The Holy Spirit in Preaching

And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

John 20:22

As a pastor, I rarely feel the anointing of the Holy Spirit when preaching to my own congregation. I must trust that the Spirit is working irrespective of my mood, the listening audience’s engagement, or the excitement level of the listeners. I stand on the promise written by the prophet Isaiah, who said that God’s Word never returns void (Isa. 55:11), therefore I trust that the Holy Spirit is affecting the hearts of the hearers when I share God’s word. When the Holy Spirit works among his people, he encourages them to trust the Father entirely, love Christ throughly, and hunger for his holiness completely.

I always believe that the Holy Spirit is upon a person when I preach to that person. I do not mean that the Spirit is within the hearts of unbelievers, but that He is outside. What is He doing? He is waiting, waiting to bring Christ into their hearts. He is like the light. Open the window-shutters even a little, and it will flood in and illuminate the interior. Let there be a cry from the heart to God, and at that moment the Spirit will enter and begin His transforming work of conviction and repentance and faith.

Watchman Nee, What Shall This Man Do? 

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