Monday, April 25, 2005

Preaching from our weakness

I've come across a couple of good articles recently on the need to preach from our weakness. In this article, Alistair Begg uses the story of King Jehoshaphat as an example of depending on God, not ourselves, for strength (HT: Preaching Now):

“God’s purpose is that we might depend entirely upon Him,” Begg said. “Jesus didn’t say, ‘apart from Me you can do a few things.’ He said, ‘apart from Me you can do nothing.’ We cannot do anything as we ought without the help that He gives.”

Phil McAlmond expresses a similar idea at The Spirit Formed Life. Speaking from his own personal experience, Phil relates how his own preaching didn't really begin to flourish until he quit depending on talent and really drew near to God in a close relationship:

I began to learn that, apart from him I literally could do nothing (Jn 15:5) and I mean nothing of Kingdom value. I began to learn what it meant to become absolutely dependent upon the Lord Jesus and His Holy Spirit. I began to become, in a very great way, for me at least, a broken man of God. The Lord began to reach deep into my heart and soul and speak to me of things within myself that I did not know about or understood. He began to move deeply into my heart revealing my real motivations for ministry, preaching, life, etc. He began to open up in me a yearning to be more and more real and available to him, that He would have his way, in spirit and in truth, within and through me, in all things and at all times. He began to deeply change me from the inside out; authentically! . . . .

I have learned that to be one whose preaching transforms others, I must first be a preacher who is transformed, in spirit and in truth, in the presence of my Lord Jesus. As a result, my study has come to flow out of my deep times and seasons of prayer and fellowship in and with my Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. Prayer has become such a pivotal point of readiness in my life to preach, minister or simply walk the walk of the Spirit Forming Life of Christ Jesus each and everyday, that I cannot imagine going forward without this vital link of intimacy in and with Christ Jesus.

To transform others we must first be transformed ourselves--that's a pretty high standard, don't you think?


Blogger Phil (Col 1:27-28) said...

I would say it is a high standard, but not too high, in Christ Jesus.

Thankyou and Blessings in Christ Jesus!

6:13 PM, April 25, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Right, Phil. Thanks for your original post and for visiting here!

7:34 PM, April 25, 2005  
Blogger John said...

As a ministry candidate, I slip into this spiritual trap a lot. I'm supposed to be doing God's work, but I have to impress certain people. I'm supposed to be the instrument of God's ministry, but sometimes I'm directing the agenda, not Him. It can quickly cease to be about Him and become about me.

11:58 AM, April 26, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

I know what you're talking about, John. Thanks for visiting!

1:34 PM, April 26, 2005  

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