A lifetime ago, I normally preached three times per week. Although I wasn’t a pastor of a church, I preached wherever a door opened.
Once, I taught a series on Christian business practices in a small Iowa town hall. On the second evening, I sat alone, wondering if anyone would show up. At five minutes till seven, a woman walked in and sat down in the middle of fifty chairs. The clock creeped forward, but no one else showed up.
“Sir,” said the woman, “will you be starting on time?”
I nodded my head. “Sure,” I replied, moving toward the stage.
At seven o’clock, I prayed and began teaching to an audience of one. My teaching lasted forty-five minutes and a few others arrived in the last five minutes of it.
I closed the meeting and asked the lady if she needed personal prayer. She did. When I prayed, she received a physical healing for a long term ailment.
Another time, I held breakfast meetings in a restaurant where I gave ten minute teachings. A discussion followed the teachings.
No one showed up on one morning. So there I was in the middle of a restaurant, a preacher with a Bible, a teaching, and no audience. I picked up the menu to check it out when the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart: “I’m here. Start your teaching.”
I opened with prayer and taught my message while all the other customers in the restaurant looked on, probably thinking, “That guy’s a nut!”
Not exactly a successful prototype for others to follow, right?
Yet, I learned a valuable lesson through these efforts. I learned who I needed to please: Jesus. My calling, my ministry, and my life must be focused on pleasing Him. If others are blessed, it will be because I first pleased Him.
So, when the Lord told me to write books and blogs, I did. And of course, I’d love to sell thousands of books, but that is a distant second to pleasing Him.
Now here’s a nugget for us writers: “If an author is willing to go through the various dry seasons of being humbled before God and man, God will eventually reveal mysteries and secrets to the person which may catapult the author onto a gigantic stage.”
Yet, it all begins with just pleasing Him.
Are you willing to pay the price?