Every time you step into the pulpit, you are in a battle. You have to understand that. You have an enemy who is as a “roaring lion seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
Your enemy, because he has studied you and your congregation, knows what your people need to hear. The enemy knows what you will preach, because he has looked over your shoulder as you put the sermon together.
The enemy knows the distractions to put in your life and in your congregation’s life to mute, obliterate or just modify the message as you preach it. Preacher, you are at war. It is time to acknowledge that.
But why am I saying this? Someone is asking, “Cox, what is your point?”
My point is that you are in a battle with a being that is smarter and more powerful than you. My point is that if you are going to go to war, you need to put on the armor and battle.
I think it is very important to learn the principles of how to craft a good sermon. If I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t even have my website. But I also believe that one can follow the steps for an effective sermon and still not have one.
Because one secret to effective preaching is a connection to Most High God. Perhaps the greatest secret to an effective sermon is knowing and being connected to God.
Yes, learn to write a sermon. Yes, read the books by the great preaching instructors. But if you ain’t prayed up, you ain’t ready for war. If you ain’t studied up, you ain’t ready for war.
My point is a simple one. Preacher, you must have a devotional life if you are going to wage war. You must read the Bible even when you are not putting together a sermon if you are going to wage war.
You are at war. Remember that. And remember your only hope is through a connection to God.