This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.
Belief in Jesus is a miracle produced only by the effectiveness of redemption, not by impressive speech, nor by wooing and persuading, but only by the sheer unaided power of God. 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. The preacher is there as the representative of God—‘as though God were pleading through us…’ (2 Corinthians 5:20). He is there to present the Gospel of God. If it is only because of my preaching that people desire to be better, they will never get close to Jesus Christ. 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.
So much of pastoring focuses on the preaching. And yet Chambers says, “If it is only because of my preaching that people desire to be better, they will never get close to Jesus Christ.”
He’s right: It’s not about me or my preaching. My focus is on what Jesus said: “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me” (John 12:32).