In his book Spirit-Led Preaching (B&H), Greg Heisler talks about the role of the Holy Spirit in providing illumination to the preacher: “The completeness of revelation does not mean God does not speak and interact with us as His children. In one sense all believers have to agree God speaks to them, or how else would we know of what we need to repent? How else would we know what priorities we need to change? How else would we know what promises we need for the day? How else would we receive the encouragement we need to stand strong in our faith?

“This is what makes our faith living and active, much as the Word of God is described as living and active in Hebrews 4:12. So the Spirit of God through the Word of God speaks purposely to our hearts so we truly believe we have heard a timely and applicable word from the Lord.

“Now the big question is this: How does God speak to me every day about these very things? I believe the answer is by His Spirit’s illumination through His inspired Word. The Spirit of God within me applies the Word of God to my heart in a fresh and powerful way every day. This is why we desperately need to recover the Spirit’s illumination for preaching. This is the reason we cannot preach someone else’s sermon. We can learn from another’s sermon, but we cannot preach it word for word because we bypass the Spirit’s illumination in our own hearts and lives.

“You cannot borrow someone else’s illumination. Trying to reheat someone else’s sermon and serve it up as yours is like trying to microwave a frozen dinner—warm in some spots, frozen in others—but worst of all, you are still hungry after you eat it!” (Click here to learn more about the book Spirit-Led Preaching.)

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