But more than that, he must have a burning desire and a jealousy for the Word of God. He must desire the Word of God like he desires air to breathe. He must be so sure of the truth and power of this Word that he will stop at nothing to defend it and will be stopped by nothing in his preaching of it.
He must possess a humility that will drive him to his knees to commune with God. This humility will give him the fire to preach as he should because he knows that the Word he preaches has power because it is not his own word, but God’s. This understanding will police his heart as he studies and preaches because his jealousy for the Word of God can serve to prevent him from twisting the text to fit his own carnal desires to promote himself or his agenda.
This communion with God is essential. “You need to be alone with God before you can effectively usher others into His presence.” This is what makes the theology of the Scriptures come alive. “All too often the preacher of the Word strains out the delicious wonders and serves it up with boring dullness, drained of all life!” The preacher must himself be impacted by the Word so that the Word will, through him, impact others.
Finally, the theological truths of God’s Word, when preached in the power of the Spirit, will transform people’s lives. Indeed, the greatest external evidence of the power of God’s Word is the people in the pew. I have only been in ministry a few years (although I was involved in lay ministry for several years prior to my ordination). In this brief period of time, I have seen people delivered from drunkenness, delivered from immorality, freed from drug addiction and sexual addiction. I have seen people freed from the bondage of childhood sexual abuse and physical abuse, I have seen men quit beating their wives and become loving and devoted husbands and fathers, I have seen strippers and prostitutes changed into godly women and have even seen ultra-rational skeptics become sound defenders of a book that they once ridiculed.
Such changes do not occur because of the personality of some preacher, or borrowed business strategies implemented in a church-growth setting, or as a result of brow-beating by an aggressive evangelist. These things happen because the Holy Spirit took the truth of the preached Word and pierced the hearts of sinners until they became like that Word and its truth, alive and of God.