Last week’s post was about Vance Havner and his book, The Best of Vance Havner. I have continued to read it. His writing style is fun to read and although humorous, there is something deep hidden in his stories. One of my favorite stories was of a pulpit committee looking for a new preacher entitled “Preacher Unwanted” (p. 30).

The prospects being considered were too old, not sociable, too sociable, too flashy, too drab, etc. You get the picture. One day a man said, “I was just thinking of a preacher you might like to consider.” He began to describe this man but each deacon had a reason for rejecting him based on the follow descriptions:

  • He wasn’t much to look at.
  • Had eye trouble.
  • Wasn’t much of a speaker.
  • Not an orator at all.
  • Says you can’t honor God with ‘wisdom of words’.
  • He didn’t play up much to the pillars up at headquarters.
  • He had a run-in with one of the main church leaders.
  • He went off to a desert and got his doctrine all straightened out after he was called to preach.
  • Got his first orders direct from up higher.
  • He had no home, just traveled about.
  • He stirs things up.
  • They call him an upsetter.
  • He’s old-fashioned.
  • Condemns false teaching.
  • Wouldn’t play ball with the liberalists.
  • Believes in church discipline.
  • Had been in jail.

“‘What!’ chimed all the Committee, ‘What do you mean, wasting our time? Are you trying to make a joke out of us?”

‘Oh, no,’ the brother replied as he walked away. ‘You couldn’t get this preacher, anyway. I was thinking of ____________________________.” (Read to the end to find the answer of who the “brother” was describing to the pulpit committee for consideration as their next preacher. In the meantime, see if you can guess by the description.) (From The Best of Vance Havner, pp. 30-31)

On page 52, Vance Havner gave another chapter the title, “ARE YOU ‘THERE’?

He begins with the story of Elijah when he was told by God to hide himself by the brook Cherith. The ravens fed Elijah “THERE“. The Bible story continues, “Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell THERE: behold, I have commanded a widow woman THERE to sustain thee. So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city behold, the widow woman was THERE…” 1 Kings 17: 2-4, 9, 10.

Vance Havner says, “I DO NOT believe that the ravens would have fed Elijah anywhere else, nor would the widow woman have appeared anywhere else except ‘there.’ God did not say, ‘Elijah, ramble around as you please and I will provide for you.’ ‘There’ was the place of God’s will for Elijah—the place of His Purpose, the place of His Power and the place of His Provision.” (p. 52)

He continues with, “‘There’ was the place of God’s purpose. God has a ‘there for you, somewhere He wants you to be, something He wants you to do. You can never be truly happy elsewhere, nor can you please God anywhere but ‘there.'” (p. 52)

Vance Havner explains, “‘There’ is not a particular emotional experience; it is simply the place of God’s will….Our Lord could say to the Father, ‘I have glorified thee on the earth; I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do’ (John 17:4). He was always ‘there’!” (p. 53)

“When we are in the place of God’s purpose we have His power.” (p. 54)

“Hudson Taylor said he once thought God was looking for men strong enough to use, but he learned that God was looking for men weak enough to use.” (p.54)

“The lad who supplied the loaves and fishes for the feeding of the multitude would have been nonplussed if you had told him that morning that he had enough food for several thousand people. He did not know what he had until Jesus took it and broke it and blessed it and passed it around. Nor do you know what you have until you give it to the Lord.” (pp. 54-55)

“…’there’ was the place of God’s provision. There would have been no bread, no flesh, no meal, for Elijah anywhere but ‘there.’ ‘Where God guides, He provides’ is a well-worn proverb but gloriously true…. He (God) is responsible for our upkeep when we follow His directions, but He is not responsible for any expenses not included in His schedule.” (pp. 55-56)

“We may be ‘there’ the moment we resign the right to our own lives and let Him take control. Do not grow uneasy if guidance does not come in a moment. What He wants is your yielded will, and the minute you give Him that, you are ‘there,’ although it may be some time before He shows you just where it is geographically.” (p. 57)

Vance Havner ends the chapter with:

“Are you ‘there’?”

Right before he poses this question, he tells of a time when he was not “there”. God pushed him back to where he was supposed to be, and he eventually ended up having to make some things right in the place where he had stopped following God’s directions for his life.

I love this book. It really makes you think. I’m hoping others might get interested in it. It is a great book to help you deepen your spiritual walk with God.

So… did you guess who the “brother” was describing for the pulpit committee to consider for their preacher. I’ll give you a hint… he is still preaching to us today from the epistles he wrote.

If you guessed the Apostle Paul, you got it right!😃