I just finished preaching at the compound an hour ago. As I was preparing the past 24 hours, I really couldn't figure out what to teach. I didn't worry about it, and I didn't want to just teach something for the heck of it. In faith I spent less time in forceful (fruitless) studying and spent more time praying and worshiping. After dinner and a good conversation with Stephanie, I basically went to bed. But that's not a fair depiction; I meditated and prayed in bed for a good while until I fell asleep. I knew I needed to speak my heart, or rather God's heart in me. Before falling asleep I thought I was to preach about transformation as a Christian. And soon after I realized that even more than transformation, people need an encounter with Jesus. An encounter with Jesus is transformation. Whether it's a blind Bartimaeus, the demon-possessed man in the tombs, or Paul on the road to Damascus, Jesus brings transformation when people encounter Him.
In the morning I prepared a little for the message, brainstorming a few passages or ideas. But 90 minutes before church started I stopped preparing. I didn't even have a much written down. But I knew my need to be with Him in that moment, and not just study Him.
That's what I need even more than study: actually abiding in Him and valuing His Presence. He is where transformation is.