What Shall I Preach?
—Pastor Paul Mooney
The big thing that preachers have to deal with is, ‘What shall I preach?’ I am not merely being theatrical; I really do not know what I am going to preach tonight. I have here an index of sermons that I’ve preached over the years; there are quite a few options. “Snow Water” is one example. I could also preach the first sermon that I gave when I came to Calvary Tabernacle, “10,000 Windmills Can’t Be Wrong.”
It’s not always easy to find a sermon. Sometimes, you’re in that state of mind where you’re not sure what to say, but you’ve got a burden and you’re not sure how to say it. Sometimes you’ve thought it through and prayed it through and are absolutely sure, and then you lose your nerve and struggle.
Nevertheless, when you don’t know exactly what to say, what to preach… there is still a burden that is inside of you. There is a feeling that you need to say something, that God gives you and you have to get it out.
We could talk about doctrine, personal attitudes, marriage, social and political topics. We could dela with ethics, morals, drugs and alcohol. We could talk about how people “cover over” things; they aren’t as honest as they could be.
Just finding a sermon, finding a way, finding a connection with God and His will and His purpose is hard. Even if you feel like you’ve got it, it’s not always easy to preach it.
Sometimes you feel the anointing and power of God like something speaks to you and says, ‘Well, say this…’ Some sermons, you feel so confident you can deal with and talk about, and then it just doesn’t come out right.
You might think, ‘Why not let somebody else get up and preach?’
Moses was up there on the mountain for forty days. He did that more than once, agonizing and trying to find out what he needed to say to the people. It was a journey ahead of them, a need to escape out of the wickedness of the world so they might fulfill what God had for them to do.
Just like us, it’s a parallel for why God has give n the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the anointing and power and a special, divine touch on our hearts and minds. God called the Israelites out of the wickedness of the world to become the foundational nation for almost everything we know about the will, purpose, and Word of God.
God had to deal with Moses and others, but Moses, in particular, wanted to get hold of a sermon. He wanted to be able to give confidence to the minds and hearts and souls of the people on a journey in the name of God. People that had been called out of the world to go forward to build a nation. God’s purpose was to give them the Word and the message that would turn the world back to Him and bring a solution to sin and unrighteousness. He needed a people and prophets and leaders. God needed preachers.
So, what are you going to preach tonight? You look a little nervous.
Moses was up there a long time and God said, ‘I want you to go down. The people are losing sight of their destination and purpose. Moses, I’ve had you up here and you’ve been travailing and praying, but you’ve got to get back to the people now.’
Moses had to fight through what is perhaps the same feeling that grips preachers today: what can I possibly say to this people? What is my focus? What shall I preach?
If you are an Apostolic Pentecostal preacher, it’s time to get in the prayer room and cry out to God for a fresh message, a fresh word for these times. If we have ever needed a church, we need it now. If we have ever needed a witness of righteousness, and holiness, and godliness, we need it now.
We need preachers who will get up and talk about what we really need in these times. What we need is not more personality, or more “theater.” What we need is for preachers to be instant in season and out of season, and to preach about the baptism of the Holy Ghost. It’s time for us to turn up the engines, and preach this Acts 2:38 message without apology, under the anointing and power of God.
The devil’s tool is sin. He doesn’t skip Apostolic churches or Apostolic schools. He doesn’t skip families or ministries or lives. ‘Get down there, Moses! You’ve had these trips before, but get down there!’
Ex 32:1 “And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.”
Make us a god, Aaron! How can you go from operating under divinely appointed leadership, to this? The Israelites knew that they had been acting outside of any kind of military prowess or might. They knew that they were divinely guided. It’s not everyday that you walk through the Red Sea on dry ground.
Moments like that kind of deliverance are just like when God filled you and I with the baptism of the Holy Ghost. In that moment, God displayed His divine power over our lives, and got rid of the jealousy, the perversion, the brokeness, the addictions in us. What a mighty God we serve!
Things weren’t unfolding the way Moses thought they would. He better have had a sermon. The people demanded Aaron to make them a god. Be careful of public demand. There are people that’ll give up holiness and baptism in Jesus’ name overnight because they want to look like the world. Give us a preacher to preach the Word of God, if nothing else, one more time. Somebody, talk to us about where we’re headed. Somebody, talk to us about what God wants to do in our lives. Give us a Word that can turn lives around; talk about a God that has all power that is in heaven and earth. We need to preach about the One that can break the chains. I’m not against psychologists and psychiatrists and philosophers, but I know something better. There is a Name above every name and when you call on that name, things change.
What should we preach?
Moses, what did you see? When he got to the bottom of the mountain, the people were naked, giving their hearts and minds to other gods. What did he do? He called on God one more time.
Is God trying to speak to us to put together a people that can face the darkness of our day, a people that can handle the demand of righteousness?
When Moses got there, he saw them naked and dancing about. It was a shocking thing. It’s amazing how fast a church can get filled with backsliders, how quickly people can turn from truth and make it something other than what it really is.
What is this church? It is a church that has called us out for a journey. It is a God that has touched us, who found us, gave us forgiveness, walked with us, anointed us, and made it possible. Isn’t it wonderful to look back and realize that you weren’t called into the mission field because you had the talent? God had a path for you. ‘Get down, Moses, and I can still push back the waters.’
This isn’t something that we should assume we can do by ourselves. We need help and strength and a fresh touch from God. If God is with us, everything will be all right. Come into His presence. God has His hand on you. He wants to help you with your life, with your condition. What a mighty God we serve!
When the people saw that Moses delayed they said, ‘Aaron, make us gods that will lead us.’ They brought their golden earrings and jewelry to him, so that he could melt them and make them into false gods to be worshipped and revered. It was such a tragic lie!
Ex 32:7-8a “And the Lord said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: 8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them:”
Only God can keep us on the road. Only God can make a difference. Only God can help us through this age, this time, this period, this revolution. And, we are in a revolution. We can’t afford to delay. We can’t afford to not react to what the devil and the spirit of this world are doing. We need to get up and say, ‘Jesus, one more time, let the joy come into our mourning. Let the Holy Ghost come into our lives. Give us a fresh touch, a new start.’ Lay aside every weight and every sin that so easily destroys us. We’ve got to have a touch of God’s hand.
The Holy Ghost transforms lives.
Ex 32:34-35 “Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them. 35 And the Lord plagued the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made. (33:1-2) And the Lord said unto Moses, Depart, and go up hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will I give it: 2 And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite:”
You must not take this moment, historically as just another little thing we’re going through. There is a darkness reaching into our children, our churches. There are evil ideas that are attaching themselves to Apostolic churches and preachers and many, many people are forsaking this blessed and wonderful doctrine. You must be born again.
Aaron, how foolish! He did it for the money. He thought it would make him famous, but if God had not sent Moses, the victory never would have come. We need to understand how valuable and important this is that we have. It has to be taught to our generation. We’ve got a big job ahead of us.
God will be with you and anoint you and give you the answer. He will give you something to preach. He will give you a touch. Don’t be discouraged. Keep on preaching. Don’t compromise your righteousness and your purpose of God. God will be with you.