Mercy To All .NET
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Dispelling The Myth
Spirit Controlled Behaviour
Sodom And Gomorroh
Laws Of Moses
Romans
I Corinthians
Who are The Eunuchs?
Who Can Be Saved?
Glossary

The Purpose of Bible Study
How To Get Saved
Setting People Free
Discovering The Word of God
Discovering The Will Of God
The Word of God
Knowing God
Experiencing Who God Is
The Essentials of Hearing God
Is that You, LORD?
Beware of False Prophets
Leading The Flock
Understanding
The Baptism Of
The Holy Spirit

Understanding Covenant;
Dispensation of Grace

The Standard of Holiness
Righteousness
Repentance
Fire In The Hole
Getting All Fired Up
An Open Church Letter
Romans 12
1st Peter
Learning To Stop Taking Offense
Examining The Sermon On The Mount

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Fire In The Hole

As I became aware of the ministry possibilities I had, the most aggravating and frustrating part of it all was the bankruptcy in the organized church of the moral climate.  Hypocrisy was rampant – and still is.  Coming to Christ as a child, it was not until I stepped out on my own, away from home at the age of 18, that I really began to establish my personal relationship with the LORD.  Up to that point I had not taken personal ownership of the relationship.  I had been a Christian because my parents were and I went to the same church they did, mostly because I had to; and even though I had had a memorable conversion experience as a child, it was when I left home for college that I truly discovered Jesus; and it was then that I discovered the dichotomy of what was being said and what was done.

Though immature in my Christian walk, I understood as a teenager that Jesus had died for me and I also realized He had cared for me all the way since my early childhood.  Opening the scriptures and reading the words of Jesus as an adult, and hearing the applications given to me by my teachers, I realized almost immediately that I had a call on my life.  I wanted to live for Him and do something significant for the Kingdom of God, but I had several serious hurdles to overcome – and unbeknownst to me at the time, there were many difficult years ahead before I could realize my true ministry.  The process of finding it involved the following major areas.

1. LEANING ON CHRIST

The ministry of Jesus Christ has now become your ministry. (Luke 9:1-5)  Your job is to proclaim the “Good News,” therefore you must understand what is so good about the “Good News.”  He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:5-7)  This message must permeate your whole being.  There can never be a hint of earned love.  Grace means unearned favor, unconditional acceptance – it’s the power of the gospel and the most abused and misunderstood part of the “Good News.”  Without grace, there can be no salvation.  How can this lesson be learned?  It comes through a personal realization that for those in Christ there is no condemnation. (Romans 8:1-2)  This means God does not condemn you (or anyone else) and it also means that “condemnation” and “judgment” no longer plays a part in your attitude toward others and most especially toward yourself.  Knowing scripture is important, but receiving God’s love is essential.  Jesus said that He had come to give us life in abundance, (John 10:10) but few people actually seem to experience it.  How do you get this abundant eternal life?  Paul says that receiving grace and righteousness is the key to experiencing eternal life. (Romans 5:17)

2. LATCHING ON TO THE TRUTH

The Truth is the most important information one can obtain.  This was my first lesson.  It is essential to come into the fullness of the Christian experience – and even more necessary toward operating effectively in ministry.  I wanted to know the Truth.  Jesus told Pilate that the purpose of His coming to earth was to give His testimony concerning the Truth. (John 18:37)  I knew that my ministry was also wrapped around revealing the Truth.  Jesus had said that knowing the Truth would set me free from slavery to sin. (John 8:32ff)  Jesus prayed that His disciples might be sanctified by the Truth and those who believed their testimony would also be sanctified; and related that God’s word was the Truth. (John 15:3; 17:17,20)  Upon hearing that the Truth comes from Jesus, I realized that analysis of His words would lead to discovering the content of the Truth.  The LORD had sent me into the world to bare witness to the Truth also. (John 17:18)

