When coming up with ideas for your next message who do you listen to?
When writing your next sermon, what is your first step?
A lesson from Joshua.
When Joshua led the Israelites across the Jordan River and set up camp outside the city of Jericho, he encountered a messenger of God.
Some think the messenger is an angel, but others argue that it is Jesus. I would agree with the latter.
The messenger is called the “commander of the army of the Lord,” he allows Joshua to fall before him in worship, and he says that the Joshua is now standing on holy ground. This was no mere angel.
So Joshua falls before Jesus and asks the best question a leader can ever ask.
“What message does my Lord have for his servant?”
Joshua 5:14 NIV
And because Joshua asks, the Lord reveals His amazing, yet ridiculous sounding plan – march around the city a lot of times, shout and play some horns.
But you know the story; Joshua obeys, the walls fall, and the Israelites take the city with ease.
What if Joshua didn’t listen?
Imagine what would have happened if Joshua never asked what God wanted. What if, like many pastors, Joshua did it his way?
He might have gathered the brightest military strategists and sought their advice. He might have studied every last detail of the city and known everything about its inhabitants.
Maybe he would have engineered some mighty assault weapons. Maybe he would have trained and assembled the greatest army of soldiers the world has ever seen.
Whatever he would have done, however, he would have never suggested marching around the city for days. And he would have failed and suffered many casualties as a result.
You see, on his own, Joshua’s plans would have failed. But since he sought a message from God, he succeeded
Listen to God and do what He says.
As pastors, we need do what Joshua did. We need to constantly seek God for His marching orders.
We need to stop asking what our favorite preacher would speak about. We need to stop trying to come up with our own original and brilliant ideas. We need to seek God.
I love how Perry Noble says, “Leadership is as simple as listening to God and doing what he says.”
The same can be said for our preaching. Preaching is as simple as listening to God and saying what He says.
Bible heroes like Moses, Joshua, David and many others were great leaders only because they took orders from the Greatest Leader!
If you want to be a great preacher, you have to seek God for His message. Fall down in worship before Jesus and ask, “What message does my Lord have for His servant?”
Alone, your message will inevitably fall flat. But with God in your ear, you will preach with His almighty power.
If you listen to God, the Holy Spirit will do more with any message than you could ever do alone.
Listen to God and say what He says.