Title: Looking at Spirit Ministry Afresh
Looking at Spirit Ministry Afresh
Part 1: Heart Preparation
Checking where we are in preparation for moving under the anointing of the Holy Spirit and the exercise of spiritual gifts in meetings and in ministering to others”
PART 1: Things we allow to hinder us
We are familiar with teaching on the HS
e.g. Jn 3 – you must be born again of the HS
Acts 1:5,8 in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. … you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.
Gal 5:25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
We're OK with that making us anew but perhaps are a little hesitant about anything more – gifts etc. – WHY?
Beware merely ‘intellectual approach' – this is what it says
Called to be doers of the word
Do WE want them in our church life? (Possibly not????)
Jn 14:12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. What are my feelings about others?
Why we don't operate in Gifts of the Spirit
A) Intellectual Reasons – to do with out thinking
1. We are happy with where we are – don't know better – strong workers, clever people
2. We aren't sure what the Bible teaches/ misunderstand it
3. We've accepted negative hearsay from others
4. We don't know how to handle the gifts – need admin wisdom
5. We've been taught that God is a ‘hard man'
B) Emotional Reasons - We fear and fear is an emotion
6. Being out of control – highly educated, managers etc.
7. Of where it might go – what God might ask me to do
8. Appearing silly (pride an issue)
9. Getting it wrong (insecure in God's love)
10.Rejection (lack of loving & secure fellowship)
11.Emotionally stunted – upbringing/background limiting us
Remember: “Perfect love drives out fear” (1 Jn 4:18)
C) Moral Reasons – wrongs prevails in our lives
12. Ongoing sin: If we are guilty of some ongoing sin we will not move in the Spirit
13. Unresolved past issue: Hurts etc. unresolved - ditto
13. Absence of love: If we are not filled with love we will not minister one to another – we are God's representatives
Spirit Ministering People
As a corollary of those, we work on the following:
1. We recognise our need of His moving in and through us.
2. We take time to understand the Bible.
3. We reject negative lies from the enemy.
4. We learn how to handle the gifts.
5. We understand God is a God of love.
6. We trust Him being in control.
7. We trust where He might take us.
8. We are not afraid of appearing silly
9. We are not afraid of getting it wrong.
(5-9 are all about knowing the reality of His love for us)
10. We build loving fellowship in which to feel secure
11. We allow Him to bring us emotional maturity and freedom.
12. We have dealt with known sin.
13. We have dealt with issues from the past.
14. We have been filled with His Love.
PART 2 : Exercising Ministry
Some starting thoughts on using the Gifts
“Spirit ministry is us responding to the prompting of God to allow Him to minister through us to others”
HE initiates, WE respond
Sometimes He leads us into circumstances where we are out of our depth and need His resources (1 Cor 12)
Paul's teaching on our contribution
1 Cor 12 The HS gives gifts
1 Cor 14:1 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy
1 Cor 14:12 Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts , try to excel in gifts that build up the church.
God makes the gifts available to us – we have to receive & use them
Examples of a Church that uses the Gifts (1 Cor 12:8-10)
a) Here is Alan , confused about how to proceed in his business. He has consulted with lots of people but there seems no answer.
He needs a word of Wisdom – knowledge of what to do
Who will seek God for such a word for him
b) Here is Brenda who is struggling with an issue she is fearful of bringing into the open
She needs a word of Knowledge – revealed information to tell her we know because God knows and it is all right
Who will bring such a word to here in love?
c) Chris has started feeling burdened about the needs of a certain group of people in society
He needs the gift of Faith – assured belief in face of impossibilities
Will we pray over him for the releasing of that gift to enable him to move into that ministry?
d) Donna has gone down with a rare type of skin disease
She needs to be touched with someone with Gifts of healing – changing physical or mental state
Who will allow their hearts to be broken by Jesus to be filled with compassion?
d) Edgar is confronted with an impossible situation. He has looked at it from every angle but human resources are not enough
He needs a Miraculous answer – ability to do impossible
Will we pray in faith for him to have that?
e) Francis is feeling purposeless and unloved
She needs a word of Prophecy – God's now word for person or situation
Who will venture our with God's heart for her?
f) Graham comes into church for the first time. His life is under a curse and everything keeps going wrong and he keeps feeling suicidal
He needs someone in the church with the gift of Distinguishing between spirits – revealing source in a person who will see and know and prompt appropriate deliverance prayer
g) Hilary comes to church for the first time wondering about the reality of God and about this Christian thing
Someone speaks in Tongues – angelic prayer language and someone Interprets those tongues – those words into English meaning and suddenly Hilary has insight into the beauty of the Christian heart acting as a channel for prayer and she knows instinctively that God is real.
Flowing with the Spirit
The issue is are we willing to respond to His prompting?
Two pictures: a rowing boat and a sailing dinghy
(When we do we go places!)
Examples in the things we do (Rowing or sailing?):
- spend hours praying, reading, studying (all good) OR
- pray and listen and note
- my prayers OR
- listening to Him then praying in response
- force or impose conversation – often brash, rude
- listen for signs of Him, seek wisdom to speak, respond
d) Church Admin
- four hour meetings struggling to get conclusion
- prayer, listening, sharing
Trying to excel in gifts that build up the church. 1 Cor 14:12
Learn to listen
Learn to recognise God's calling (frustration or burden, often a sign of His calling to action)
Seek wisdom of ‘how to' e.g. tentative is OK: “I seem to be getting this picture which I think might be from God. May I share it with you and if it makes sense and helps, let me know. If I've just imagined it, please forget it.”
Confidence grows with regular usage and confirmations
Learn to overcome ‘natural' feelings (tiredness, distractions etc) to listen to Him in midst of worship etc.
Needed to Proceed
An assurance of God's love for me
An assurance of your love for me
A willingness to learn to listen to God
A willingness to be available to Him & step out and risk it