Part 4 of 7
By Pastor Dave
The second way brokenness can come is through preaching or hearing the word of God in any form. It can be on Sundays, Bible studies, radio, conferences, or anyway it feeds us from another source where we listen. I learned a great principle early in my Christian journey that helped me. “If a man is preaching from the book, and my eye is on the God of the book, and my heart is open to the book, I will always get something from the book.”
We live in an entertainment society with many silver tongued orators. If we are not careful we will focus more on the person delivering the message rather than the message being proclaimed, which is Jesus Christ. Christ’s centric preaching is a must whether the message is easy to swallow or not. I may honor the message but I worship the God of the message. My instruction, growth, and brokenness come under conviction when my ear is tuned to God and nothing and no one else. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass. For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was (James 1:23, 24). That is what I needed to learn from God’s word.
We can enjoy good preaching without learning or becoming broken if our focus is not on Christ. When your focus is wrong, you may call good preaching bad and bad preaching good. What is the difference? You will get excited but you had not planned on changing anyway. You must remember it is not about the messenger but the message that God wants you to hear. He wants you to be broken and changed day by day, step by step. That is why we have so much restlessness in the pews today. We are bored. We get a thrill on the roller coasters but we are always looking for a bigger and better one. Only a broken heart that is open to what God says will remedy this. It is not about our thrill but about learning his way and doing his will. This is work. This cycle will continue until we are ready to be broken, listen to God, and let go of our ways and how we perceive ourselves and how we perceive God. He is holy and we are sinful. Every word spoken about him in truth is perfection no matter what the voice inflection is or passion or person or funny illustration. He is perfection whether stated simply or eloquently. No matter how the word of God is proclaimed or sung, it is perfection if it is faithful to him and his word. There is a problem. I suggest that the stinky fish is in the suitcase of your heart and no where else. Until your heart is broken, you will never get it and you will never really change. You will go from mirror to mirror and think you are the fairest of them all and simply you are not. He is, no matter how the message is packaged.
Listen to his word with a broken heart or ask him to break your heart while you listen. You will truly experience some great changes. Your restlessness will subside and your parched soul will flow like a river again. We do not need any more man made rivers in preaching but God made rivers. Hosea said “Break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you (Hosea 10:12).”
To be continued ………………..