Over at TrueWoman.com, a website to help women “discover and embrace God’s design and mission for their lives, reflect the beauty and heart of Jesus Christ to their world, intentionally pass on the baton of Truth to the next generation, pray earnestly for an outpouring of God’s Spirit in their families, churches, nation, and world;” asks the following question:
Do you ever find yourself:
- waking up on Sunday morning and wishing you didn’t have to go to church?
- having a hard time staying awake in church?
- daydreaming during the message, or making a mental “to-do” list while the pastor is preaching?
… and several other questions. Can you relate? What is going on?
Nancy Leigh DeMoss notes, “If we’re not benefitting from the ministry of the Word as it is publicly proclaimed in our local churches, the fault may not lie in the one proclaiming the Word. It may lie in our readiness to hear, receive, and respond to the Word.”
So what can we do in these situations? DeMoss gives the following suggestions that ties in nicely with the articles in our recent newsletters:
Before the service
1. Pray for your pastor as he prepares for Sunday. Pray that his schedule would be free from unnecessary distractions. Pray that God will give him understanding into the meaning of the Word. Pray that God will speak to him personally through the Word and that he will respond in humility and obedience. Pray that God will help him to communicate the truth with clarity, freedom, passion, and power.
2. If your pastor is preaching a series from a particular book of the Bible, take time during the week to read ahead and meditate on the text. Ask God to speak to your heart before you even hear the message.
3. Prepare for public worship the night before. Turn off the TV, limit social activities, and instead do things that will cultivate your appetite for God’s Word.
During the service
1. Participate—you need to be there. You’re not going to get a lot out of church if you don’t go.
2. Get to church early enough to spend a few minutes before the service quietly preparing your heart for worship. Pray for God to move—in the pastor, in your heart, in others’ hearts—and surrender your heart to whatever God will say.
After the service
1. Ask God to give you at least one takeaway from the message—a key concept, phrase, or verse that you can review throughout the week. Jot it down so you don’t forget.
2. While it’s still fresh on your mind (before you leave church, on the way home from church, over the meal following the service, etc.), discuss the message with others. Share how God spoke to you.
3. Be a doer of the Word and not just a hearer (James 1:22). Apply what you heard Sunday morning to real-life, everyday circumstances and situations throughout the week.
Making It Personal
- Do you highly esteem, respect, and reverence the Word of God (Neh. 8:5; Ps. 138:2)?
- Do you prepare your heart to hear the Word of God (Ps. 119:18)?
- Do you find delight in hearing the Word proclaimed?
- Do you listen attentively when the Word is being read or preached (Neh. 8:3; Ps. 85:8)?
- Do you expect God to speak to you every time you hear His Word proclaimed?
These are just a sampling from DeMoss’ article, so be sure to click over to her article and read the whole thing. Women and men can benefit from her sage words in thinking about how to hear and live from God’s Word.