I woke up and swallowed. My throat felt like I had gargled with a box of razor blades. It would be a long day. As I preached in the morning, my voice could only get so loud before it would start to fail. It seemed to me I was whispering all day. Those who know my “energized” style know this was torture. I felt like the “Compression” nob on the old sound system back home had been turned up to eleven! I hated to hold back. However, as I did, I found a renewed zeal in letting the Word speak for itself, letting IT roar. My heart was convicted about the times when I hold back in the pulpit, not physically, but, spiritually and pastorally. If you’re a preacher, you know what I’m saying. Those moments of struggle and temptation: don’t be too radical, too confrontational, too directional.
Jeremiah felt this same burning and temptation:
Jeremiah 20:8–10 8 For whenever I speak, I cry out, I shout, “Violence and destruction!” For the word of the Lord has become for me a reproach and derision all day long. 9 If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,” there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot. 10 For I hear many whispering. Terror is on every side! “Denounce him! Let us denounce him!” say all my close friends, watching for my fall. “Perhaps he will be deceived; then we can overcome him and take our revenge on him.” (ESV)
Preacher-brothers, worry not what the world thinks. Press on. Preach on. With fire.
Preached-to-brothers and sisters, pray for your local pastor.