So much is happening in the life of a man who preaches week in and week out. One climatic day (Sunday), he pours his heart out in preaching, only to wake up the next morning with 6 days to prepare to do it again. The pastor’s preparation to preach gets affected by physical struggles, demands from his family, burdens in the church, and the daily struggle to put distractions aside to focus in such a way that a day’s study will be fruitful. Yet, in the midst of so many challenges facing the weekly preacher, one seems to stand alone as the most constant and draining of them all. Ironically, it is also the one we as weekly preachers most commonly forget is at work as we work. It is…
The intense spiritual attack of the enemy that uniquely and deliberately targets the one preparing to preach for the upcoming Lord’s Day.
I was reminded of this recently in a conversation with one of our pastors who is not used to preaching every week. As we sat and reflected on his excellent sermons the last 2 weeks and his prior preparation to do so, he affirmed above all else the abnormal presence and power of spiritual attack that loomed those weeks of preparation. I was freshly jolted in 2 ways by his statement. First, how true that really is for those of us who labor to proclaim God’s Word week in and week out. Second, how easily I forget that battle fiercely wages every week because of the particular kingdom labor being done.
Pastors, make no mistake. That battle wages even now. We are on the front lines of it as the enemy wants our souls and the souls of those entrusted to our care. Do not forget that battle wages without exception even as you labor in study today to preach. Yet in the midst of that battle, also do not forget the enemy who seeks to devour us has been completely defeated in the life, death, and resurrection of our King Jesus. Therefore, depend upon Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit that dwells in us as you prepare each week knowing He will strengthen you not only to study this week and fight the enemy’s attacks, but to proclaim the excellencies of Jesus Christ to your people in power and victory this Sunday.