Pride in Preaching

by | May 19, 2008 | Focus, Pride, Selfishness

Proverbs 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. (KJV)

I was good. And if you didn’t believe it just ask me!!!

Our most glorious Lord saved me when I was twenty one years old. Directly after He did that, He called me to preach. There were about eight of us young men that answered the call to preach in my home church in a one year period. Our pastor wished for us to preach our first sermon in our home church. When I announced my call he gave me a date that was two weeks from that Sunday night. When the night for my début arrived I had preached eight times, such as those sermons were. The night arrived and I ascended the pulpit and read my text and gave an illustration and laid my head on the podium and wept, three souls were saved. You cannot imagine the congratulations I received from almost everyone at that meeting, I wish they had said nothing.

The devil whispered in my ear, you are really good at this preaching thing, and I thought, yea I am! I went out and bought me a new dress coat and a modern tie and learned to tie a double Windsor knot and friends thought I looked good.

A couple days later the phone rang and one of our young preachers was having a cottage prayer meeting so he could preach, but he came down with laryngitis and so he called me, because he knew I was good!

The big night arrived and when we got there we had about ten or twelve people present and I was ready. I had read the Matthew 25:1-13 a few times and just knew I was ready to chase Satan and fight sin and enlighten everyone there. To show you how smart we were there was a microphone and amp set up so everyone could hear me. We were in a 12 foot X 12 foot room.

I remember my wife asking me, are sure you are ready, and with an arrogant look I replied of course. Can you imagine her asking me that, a budding preacher among preachers?

The preliminaries were over and I was introduced.

With a haughty step I went to the microphone and asked them in my best, practiced preacher’s voice to turn to Matthew 25, and I then slowly read the passage. After reading the passage I prayed and when I opened my eyes and started to speak, it was if I had been struck mute! I did not know what to say, I looked from their faces to the pages of my Bile a number of times and cleared my throat and nothing came to mind! I have always had an active sharp mind and those that know me will attest to the same. But that night my brain would not work, I don’t think I could have remembered my name if asked.

Can you imagine the shame and embarrassment that ran through me, I was mortified!

There was an aged black lady there named sister Vines, I very humbly asked if she would pray for me and that old sister stood with eyes toward God and that old woman got hold of the horns of the altar for this stupid boy preacher.

I fell to my knees and asked the Lord what He wanted of me and as clearly as these words sound in your head, I heard a voice. The voice said, you took credit for the first sermons now you can have credit for this one also!

Sister Vines finished praying and with trembling knees, and a broken heart, I confessed to them what my sin had been and what God had said to me when I was on my knees.

Then we had church, Glory to God!!!!

From that day until now, if you ever see me preach, just before I take the podium, if you will watch closely you will see my lips moving. I am praying, Dear Lord, take all the glory and just use me as you see fit.

Friends never forget, it is not about you or I, but it is all about HIM!

James Avery


Pride in Preaching