Sharing what God has spoken to you about in the way of cleansing and correction is some of the best preaching there is.
It is important for you to feed your own soul. One of the traps that preachers can fall into is this: they are so intent on finding food for their congregation that their own spiritual welfare is neglected.
This is one of the hazards of the ministry. The thought is expressed this way in Song of Solomon 1:6: “…they made me the keeper of the vineyards, but mine own vineyard have I not kept.
Sometimes a pastor may be so involved in looking after the spiritual welfare of his flock that he sadly neglects his own spiritual well-being. This is one of the prime reasons that ministers fail. A minister cannot afford to neglect his own spiritual life.
Let the Word of God take root in your own heart and spirit. Let it grow strong in your personal life and experience. Then, when you preach, you will minister out of experience. You will not be speaking as one with a theory, but rather, sharing things which you yourself fully comprehend and have experienced.
The following verse teaches us this. “The hard-working farmer must be first to partake of the crops” (2 Tim 2:6 nkjv). What you plant and harvest (in a spiritual sense), you must partake of (experience) before feeding it to others. You should never feed others what you have not first eaten. You should not try to guide others down paths and trails you have not first walked yourself.
As the Word of God becomes incarnate (that is, indwells you), you will then become a message from God. You will not be one who merely recites sermons, but one whose very life and lifestyle ministers life, blessing and strength to those who know and hear you.
B. TWO FALSE IDEAS ABOUT HOMILETICS
There are at least two common mistakes that people tend to make in regard to homiletics.
- “Preparation Unnecessary”
The first mistaken idea is that preparation is unnecessary and indicates a lack of faith. People who take this view tend to feel that real faith disdains any attempt to prepare the mind, and merely stands before the people -believing that God will then supply the words to speak.
A favorite scripture of such people is Psalm 81:10: “…open thy mouth wide and I will fill it.” The context of the Psalm reveals that this verse has nothing to do with preaching! This tendency to ignore the biblical context of a scripture is rather typical of this kind of person. It betrays an irresponsible and naive attitude. This type of person is often known to speak nonsense. We would not wish to blame God for this person’s words.
There undoubtedly is a place for inspiration, but there is also a valid place for preparation.
- “Human Ability Is Enough”
The second mistake goes almost to the other extreme. In this instance, a complete confidence is placed in preparation and human ability. There is little or no dependence on the Holy Spirit, but a self-confidence which is the result of training and the development of natural ability.