I love Bible preachers!
They have influenced my life the most out of all people! But they are THE hardest type of person to preach to!
Because they usually have already heard what I am about to preach; because they usually are very tired when they are sitting still; and because they can actually be the most carnal of Christians in any crowd!
Yep. There. I said it. Believe me… I know from experience – my own experience!
When I sit in a crowd and hear a preacher preach, I find myself critical of his “style” and his use of unmoving reasoning. I spend a lot of time trying to find a “better” direction that I would take if “I” were preaching his truth.
And all the while, the Holy Spirit waits for me to just stop and just listen.
What God expects of me is to repent of anything that the preacher might point-out that is wrong in my life – period! He does not need me to “improve” on the message being preached, or find fault with the achievements of the man preaching. God expects me to listen and get right what is wrong in my life.
This problem has been real in my life, both as I hear preaching, and when I preach. I cannot speak for the hearers of my preaching, but I can speak for myself…
SHAME ON ME!
Oh that I would quickly agree with what is true that is being spoken, no matter how un-entertaining, or unpleasant it may be presented! Oh that I would repent and humble myself at the gentle stirring of the Holy Spirit of God instead of waiting for the crescendo of some performance that we expect of preachers today!
It is absolutely amazing just how easy it is for the devil to harden “my” ears and heart to God’s word. I should NOT care who is preaching, nor how it is being preached nearly as much as WHAT is being preached. God promised that it will always be the foolishness of preaching that does the work – not the logic, nor the enjoyment – just the preaching of an unpopluar message (1Corinthians 1:21)!
Next time someone is preaching from the word of God, I need to remember (and so do you), that God is speaking… even from stammering lips and poor delivery! “For with stammering lips and another tongue (not your own) will he speak to this people. (Isaiah 28:11).
How I, and every preacher will respond, is the real challenge!