My thoughts today are on the preacher, the man of God, which includes, but is not limited to the pastor, the evangelist, the missionary and etc. However, the subject today is not reserved only for the men who serve in that capacity, for they are examples to be followed. We believe, then that what affects him will and does affect those he leads and ministers to.
When a man has received the call to preach or has entered into a specific ministry area, there is an excitement, much like when someone is born again. This excitement produces emotion such as happiness and the man feels as though he do anything and actually attempts to do “everything.” He feels as though nothing can defeat him, because he is literally on a mission from God. He is convinced that he can overcome whatever comes his way and the only person he needs is the Lord.
What happens when the excitement subsides?
Some may profess they have never gotten over what God has done in their life and this is true, as it pertains to the eternal salvation Christ has provided, however what about the day to day responsibilities? Each week as he prepares to preach and teach or each card he sends or each home visit he is constantly met with things that bring discouragement. He is bombarded with excuses as to why someone missed the service, as well as given reasons why someone is not as involved as they once were. During a revival the people he knows needs it more than anyone are not present and his heart weeps over their continual departure from God’s will. If he is not careful, the enemy will fill his life with so much discouragement, he will be unable to rebound.
There must be, then, more than just excitement. There must be something substantial in his life, in order for him to continue on when all seems lost. It cannot just be about some emotional high that he gets from preaching. Rather, he not only must provide for the congregation substance in the lesson or sermon, but his own life must have substance. It also cannot simply be about works he does. When he is doing nothing, he still must have substance, something that is real, because the excitement ends and at times it will wain. The hype of who is is in the eyes of some will fade, the zeal he has and his influence may come to a crawl. Like a diet, he must have meat and potatoes, because the high of candy brings with it a sudden crash.
I would love to interject here multiple things that he needs to sustain him, however there is but one thing that I am able to submit and that is the word of God. The word of God will sustain him in the darkest of nights and in the coldest of seasons. The word of God will promote Christ in him, as well as remind him the importance of prayer. The word of God will not fail him, for it is eternal and it is the beginning of his spiritual birth. Friends, even for years, will come and they will go, but the word of God will stand. When all men forsake him, the word of God is there…always. The word of God will never change to suit him, nor encourage him in an incorrect manner. The word of God is true in all ages and in all circumstances. When the excitement subsides, the word of God is what he needs more than anything else.
The preacher may preach hard or soft…long or short…with or without notes…to 2 or to 200…inside or outside, wherever, whenever or however is of no consequence. All that really matters is that he preaches the word.
In conclusion, the believer is no different, but as I said, the preacher is upon my heart today. With the word of God by his side, in his heart and upon his mind the preacher and those who follow him may accomplish anything and do all God has established. Without the word of God, all is lost, forgotten and dismal.
The writer of Proverbs writes in 7:1, “…keep my words…” The word keep here means, “to guard; to attend to.”