When it comes to understanding what should happen in the act of preaching I am guided by several biblical texts, especially 2 Corinthians 3:18.
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
I believe this text teaches us that one of the ways we are changed progressively into the likeness of Christ is by looking at his glory. “We all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness.” The way to become more and more like the Lord is to fix your gaze on his glory and hold him in view.
We hum the music we listen to. We speak with the accent of our vicinity. We pick up the courtesies of our parents. And we naturally tend to imitate the people we admire most. So it is with God. If we fix our attention on him and hold his glory in our view, we will be changed from one degree of glory to another into his likeness. If teenagers tend to fix their hair like the stars they admire, so Christians will tend to fix their character like the God they admire. In this spiritual transaction seeing is not only believing; seeing is becoming.
by John Piper / Series: The Pleasures of God — Desiring God
You have searched me, LORD, and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.