Jimmy McNeal

 
 

Sep 16, 2014

The Power at Work in Me

"Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit give life" -2 Corinthians 3:4-6

Have you ever read something that leapt from the pages and struck the deepest parts of your heart? No matter what part or where it struck, it did something to you. This is what I experienced Sunday morning as I was reading the sermon my pastor, Matt Carter, had prepared. In his sermon he shared his own experience of when he first felt the Holy Spirit's power working through him in his life. As he shared the story something his wife said to him jumped off the pages and shook me to the core. Matt had just preached an incredible sermon where he saw God move in power and his wife came up to him and said "That wasn't you". As I read those words I felt like those words were exactly what I needed to hear.  

"That wasn't you" reminded me that any compliment that I've received stems from a working of the Holy Spirit in me. It reminded me of how much I need God to move in power anytime I stand on any stage. To know that I'm being used by God just, simply put, wrecked me out. I laid in bed weeping. Convicted, encouraged, and humbled that God would actually make use of this sinful man that I am. He truly is finishing the work that he began in me back in 6th grade. 

If you've ever been moved by a song I've sang, one of my blog post, touched by my words, a service I've led, music I've written, my marriage, friendship, encouragement or whatever. I want you to know that I'm terrible with words, most of the time I forget simple words that I just flat out can't remember let alone put together. I struggle with approval and control so I constantly war against my thoughts as well as what people think of me. I've been singing since I was a kid, but never wanted to be a worship pastor. Truth be told, I used to make fun of Contemporary Christian Music because it was different and wasn't the "Gospel" music I grew up with. It takes me hours, sometime days to write a worship song. Blogging and being vulnerable with people doesn't come easy for this guy who keeps his cards close. I come from a divorced home in Waxahachie, TX and a long line of womanizers, adulterers, thieves, convicted felons, alcoholics, and abusers. I fear that I will fall into the same sin pattern and make the same mistakes the men in my family have towards their kids, wives, our family, and others. To this day I stand as one of the few men in my family bold enough to say, "Follow me as I follow Christ". I'm broken, sinful, and fail often. Looking at my lineage and my past I shouldn't even be in the position that I'm in and doing the things that I'm doing. The only explanation I have for it is this: 

"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us..." - Ephesians 3:20

God, God has taken my story and my life and done super abundantly far more in both quantity and quality than I could ever ask or think. It wasn't me. It wasn't my doing or something I conjured up. My life has been shaped by God himself. And I'm no different from you.

If you are a Christ follower we're no different than Paul, Peter, John, Spurgeon, Dr. King, Francis Chan, Beth Moore, John Piper, your pastor, or any other Christ follower you respect. We are all broken and matted clay continuing to be shaped and molded by "The Potter". The same Holy Spirit that uses their stories also is at work in your life and lives in you. This is what brought me to tears Sunday morning. Not that I'm broken and busted, but that this same Holy Spirit lives inside imperfect me. I pray this would happen to you as well as you pray "to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us..."

Nothin' but love,

Jimmy

 


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