I had an unexpectedly busy Thanksgiving vacation. I went home to Florida for 10 days of rest, reflection, and celebration of the many blessings of 2018. But God had different plans. I went from preaching one sermon to preaching three sermons in 10 days.
A few weeks before I went home, the senior pastor at my mom’s church, Centro Cristiano Hispano (CCH), asked me to preach on Thanksgiving morning for the sunrise service.
Since the beginning of October, God stirred a word in my spirit about hospitality, so I decided to lean into the stirring and preach on the theme of hospitality. As I prepared the message, about a week before I left Boston, I felt an overwhelming impression, that I needed to preach this sermon in Spanish.
Two important facts you need to know about me:
- I’ve been preaching since I was 20 (I’m 32 now) and EVERY sermon I’ve ever preached has been in English. (When I was 20, my first English sermon was actually at CCH)
- Two years ago, I wrote a single-sentence entry in my journal: “Before you open your church, you will preach your first sermon in Spanish.”
Preaching in English is in the sweet spot of my spiritual giftings, but preaching in Spanish has not been something I’ve been atrevida (daring in Spanish) enough to attempt.
But I couldn’t ignore this overwhelming impression.
The night before Thanksgiving came. I was finalizing the message by translating my English notes into Spanish, deleting all the English from my notes, and practicing saying the words outloud in Spanish.
When I spoke to the Pastor, who normally interprets for me, he asked me if I needed him, and I said no I’m doing it in Spanish today. He asked again. “No, I need to do this on my own.”
And just like that, 35 minutes later, I preached my first Spanish sermon on Thanksgiving from the same altar I preached my first sermon ever 12 years ago.
Did I make mistakes? Absolutely.
Did I make up words? Most likely.
Did the message on hospitality get communicated? Absolutely.
Then, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, I was asked to preach the same sermon again that afternoon at another church. Then, after I preached that Sunday afternoon, I was asked to preach a sermon to youth group at CCH on the following Wednesday.
Three sermons in ten days.
I expected to preach one sermon. But God did what God does and multiplied the opportunities for me to serve Him.
I’m confident that part of the multiplication happened, because of my willingness to respond to the overwhelming impression to do something I had never done before. To preach in Spanish. To be obedient to the Spirit of God and jump into the deep end with no one there to interpret for me, except the Spirit. To make a move.
I didn’t question the overwhelming impression. I didn’t ask God for confirmation. I didn’t ask for anyone’s opinion. I moved.
I want to share about the theme of hospitality with you all, because I believe there’s a prophetic instruction that God is giving us for the times we are living.
But before we can respond to that instruction, I wanted to share with you this story of responding to God’s instructions. I wanted to encourage you to start making moves.
God has given a living Word, called the Bible, filled with instructions on living an extraordinary and abundant life. God has given us the Spirit to lead us with instructions on living life to the fullness of our potential. We’ve got some great starting places for God’s instructions.
But, so often, we hesitate to move. We make moving this hyper-spiritual thing, where we need an angel to appear in our living room telling us to move. We need someone to speak prophetically over us. We look at the story of Gideon and think we need to throw out a fleece again and again before we’ll ever make a move.
While we wait to make moves, we miss opportunities to experience God moving.
What if we lived a life of true faith that meant we didn’t try to coerce God through superstitious actions?
What if we dared to move freely without fearing whether the move is the right move?
I dare you to move.
Here’s some encouragement from one of my favorite songs by Switchfoot: “Dare You to Move”
In the tension together,
Questions to ponder:
- What’s one thing that God has already instructed you to do that you haven’t done?
- What’s one step you can take to do that thing before the end of the year?