Last week thousands of viewers, listeners and members of our church sat in awe as we observed a small group of individuals attempt to heckle our pastor in the middle of his Sunday sermon. “Joel Osteen you’re a liar!” one man yelled.
“Wow, did someone really just say that in the middle of service?” I thought to myself. A few minutes later, another heckler interrupted service with remarks. Four minutes later…it happened again. I was watching the service via live stream from my living room so I couldn’t make out much of what was said. The only words I could hear clearly were the responses of my Pastor.
“God bless you.”
“God has a great word in store for us today.”
“We’ll just continue to receive what God has for us today.”
“It’s a good day to be alive.”
After the fourth heckler bellowed into the crowd, the live stream of the service ended. “What in the world just happened?” I mumbled in a state of befuddlement.
A day or so later, social media was trending about the events that transpired that Sunday morning. Local news stations had obtained footage of the ordeal and the social timelines were buzzing like electric wires. “Nobody better be saying anything crazy about my church or my Pastor!” I thought, lol. If so, I was ready to spar with my virtual gloves!
I scrolled to glance at a few posts and within a seconds I was amazed at the comments. People were impressed, amazed and blown away by the great composure, confidence and poise that our Pastor maintained while being heckled.
How in the world was he able to keep his composure?
As I reflected on his poise while being heckled, I couldn’t help but to observe the great lessons he had shown the world that day. His poise was powerful yet peaceful and he reacted unbothered.
Like Jesus on the boat with the twelve disciples, his response while being heckled was a great reminder that the storm on the outside doesn’t have to be granted access to the inside when we know and trust our Captain.
Friends, there are going to be times when we are walking the straight and narrow, and an obstacle will attempt to knock our balance. There are going to be times when we are doing our very best to pursue our purpose but life heckles us despite our best efforts.
How will we respond when life throws its arrows?
Will we take offense or respond unbothered?
Joel Osteen’s response illustrated that peace takes better control over a situation than a mouth full of fiery words.
Hecklers and shooters are walking into our churches to steal our joy because we possess a light that is healing a dark world. Your light holds a power that can illuminate a dark room and bring hope to a bleak situation (See Matthew 5:14-16). People need what we carry on the inside. Lose your peace, lose your power. God holds the keys to the future, but we hold the light for today.
Whether it’s a job, a person, a situation or finances that are trying to heckle you today, I encourage you to remain unbothered. Continue to speak the Word of God over your life. Continue to speak to those mountains, and just like the hecklers who came to Lakewood Church last Sunday…watch those mountains be moved.
~God is for you. Nothing can be against you!
Prayer: God, we’re living in seemingly crazy times but we know that nothing is a surprise to you. You know the beginning and the end. You are the author of all things. Today, we pray for your peace, guidance and protection. Protect our minds, guard our mouths and direct our steps. Protect our leaders, pastors and teachers in all that they do. Give them sound wisdom and discernment. We cast out every scheme and devise of the enemy, and we declare our victory. In the name of Jesus, we are the light. Amen.
Romans 8:31-39 (MSG)
“So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:
They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.”