From the Pulpit to the Parking Lot
by Lisa Walker Thomas
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We come to church and are serenaded by beautiful voices singing praises to our King. We lift our hands and our hearts as we hear some of the most beautiful words ever put to music. We hear words like, “We welcome you in this place,” “Jehovah Jira my provider”, “You are God Alone,” “Because of who you are,” and “My Redeemer lives,” we participate in the praise and worship honoring our Lord and Savior giving thanks for where he brought us from, giving him praise for where he’s taking us to.
We hear the most humble and sacred prayers to our Lord and Savior as the ministers complete the prayers with the words, in the Name of Jesus! We pray for healing, deliverance and restoration, we pray for our families, friends, co-workers and those with less than what we have and our hearts are heavy as we go to the throne of grace.
When the pastor comes fourth to deliver the inspired word of God through the power of the Holy Spirit we turn in our bibles to Romans the 8th Chapter, or Matthew 24, or Colossians the 7th chapter, or perhaps we turn to one of the letters to the church of Corinth, or Ephesians, we nod our heads in agreement to what the pastor is preaching as our hearts cry out; Yes! I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! Yes! He who has begun a good work in me will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ! Yes! I am more than a conquer in Christ Jesus! Yes! I will be blessed in the city and blessed in the field. Yes! I will bless the Lord at all times His praise shall continually be in my mouth! Yes! I will wait on the Lord He will renew my strength, I will mount up with wings of eagles, I will run and not be weary, walk a not faint!
As the pastor gives the benediction we greet our brothers and sisters, while some of us greet the pastor as we head out of the sanctuary, smiling, waving, and full of God’s love. We climb into our cars with our three children in the back seat, perfectly assembled in our Sunday best; we continue to nod and wave nodding as the car drives off the church parking lot. We watch our husband loosen his tie, and a question is asked, and “Did you take the chicken out of the freezer?” An answer is given, “No, you didn’t tell me to take the chicken out of the freezer.” Another response, “Yes I did…well then that’s okay go to KFC, it’s too late now and I don’t want to use the microwave.” Another answer, “Well that will be over $40.00 dollars for all of us, let’s just go to the grocery store.” Another response, “Of course you want to go to the grocery store, you don’t have to cook!” Another response, “Oh here we go…why didn’t you just take the chicken out last night!”, “Because I was busy washing cloths!” (The presence of the Lord is here….well maybe not…)
Or perhaps as we leave the parking lot the conversation is a little different, “Mom did you buy the fruit?” Another response, “Buy the fruit for what?” A response, “The fruit salad I told my class I was bringing a fruit salad!” Another response, “I don’t have any money for a fruit salad, are you crazy?” “But mom, I told my class I was bringing fruit…” Another response, ‘Look you be take one those apples and chop it up into a thousand pieces, cause I am not spending my money on fruit!” (Praise is what I do…except when arguing with my child…)
Then there’s the familiar pleasant drive down the street, commenting on how lovely Sister So and So looked and your husband saying how awesome the choir sound and right in the midst of your acknowledgment of the pastor’s message, someone swerves right out in front of your car sending you leaping up and down with the force of a tornado, however the words you let escape your mouth are not at all what the pastor said, as a matter of fact you didn’t know you still remembered some of those words. (Jesus keep me near the cross…I mean get the super glue, quick!)
The point is my brother and sisters the word of God is not something we compartmentalize. The words of God they are Spirit and they are Life and we can utilize His Word in every area of our lives, but we need to invite the word of God into every area of our life. Whether we’re dealing with dinner, a school project, or preventing a car accident, we shouldn’t put God on a shelf Monday thru Saturday and dust him off for church on Sundays, but we need to live, breath and move in the word of God in every area of our life. When we go to the mall let’s take God with us, or the grocery store, at school, at home; at work (especially at work), at a friends house, on the phone, while watching TV, in the car, at lunch, when we begin to look for opportunities to pour the love of God into someone’s else’s spirit, then we know God is not only with us, but in us. The ability to pour into another persons spirit is only by the power of the Holy Spirit, it’s not you, but God has chosen your vessel to do His will. Remember the word of God is a living word, it has the power to speak into anyone’s situation. The word of God moves and breathes and discerns the matters of the heart.
When we hold the word of God near and dear to our heart in everything we do, in everything we say, things that are impossible to man are always assuredly possible with God. If you’re guilty of or know someone who may be guilty of believing the word of God from the pulpit to the parking lot ONLY, encourage them to move past that, to put on the full amour of God in every area of their life. Walk daily with the helmet of salvation, shield yourself with the shield of faith, have your loins girt about with the gospel of truth, carry the sword of God that is the word of God, put on the breastplate of righteousness, remember what the bible tells us, in MY Name you shall cast out devils, speak with new tongues, take up serpents, no deadly thing you shall drink shall hurt you, you shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.
Just as there is no stipulation on when you will do these things, there is no stipulation on when you shall believe the word of God! The bible simply says these signs shall follow those that believe! The word of God does not say those that believe my word on Sunday morning! The word of God says those that believe, this is what we are called to do in the body of Christ. Believe the word of God, Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind and strength and to Love thy neighbor as thyself daily from the pulpit to the parking lot and beyond. What if God blessed us from the pulpit to the parking lot? But we know His mercies are new every morning! To God be the Glory for the things He Has Done!
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A happy and prosperous new year to u Lisa!
"The point is my brother and sisters the word of God is not something we compartmentalize." Lisa, all I can say to this article is: AMEN! We have to live the life for the best sermon is not one we preach but one that we live. Keep on praising sister! Love and blessings. Janice