It is so easy to get things turned around. Sunday is rapidly approaching and you are not yet ready to preach. You have to preach, your name is on the bulletin. You probably have to preach a specific passage too, that’s on the bulletin as well. But time marches on, life happens and you’re not ready. It’s easy to forget who the boss is for this sermon.
It is tempting to take charge. After all, you are the one who has to stand and deliver. You are the one people will critique over their Sunday lunch. You are the one people might be paying to preach. So it is tempting to take charge, to make the text fit the sermon shape or idea you have in mind. It is tempting to make the text your servant, looking in it for interesting points from which you can jump off and preach something or other.
Remember who is in charge. Preaching is God’s work. They are His people. This is His church. You are empowered by His Spirit. You are preaching His book. So, no matter how tight the schedule may be. No matter how distracted or tired you may feel. No matter how daunting the text may be. Prayerfully wrestle with the text. According to most good definitions of expository preaching, the text is necessarily boss over the central concept, the main idea of the sermon.
As you pray your dependence to God and submit your urgings to take over to the superior inspiration of His Word, you will remain an expository preacher. You may not be the best ever. You may not have taken enough time to craft a masterpiece. But if the meaning of the text is in charge and you prayerfully strive for relevance, you will be an expository preacher. The church needs that. Not necessarily the best or the brightest, but just little old me and you, presenting the best and the brightest Word of God to those He chooses to put before us.