Enjoying the Journey
All of us who have preached for any length of time can testify that some things are different every time we stand to preach. The truth never changes, but the preacher’s mind, the audience attitude, and the general circumstances do! Some days the message flows. Sometimes it does not.
I have wondered of late if this was some of what the Apostle Paul had in mind when he wrote to a young minister, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season…” (2 Timothy 4:2). Seasons change and some are more enjoyable than others.
At this juncture in ministry I am preaching many times every week. To be perfectly transparent I must confess that some days I do not feel like preaching. There are times when I grow weary. My own heart gets cold and my mind is distracted. I even get tired of hearing myself preach!
Yet God has called me to preach. To give His message. To point others to Him. Even when I don’t feel like it.
Sitting on the front row of a church one evening, getting ready to stand and speak, the Holy Spirit taught me a truth that has been of immeasurable help to me: Preaching is to be an act of faith.
We preach to others that they must live by faith and pray in faith. But what about the preacher? It is easy to tell others to live by faith and not by their feelings! This truth applies to the messenger too.
I don’t always feel good. I can’t always feel the same way. I won’t always feel the work that is being done in other hearts. But I can preach in faith.
I believe the Word of God changes lives. I believe the Holy Spirit can work despite my weakness. I believe that eternity matters all the time. I believe that God is watching. I believe that souls hang in the balance. And so I must preach in faith.
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). Without faith the most eloquent, educated, energetic sermon fails to please God. Who cares if the crowd is pleased if the Lord is not! We must preach in faith.
“Whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Romans 14:23). Whatsoever…even preaching. To preach without faith is sin. To speak to men without looking to the Lord is the greatest pulpit failure. We must preach in faith.
Martin Luther, a man who became consumed with the life of faith, once wrote:
Feelings come and feelings go,
And feelings are deceiving;
My warrant is the Word of God–
Naught else is worth believing.
Though all my heart should feel condemned
For want of some sweet token,
There is One greater than my heart
Whose Word cannot be broken.
I’ll trust in God’s unchanging Word
Till soul and body sever,
For, though all things shall pass away,
HIS WORD SHALL STAND FOREVER!
When you sit down and feel as though you could have done better remember that God is always at His best. If you gave the truth He will use it. “Have faith in God.” His Spirit is at work in preacher and people. His Word is enough in the pulpit and in the pew.
Preach the Word, my brother – and preach in faith.