I really enjoy preaching, most of the time. Do you know when I hate preaching? When it’s just spiritual truths that haven’t been lived out by me. Those messages always fall flat and they are void of passion and conviction. Today’s devo from John Maxwell encouraged me to practice before I preach, not just what I preach. How does this look in your life?
Being Before Doing
On the basis of King Artaxerxes’ decree, Ezra traveled from Babylon to Jerusalem (Ezra 7:1–10). As a priest, he felt committed to establishing spiritual priorities among the people, especially as it pertained to their new temple. One verse reflects the heart of a leader fully committed to his God: “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel” (7:10). Do you see the order of priorities in his leadership?
– Learn it: Ezra studied and discovered the truth himself.
– Live it: Ezra practiced and applied what he had learned.
– Loan it: Ezra passed on to others what he had already embraced.
Successful leaders must learn to follow Ezra’s model. Dwight L. Moody suggested the greatest tragedy of his day was that Christian leaders attempted to traffic in unlived truth. It is our tragedy as well. We cannot give away what we don’t incarnate. We must import truth before we export truth. God wants to construct our “being” before our “doing.”