Monday, November 05, 2012


Making Sure God Is Glorified

Dan Dezell asks:
How do I know if God was glorified and if He did a work in my soul through a particular message from a preacher? Well....did I come away marveling at the preacher, or marveling at God? As a result of the message, am I enthralled with the man or with the Lord? Who stands out more in my mind and in my heart? Who have I been more inspired to talk about to others.....the Lord, or the preacher?
Dezell goes on to quote Oswald Chambers:
Oswald Chambers provided these insights on the matter: "The creative power of redemption comes through the preaching of the Gospel, but never because of the personality of the preacher. Real and effective fasting by a preacher is not fasting from food, but fasting from eloquence, from impressive diction, and from everything else that might hinder the Gospel of God being presented." Chambers then states this incredibly important truth: "Anything that flatters me in my preaching of the Gospel will result in making me a traitor to Jesus, and I prevent the creative power of His redemption from doing its work."
This is a difficult equation for much of the decision about who is glorified lays with the hearer, not the preacher. Ultimately the preacher has to judge his own heart. I have known preachers that talked about themselves incessantly. Most of them justified it by saying they wanted the congregation to take the journey with them - it was an effort to "connect." But at some point in there, narcissism take over. At some point the pastor is preaching not to the congregation but to himself. Which brings up a good test. Is the preacher attempting to meet the congregation where it is, or is he attempting to bring the congregation to the same place the preacher is? In the end, preaching is a service, not a reward. In this media intensive age, the desire for spotlight is intense. Preaching of necessity involve a spotlight, but such is not the point. Someone once said of a preacher I knew that "he took the job very seriously, but himself not at all." Sounds right to me.
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