I ask this in Love: Are you cheating the Spirit of the Most High God with written notes?
For years I have struggled with using notes while I preach. Something about standing in front of a bunch of expectant ears, holding a fist full of stale written notes, was just eating at me from the inside out. God was telling me to trust Him and I knew it. But, I stuck with the old, bible-school-taught handwritten notes. The notes were my crutch. I was telling people what I wanted to tell them, the "good thoughts" that hit me the day that I was writing the notes instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to 'completely' take over. Are Tuesday's notes still 'fresh' on Sunday? How many times have you gone to a church only to see a preacher stand there with page after page after page of notes? They turn and turn and turn and you wonder how many pages they used for the sermon? Some have even figured out how much time so many pages will take to read. No offense to anyone but if this pertains to you, you just may want to double think your delivering process.
My kids watched me preach for years. They told me a few times, (in love of course), that they noticed that when I let go of the notes and allowed the Spirit to run freely, I did better. They said that they could feel God in the room. Of course they are my private armor-bearers of a sort and I love it. They watch out for me and give me opinions. My son lives his life. He is a promoter in Pittsburgh, Pa. who has been on the radio and various events around the Burgh. My daughter lives her life as well. She is a writer and is just trying to enjoy her life as it comes. They may not be the most righteous and holy P.K.'s , Preachers Kids, (after all who is?) but they know God's business as well and plus, I asked them to give me their opinions. They know the Word. We all have different Social Security Numbers. I taught them to the best of my ability and what they do with it is between them and God. They went to the same bible school that I went to from 96-99 and went to nearly every class that I did so it's not like they don't know the Word. Plus I was the Bible Teacher for 9-11 year olds when I attended the church there as well. (Shiloh Bible Institute in Washington, Pa.) The owner and bible institute teacher was teaching us one day about manna which means, "what is it?" and he kept asking the class, "what does manna mean?" My son, who was only about 4 at the time said, "Bread Pastor Ed! Bread!" Everyone laughed. And! He was right. Pastor Ed wanted to hear the answer, "What is it?" but my son WAS correct because it was the bread that God gave Israel to eat while they were in the wilderness. That was funny. I'll never forget that. Kids.
Isn't it something how sometimes, people who live their own lives and are allowed to be themselves give you better help than those who 'claim' to be holy and righteous? Some of the self-holy and self-righteous look down their noses and gossip about what is wrong with a person and even tell their fellow 'holy and righteous' folks to leave them alone as well. That's alienation and 'marking' according to their standards. They leave no room for Grace. It's the old, dried out practice of shunning. You don't need these people. Pick the more humble ones instead. If they have that "come out from among them" attitude, silently step away. They are using the scripture wrongly.
I would like to end with this question, "do you deliver fresh manna when you speak or are you feeding people stale bread?" Preachers (speakers) speak to people about miracles and blessings but are they allowing God's Holy Spirit to do the speaking? We pray before we speak and say, "Use me Holy Spirit. They don't want to hear me but they want a special message from You." But! Do we really want to do what is needed for Him to speak? Do we become a true Vehicle of the Most High and thoroughly trust God? The song say, "If you can use anything Lord you can use me" but do we allow Him to do so? I am sure I won't get famous with this post but it is long overdue and God wants us to trust Him.
The Church has been operating on notes long enough. That could be why you don't see many miracles going on in them anymore. No one is throwing away wheelchairs or getting up from their sick-beds or growing back limbs and teeth. Are we a "Note nation" of people. Are we an iPad?
Final thought: I wonder how many preachers preach about Fear, not understanding that they are actually preaching FROM fear? Selah.
I am through with notes, unless I have something special to read like a poem or special information for the listener. From now on, I am going to ask God which scripture He wants to use. I will open my bible and then open my mouth and whatever happens happens. God bless. ~ Rev Essie