In our last post we looked at the first ingredient for listening to a sermon, expect God to speak. The second ingredient is admit God knows better than you.
We have all heard a sermon before that did not seem to settle well with us. The question we have to ask is are we going to respond and obey God’s Word, or will we find a way around it and interpret the passage in a way we are comfortable? If we come to listen to a sermon expecting God to speak then we also come humbly to hear the preaching of God’s Word.
Ash points out that this is not something we want to do. He says we come to the Bible with all kinds of prejudices. We all come, myself included, with a certain way of thinking and we want the Bible to tell us we are right. But there is the problem. We are not ok, we are messed up people. Therefore we should expect the Bible to call us to repentance. The Bible will never make us complacent in our sin.
Healthy and Biblical preaching will offend us. Therefore we should come prepared to be offended when God’s Word is preached. If that offends you, I am right there with you. James 1:21 tells us the Word of God will challenge us to get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in me.
To close this ingredient Ash writes: “To listen humbly is to admit the Bible is right and I am wrong, that God is God and I need to change.” We cannot do this on our own. We need the Spirit of God to humble our hearts.
Once again he leaves us with some practical steps to take to cultivate a heart attitude that believes God knows better than I do.
- Which parts of this week’s preached Bible passage challenge your beliefs or lifestyle?
- Does the passage clearly teach these things?
- Pray for the work of God’s Spirit to enable you to submit to what the Bible clearly says, and to help you change.
I hope you have noticed once again the theme of prayer in the practical steps. This may or may not pop out to us in the following ingredients of healthy sermon listening.