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A Recovery of Personal Ministry

There is a real Holy Spirit. There is also a real counterfeit. There is real salvation. There is also real damnation.  So let’s begin this way. Just because we have had tragic experiences around others before surrounding the work and person of what they considered the Holy Spirit to be doesn’t discredit who He is and what He does.  He is God. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

I am continually concerned with the way I see the Holy Spirit viewed in our churches today. Let’s remind ourselves again. The Holy Spirit is a personal being just as the Father and the Son. The Spirit is not an impersonal “it” or simply an influence. The Holy Spirit has personal characteristics. He has intelligence (1 Corinthians 2:10-11), emotions (Ephesians 4:30), and a will (1 Corinthians 2:11). The Holy Spirit acts in personal ways. He teaches us (John 14:26), commands us (Acts 8:29), and intercedes for us in prayer (Romans 8:26). He is God. He is equated with Deity (Acts 5:3-4). He is central in salvation. He convicts the unbeliever of sin (John 16:8-11), and regenerates the lost person. He seals the same person (Ephesians 1:13). But then we are done with the Holy Spirit right? Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Holy Spirit is also central to sanctification. This is what I want to expand on today. When Christ prays for our sanctification in John 17, it is the Holy Spirit that affects that in our lives. The Holy Spirit cannot be dictated to. I once had a fellow tell me one time that he would love to come to the church I served at so that he could preach on the baptism of the Holy Spirit. He said that he was really good at getting people filled. I simply responded, “I really don’t want you to fill them. I’d rather have Jesus fill them. He is the Holy Spirit baptizer, and quite frankly, you have gotten too good at it.”

May God open our eyes to the role of the Holy Spirit in the way we practice disciple making! Discipleship centers around a faithful life. “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life (1 John 5:12).” Discipleship in its essence is relationship, relationship to the ultimate One, Jesus Christ, and relationship with one another. And now more than ever, there remains a radical call to discipleship. A radical cutting off of everything that hinders obedience.

To be a Christian is to be a disciple. The Christian life is not making a decision and then deciding to see how much fruit we want to produce. It is a necessity.

Furthermore, sanctification is not an impersonal “zapping” where we suddenly become like the Lord.  I sense the call of God more than ever to recover personal ministry in this day. Ministry has become too impersonal for the modern church. We tend to get so impersonal so quickly. This wondrous work of sanctification only happens when we are in accountable relationship to those around us. Without accountability, discipleship is only a small hope. Let’s ask God to baptize us again with His love, love that would show the world that we are His. We need each other. We are participating with God in His mission in this world! We can either see ministry as one thing after the other, or we can view it as a holy vocation.

So who has God placed around you right now? What is it that God wants to accomplish in your life through relationship with them? What is it that God wants to accomplish in their lives by you being a yielded conduit in which God can transform them?

Discipleship is not principles we practice but relationships we have.