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Vantage point

Anointing needed

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 tendencies … 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.

That’s 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.

– Ken Horn

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