This evening I spoke at NBC Camps.  Tonight my talk was on the power we have everyday to 1) choose to speak/be Life into people; 2) choose to make the decision between being identified by our activities/circumstances or first thinking through (prayerfully) the kind of people we want to be in the end and working today to set the table.

I’ve recently talked on this topic  and I thought it had presented well, and through my preparation God used that message to stir up the hearts of a couple of campers. The Lord is doing some pretty cool things in their life.

Today, when it was my turn to speak again, I found myself praying that God would again grant me the same grace and delivery as last week despite my lack of adequate preparation.  I thought I could just waltz up there and deliver the same partially extemporaneous message, and in the process I attempted to leverage God into giving me great words without first having a clear, focused, speech prepared.

I talked on identity.  Then I proceeded to put my identity in the grade I would give myself.  “I was a B-…maybe C+”.  I started to dialogue with other staff passive-aggressively probing for a compliment.  That’s when the veil fell.  That’s when I felt exposed and guilty and frustrated.

Truth is I wasn’t being a good representative of NBC Camps and I wasn’t honoring God.  I prayed, “God use me tonight” which was code for “I didn’t prepare enough and I want you to throw me a bone”.  God doesn’t owe me that; He doesn’t owe me anything.

May I never forget this lesson.  May the Lord brand on my heart and mind the night when I spoke my words and not His Word.