by Ed Dufresne
Some time ago, I was flying on a commercial airplane to my next preaching engagement. One of the flight attendants stood up in the aisle and began to familiarize everyone with the aircraft safety equipment and to point out the nearest emergency exit.
Half-heartedly I looked up at her and said to myself, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ve heard that a thousand times before.” I let my mind drift to other things, tuning out the attendant’s voice. Just then the Holy Ghost jolted me saying, “Yeah, and one day you may need to know all the information she’s giving. Are you going to remember all the steps to take in the middle of an emergency? That’s the way so many congregations are when you preach. You quote a faith passage from the Bible and they immediately say to themselves, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ve heard that a thousand times,’ but they forget it in the middle of an emergency. So you sit up and listen to her.” And brother, I did!
Well, you can guess what my sermon was about that night—faith. I told the congregation how God had rebuked me on the airplane because of my “I’ve heard that” attitude. Faith comes by hearing, not by having heard. What are you hearing? What you are hearing, not just what you have heard, is what is going to pull you through the crisis of life!
We Need to Reverence the Word
We have become far too familiar with God and His Word. Familiarity is always followed by irreverence. God forbid that we become so familiar with God, that we don’t reverence the Word being taught to us by His ministers. God forbid that our irreverence to the Word causes our minds to drift off onto some carnal, unspiritual detail of life. If we don’t thirst for the things of God, their flow into our lives will slow to a trickle. Proverbs 27:7 says that, “To a hungry soul, every bitter thing is sweet.” What does that mean?
When you’re hungry for God, even a rebuke from Him is sweet. When you hear a minister preach on faith, tithing, healing, or some other subject you think you are familiar with, be careful that it doesn’t become bitter in your mouth. Don’t tune out and wish the minister would preach on something else. You better sit up and listen, because the area you think you’re the strongest in is the area the devil will use to knock your feet right out from under you.
That minister is bringing you the Word of life, and you better receive it as such. Draw on the Spirit, draw on the Word, and draw on the man of God, then watch how hungry you become to hear that Word over and over again. Familiarity does not mean mastery. We mistakenly think we have mastered something just because we are familiar with it. That’s dangerous thinking!
We mistakenly think we have mastered something just because we are familiar with it.
Instead of saying, “Yeah, yeah, yeah,” when the minister gets up, we should be saying, “Open my eyes Lord that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy Law.” “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.” I want to be filled up, not puffed up. Let’s purpose as never before to draw on God and His Word.