I was in my early 20s and fresh out of Bible college when I tried out
for my first youth pastor position. The process included preaching my
first full Sunday morning sermon. I had done some speaking with the
quartets I traveled with, as well as on a few special occasions, but
a full message was something new. I approached the challenge with both
relish and trepidation
mostly the latter.
After the service, I noticed that Pastor Horwege had made no comment
about my message. Thinking that it must have slipped his mind, I eventually
probed the topic. "So, what did you think of my sermon?" I asked.
"Well," he said, after some thought, "it certainly was very well organized."
In retrospect I realize that this diplomatic answer was probably the
best that could have been offered in the way of a compliment. I was
no preaching prodigy and it took me some time before the "well organized"
designation had other positive traits to support it.
Not all of my peers were in my boat early in their ministries. Having
wearied of study in attaining their degrees, some succumbed to the "open
your mouth and let God fill it" philosophy. They certainly had more
time for other things, but they also had a tendency to make embarrassing
statements from the pulpit more often.
In reality, neither meticulous organization nor spontaneity is, in
itself, wrong. What I needed more what all the young preachers
in my graduating class needed more was anointing. When there
is anointing on a well-organized message, God will use it. When a spontaneous
message lacks anointing, it cannot be carried by enthusiasm.
What all Christians need in their ministries speaking, teaching,
witnessing is anointing. And anointing comes from the Holy Spirit.
When I look back at my failures in ministry, most of them occurred
because I was relying on my own strength, rather than that of the Holy
Spirit. This is the natural tendency. But God wants us to have supernatural
and to rely on His Spirit.
There is unlimited power available to all who will rely on the Holy
Spirit for their endeavors in life. Believers no matter how talented
or able who try to minister in their own strength, are doomed
to repeated failures.
Thats why Pentecost Sunday is so important. It is an annual reminder
of a relationship and power that are available daily. Experiencing the
fullness of the Holy Spirit is life changing. Read on in this special
issue with an open heart, and see how a closer relationship with the
Spirit of God can make a change in your life too.