Several years ago, I had the tremendous opportunity to preach in a tent meeting in the Dominican Republic. It was my first experience preaching with an interpreter. I was nervous at first; but, the man that was interpreting for me was very skilled, and the message flowed very smoothly. The most impressive thing about this interpreter was that he would mimic my movements, voice pitch, and passion. I remember that somewhere in the middle of my preaching, I began to weep. The Holy Spirit was touching me as I was giving the message. I noticed that my interpreter also began to weep with me. Im not sure if the Holy Spirit was touching him as He was me, or if he was just that great at his job. But amazingly, my words became his words, my passion became his passion, my way of communicating became his way, and my tears became his tears. What an amazing thing it is when someone can speak whats on your heart and mind with the same zeal and passion that you are feeling.
Speaking for God requires more than receiving and transmitting His message. When one attempts to speaks for God, that individual must bring more than Gods message, they must bring Gods heart with them as well. An individual may have Gods message, but if they do not have the heart of God, they misrepresent His words. Preaching without Gods heart is the same as taking His words out of context. Its not fair to the listener, nor is it fair to the One whose words we have misused. It is imperative that when we speak for God, His heart becomes our heart, His passion our passion, and His tears our tears. We have an awesome responsibility to speak whats on the heart and mind of God with the same zeal, emotion, and passion that He feels. When asking God for a message for the people, we must ask Him to also anoint us to preach the message as He feels it.
There are many who would take up the mantle of the Old Testament prophet to cry against the sins of the people. These individuals take seriously Gods charge to Isaiah to Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression (Is 58:1). Dont get me wrong, we need men and women who will unashamedly preach and stand against sin in our generation. However, we must do so with Gods heart. God does not hate the sinner, and we must not preach like He does. God does not want anyone to go to Hell, and we must never preach as if He did. The prophet that can cry out over the sins of the people but never cry over the lost souls of those same people does not have Gods heart and has forgotten that the real purpose of speaking for God is souls not for the prestige or position. I think we are often guilty of loving the message more than we love the souls listening to our message. Because of this, a message may become more about delivery than deliverance, appearance rather than an appeal, or a rebuke rather than reconciliation.
Can you hear Gods heart as He pleads with the persistent rebels He called His people: As I live, says the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel (Eze 33:11)? What about the tenderness and compassion of Gods heart to His sinful people during Isaiahs day: Come now, and let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool (Isa 1:18). We need to ask our self the question; Is the emotion, the crying, and the pleading that God speaks with in these scriptures ever present in our messages?
We must never forget that Christ came into the world to save sinners (1Tim 1:15), that God so loved the world that He gave His only Son for sinners (Jn 3:16), that while we were yet in our sins, Christ died for sinners (Rom 5:8), and that it is not His will that sinners perish (2Pe 3:9). Turn ye, turn ye from you evil ways, says the Lord. Why will you die? Hear Gods heart for souls. Let us see it, hear it, and read it until it becomes a part of us; until it begins to burn like a fire shut up in our bones. I believe that the Apostle Paul tapped into Gods heart and passion when to the Corinthians We are therefore Christs ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christs behalf: Be reconciled to God (2Cor 5:20 NIV). May God give us His heart!