The Right Response to Preaching Is. 6:1,5, 8 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
We are getting ready for our missions conference and the question on your mind should be, “What is the right response to preaching?” In other words, you know there is going to be continual emphasis on missions during the conference and you know that God is going to speak to you through the words of God that are preached. So, what should you do?
Come ready to hear from God – Ecc 5:1 – pray for the man preaching and for the missionary presenting. Listen attentively, not only to the content of his sermon, but to how the Lord is applying something in the sermon or the presentation very specifically and unmistakably to your life. When Bro. Gipp was here preaching, the Lord dealt with me in a couple of areas of my life so certainly that his will could not have been clearer if he had sat down beside me and handed me a note. You can make a note of what the Lord showed you if you think you might forget. However, I have noticed that God writes those kinds of instructions on your heart.
Present yourself to the Lord at the altar – Rom 12:1-2 – as soon as you can after the preaching [some haven’t been able to wait that long] make your way to the altar and commit to the Lord right there that you are going to start doing what he showed you to do immediately. Don’t wait. Don’t linger. Make sure your submission to the Lord is full. If there is any hesitancy stay there until you are sure that, by God’s grace, you are committed.
Tell someone what the Lord has done – Mk 5:18-19 – it is important that you tell someone else what the Lord is doing in your life. You should definitely tell your spouse and/or your family, you should tell a friend, and depending what the Lord is doing, perhaps the whole church should know, as in the case of a call to preach or a call to the ministry. Be careful that this is not done to draw attention to you but rather to the Lord and to the need for prayer. The reason for telling others is so that they will pray, they will understand when they see a change and so that you won’t go back on your word to God.
Get up and do what you said you would do – contrast Gen 24:58- 61 with Ezek 33:31 – be like Rebekah and get with the program. Don’t be like the folks to whom Ezekiel preached. They heard the words but they would not do them!! It is much easier to make the trip to the altar than it is to follow through with the commitment. If you submit to do something that requires no preparation, like giving to missions, then start and don’t stop. If you submit to something that requires preparation, like preaching, then get with your pastors about what to do next. The call to preach is a call to prepare.
Come back the next time ready to hear from God again – Heb 10:24-25 – when you start responding to preaching you start growing. God uses preaching in your life to guide you in his will. Just be very sure that you’re hearing the voice of God rather than the voice of man. In general, intimidation is from man and gentle spiritual leadership is from the Lord.
Conclusion: God doesn’t speak to you just so that you can say that you heard from God. He speaks to you so that you will change something in your life for the better. God is glorified in the right response to preaching.