On other occasions, before I walk to the pulpit to launch the sermon, Satan taunts me. There are flashbacks to sins from the past week, despite having confessed them. Or he reminds me of the grown son who isn’t following the Lord. “Who are you to tell others how to live!?” he whispers.
How do I handle these threats to my confidence? What sustains motivation and passion as a communicator?
I preach to myself this message: the primary reason for confidence as a speaker is not my giftedness, nor my years of experience, nor my formal education, nor my personality, nor my spiritual performance during the week. What keeps me from losing heart is reminding myself of the power inherent in God’s Word. I’m feeble, but the truth I communicate isn’t!
I store verses in my memory bank and review them when demotivating thoughts surface. When contrasting His words with those of false prophets, God proclaimed, “Is not my word like fire…and like a hammer which shatters a rock?” (Jer. 23:29). The Thessalonians received the gospel because God’s Word “performs its work in you” (1 Thess. 2:13). Even when the message comes from a fallible human instrument, the Bible is “living and active and sharper than a two-edged sword” (Heb. 4:12). Paul’s ministry continued in confinement because “the word of God is not imprisoned” (2 Tim. 2:9).
Charles Spurgeon discovered this transforming effect of God’s Word. In 1867, Spurgeon spoke at a series of meetings in Agricultural Hall, Islington. Remodeling efforts expanded the seating in this vast hall to over eleven thousand. The day before his first message, Spurgeon tested the acoustics of the revamped auditorium, empty at the time, by shouting, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). A worker high in the rafters heard him, and as a result converted to faith in Christ.
That wasn’t Spurgeon’s brilliance at work. It happened because God’s truth packs a wallop.
But an even more convincing evidence of the efficacy of God’s Word is in your personal history. Think of times God’s Spirit has funneled His Word to your heart.
Can you still see the fog lift on the day a biblical principle informed an important decision?
Do you remember the battle field where God’s Spirit fortified you against temptation and exposed the lies of Satan through a verse you had memorized?
Can you still see the tears pooling on your carpet and feel the pain piercing your heart from the time God’s Word convicted you of sin and spawned repentance?
Then don’t lose heart as a teacher or preacher! Your own experience with God’s Word is all the evidence you need of its clout. What transformed you is the same Word you use as a communicator.
Keep telling yourself that the power isn’t in you, but in the Word you communicate.
What other truths buoy your spirit as a teacher or preacher?