really lean on and experience His power and grace, which is funny, since that is exactly what the topic was at YL leadership on Sunday night. Coincidence? I don't think so.