3. LISTENING TO THE HOLY SPIRIT

In Acts 1:8 Jesus told the disciples that after a few days they would receive power.  This would come through the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  The word used for “power” in this verse is the word δύναμις, (dunamis) the same root word for our English word “dynamite.”  According to Jesus, the Holy Spirit, a.k.a. the Counselor, a.k.a. the Helper or the Spirit of Truth (John 14:17) was to empower each believer to do the work of the ministry by a revelation of the Truth. (John 16:13)  The Holy Spirit would come as the Comforter and minister the Truth even as Jesus had done.  He was to open the hearts of those who would listen to the understanding of who they were in God and what His plan was for them. (John 16:8-11)  Jesus revealed that He Himself was the Truth (John 14:6) and that after His return to heaven, a relationship with the Holy Spirit was essential for the discovery of Himself, the Truth. (John 14:21; 15:26)  Jesus relied upon the living ministry of His Father revealing Himself to Him through the Holy Spirit. (John 5:19)  He could not (or perhaps would not) do anything that He did not see His Father doing.  The Truth that sets me free is operating according to what the Spirit of Truth reveals to me and doing that.  This shows my love for God. (John 14:21, 23; 15:10)  Learning to listen to the Holy Spirit is illustrated by operating in your prayer language.  It is done the same way that revelation occurs – hearing, believing, confessing – so it teaches us how to operate smoothly and efficiently utilizing our spirit by listening to the Holy Spirit.

4. LIFTING UP THE NAME OF JESUS

“Let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God.  It is the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.  We must not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” (Hebrews 13:15-16)  The work of the ministry can be very draining.  Even Jesus had to have quiet moments alone with the Father. (John 12:36; Mark 1:35; Luke 4:42)  Much of the difficulty encountered is in trying to come up with solutions for the problems that people have.  But those solutions are really the responsibility of the Holy Spirit; therefore my role as a minister is in seeking the will of God.  I begin doing this in worship. (Romans 12:1-2)  This is the lifting up of the Name of Jesus and it brings the assurance of the Father’s will. (John 8:28-29)  Worship is adoration is demonstrative love.  Setting my spirit free to worship, I release the Holy Spirit to bring forth praise and exaltation.  Jesus explained that when the Holy Spirit is released, He will testify of the works of Jesus and as a result we will testify also. (John 15:26-27)  This means that I find His perfect will through praise.  Studying is important, education is valuable, but often dwelling in the realm of understanding is limited when it comes to discerning the Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:9-13)  I have been given a tool whereby I can bypass intellect (understanding through logic) and receive a revelation of the perfect will of God through the Spirit.  Paul urges us to pray in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18) at all times.  Most often this is done through a prayer language whereby we pray in accordance with the perfect will of God. (Romans 8:26-27)

5. LEARNING TO LOVE PEOPLE

Jesus links obedience to His commands (through the Holy Spirit) and the love you have for Him; and the love expressed to your brothers and sisters (or the lack of it) has a direct link to the love you have for God. (1 John 4:7-9)  Loving God and loving people cannot be mutually exclusive.  Loving people is what you must do because that is what you see your Father doing. (John 3:16)  As a minister of God, if you are going to do ministry with people, you must develop a love for them, which is not an easy thing when you realize what they’re like.  Therefore, you must learn to love them with God’s love.

Something is burning down in your soul.  Whatever it is, you cannot stop pursuing it.  It will not leave you alone.  It is your calling and nothing else will or can satisfy you in life except doing the one thing that God purposed you to do during your stay on earth.  But like everything else that God has done for us, this ministry will not be forced upon you.  You have to want it more than anything else and seek God and His will to find it.  The principle that I look to for this is the same one that should draw them to Christ in the first place – whoever calls upon the name of the LORD and earnestly reaches out to Him in faith will not be disappointed.  God has a wonderful plan for your life, but He needs you to reach out to Him and receive it.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1.      What is the driving force that makes you want to be a minister?

2.      What roadblocks stand in the way of the fulfillment of your ministry?

3.      Have you set personal goals to get your ministry on track?  What are some of them?

4.      What plans have you made to get to where you want to be?

5.      What is the next step toward reaching your goal?

Has God revealed to you what you should be doing now?  Why or why not?