To venable (verb): To randomly muse upon this and that.

Intimidating a Reaction

The heart of preaching is the bringing of people before God through the Word. We are therefore as preachers servants of all three.  Most profoundly we are servants of God, but we are also servants of the people and servants of the Word. We are not there to exercise any pressure according to who we are. But we are to bring people into the presence of god.

We want people to react to the Lord according to what they hear in the Word.

A great danger here comes with us intimidating people to make a reaction. They therefore react according to pressure exerted by the preacher rather than what the Word of God is drawing them to. So when we come across a scripture which we feel should engender a joyous response in the people, how do we approach it? I suggest that the appropriate way is to preach the joy of the Scripture with delight in our being. We are then bringing forth the meaning of the scripture and the heart of the scripture through our manner.

The problem comes when we say to the people that they need to give outward manifestation of their joy / happiness in the Lord.

By doing this we are coming between the people and the Lord. They are led to focus upon our coercion rather than how this Word is affecting them before the Lord. In some measure we are thereby intruders. We have trespassed upon territory which is not ours.

We need to be aware that everyone does not respond in the same way. Some may be affected by the Word, but not outwardly manifest any response.

Moreover we need to be aware that a Word which we might expect to being delight could well have brought a conviction of sin. Suddenly by being aware of the great grace of our God in Christ someone may be convicted of some sin which has taken them away from that grace. And you are telling them to have a big smile upon their face when actually God is cutting them up inside over sinful activity.

It is also observed that once a preacher has intimidated people into getting a reaction, they are left on their guard wondering whether you will do it again. They become self-conscious about how they are responding outwardly to the Word. Therefore they are directed from what the Word might be directing them to in the presence of the Lord.

Accordingly, let us as preachers always be bringing people to have dealings with the Lord. When people start to have dealings with us in the preaching event we have diverted from the remit which God has given us. So let us be very careful in these things.


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