Bible study, which I love, has been a piece of cake compared with the heart-wrenching, phenomenal process of the Lord re-doing the entire fabric of my being. I had assumed preparation would be all about Bible study, classes, Bible school, meetings with a pastor, etc., when in fact God’s real preparation has been about changing my entire being from the inside out. For several years, He led me by His Holy Spirit and anointed teachers into an incredible study of the Bible that was but a bare beginning of my lifelong Bible studies.
Once He had laid a strong foundation of Bible teaching in my mind, He dove into my heart and began the long process of showing me every single thing in my heart and life for which I had to repent, every single thing in my mind that needed to be changed, and every single thing in my thinking, my perspective, my attitude, my actions, and my relationships both with Him and with the entire world that needed to be changed.
Not a single day has gone by without the Lord continuing His mighty work in me, and every single time I have thought I could come up for breath He has moved forward with His next endeavor. I am so utterly filled up with the Holy Spirit that I cannot get away with anything. If it is something God wants fixed, changed, healed, purged, etc., the Holy Spirit has convicted me. And through the renewing of my mind, God has told me how to replace the wrong behavior, the wrong thought, the wrong words, the wrong action, with the right ones.
I am sad to say that perhaps one of the greatest problems in the world of pastoring and preaching today is not the lack of knowledge about the Bible, but instead the lack of preparation and transformation of the hearts and lives of those who have been called into ministry.
So often, I wondered if God made a mistake in calling me. God, of course, does not make mistakes. But when I have looked at the tremendous, seemingly endless work the Lord has had to do in me in preparation, I have wondered at times if I am just such a mess compared with the rest of the world that He needs to do such constant work in me. But not so. In fact, I am guessing He does so much work in me because He knows how desperately in love with Him I am, how utterly sold out I am to serving Him, and how very much I want to serve Him as the woman He created me to be – not only as His chosen vessel, but as a Holy vessel who lives the Word I am called to preach.