2. Satan will suggest that instead of teaching something relevant, you need to teach something new.
The preacher’s job is well defined. Second Timothy 4:2 says, “Preach the word!” This means our message is confined to what He says. We are not teaching something new but truth as old as the Bible itself. We don’t have to make it relevant; it is relevant. All we have to do is communicate effectively to the people. This is why the pressure we need to feel is not how to come up with a truth our people have never heard of. Instead, it’s the pressure to take the truth God gave years ago and put it in words that are meaningful and applicable. Sometimes, we teach the same truth 50 times. It’s been accurately stated that effective communication is saying the same thing in different words.
But the longer you’re in the ministry, the easier it can be for Satan to convince you that people are tired of hearing the same old thing. Therefore, instead of feeling the need to use sentences, illustrations, and analogies that drive truth home in a fresh way, you think that you need to come up with something new, period—something never thought of, never taught, and never heard. The subject may be the mind, marriage, relationships, spiritual growth, love, hate, or a myriad of things. Soon you have stepped outside the Scriptures, teaching your thoughts instead of His. Discerning people will appropriately begin to say, “I’m not sure that’s what the Scriptures say.” The difference is profound. God has never promised to bless your word; He’s only promised to bless His.
The answer? Get down on your knees, open the Bible in front of you, and utter a simple prayer: “Don’t let me stray outside this book, but help me teach whatever is in this book clearly and effectively.” Then, approach someone in your church who is very knowledgeable in the Word and say to them, “If you hear me say something strange, don’t just accept it. Ask me about it, and don’t assume that because I’m the preacher I am right.” That person should regard you highly for caring enough to make sure you’re preaching His thoughts, not yours.