Certainly we are people who love the moving of God’s Spirit, and rightly so. A formless, lifeless, dark world needs an encounter with the glory of the Lord. But a lesson to be learned from this passage is that one can be exposed to the moving of the Spirit and still be extremely void and empty. For a life to be truly and permanently changed requires the introduction of creative energy through the Word of God, and preaching is the method God chose to accomplish just such a change.
There is a danger of being so proud of the dynamics of the Spirit we enjoy and of what we regularly feel in our services that we equate “goose bumps” with substantive change in our lives. The measure of the effect of the gospel in our lives is not did we feel Him, for anything and anyone can feel Him when He moves. The questions to be asked as we leave each service are, “Did the Word of God change anything in me? Did His voice speak to me? Did preaching and my response to it do a creative work in me?”
And so we must ever remain people of the Word of God, for we need preaching. We need both the conviction of His Word to break us up sometimes, and the Spirit to change us – and this comes through preaching.
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