- a grouping of articles I share with thoughts and lessons for your life -

Run After God, Not Just His Gifts

What does it really look like to minister to people and release the Kingdom of Heaven in churches and everyday situations? My guess is that it looks a lot like Jesus. He gives us numerous examples throughout the Gospels about what it really looks like to minister to people. Jesus demonstrated for us the life that he would empower us to live by His grace and through the Holy Spirit when we yield our lives fully to Him.

Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. - John 5:19

Jesus gave us the perfect example of how we are all to live as sons and daughters of God. Jesus never did anything outside of what He saw His Father doing. He was always waiting and watching for the Holy Spirit to give him simple directions on what to do. Jesus demonstrated how we can live when we live a life dead to ourselves and alive in Him. He showed us how it looks to live a life truly lead by the Holy Spirit.

When the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus in the form of a dove everything in His life changed. He was lead into the desert for a time of fasting, prayer and preparation. Then he left the desert and began a ministry filled with amazing works that demonstrated to thousands that He was the Messiah they were looking for. He also did these great things in alignment with the Father and always with the intention of pointing people to the Father. His ambition was to direct everyone he interacted with to His heavenly father and to see them adopted into the family of God.

Our lives are also intended in Christ to point people to the Father. As we live a life lead by the Holy Spirit we not only get to do the same type of works that Jesus did but even greater things! We get to partner with the Father through the Holy Spirit in establishing the Kingdom of Heaven on the earth. This is an exciting opportunity and it is the most satisfying life that we can ever live (John 4:34).

The life that we live in ministering through direction of the Holy Spirit is not limited to a pulpit. This lifestyle is something that we are called to live on a constant basis. This is a way of life that affects every situation that we enter into. When we live a life where we truly pray without ceasing (1 Thes 5:17) and have an ear open to the subtle whispers of the Holy Spirit we begin to see the things that Jesus saw through his ministry and even greater things (John 14:12).

The key to being able to hear the Holy Spirit and living a life ministering in the power of the Holy Spirit is not found in a bible class, a sermon or earned with a certificate (1 John 2:27). It is found in the secret and lowly place of prayer. We begin to partner with the Father as we begin to know His voice and become familiar with His ways. All of our ministry comes from an overflow of a secret life of intimacy with the Father. As we learn the ways of our Father and allow Him to open our eyes and ears we will begin to minister in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Just the other day I saw something amazing happen as I was traveling and stayed in a motel in Western Kentucky. As I was doing my morning devotions and standing out on the front porch I felt the Holy Spirit prompt me to walk into the front lobby. I felt like He showed me there would be a man of Indian descent in the room and I felt an urgency to share the gospel with this man. As I went inside I noticed three people in a side-room and went over to talk with them. I walked into that room simply looking to partner with what the Father wanted to do in their lives.

I looked at them and asked, “Hey guys, I felt like I needed to come in here and just bless you all. Could I pray with you all?” They all stopped what they were doing and we came together. It was a young black woman, a small middle aged white man and a middle aged man of Indian descent. As I began to pray I felt the Lord began to direct me to pray for the woman in the room. When I began to pray for specific things the Holy Spirit was showing me the woman began to weep. I continued to pray and God began to move powerfully in the room.

After ministering to this woman I looked over at the middle aged man of Indian descent and began to share the gospel. He didn’t seem interested at all and seemingly didn’t want to hear it but I just persisted. I felt the Lord share with me that there was an intense urgency for him to hear the good news. Though he wasn’t at a place to receive the truth I know the Lord simply wanted me to plan the seed into this mans life. It was amazing what God did in a mere 5 minutes in that hotel lobby!

I don’t share this story to make myself look good but only to provide an example of what it can look like for us to live a life where we are always open to the Holy Spirit to guide, direct and even interrupt us. A life being lead by the Holy Spirit does not start in a pulpit in front of a crowd but rather in everyday situations that no one will ever see or hear about. We learn to hear the Holy Spirit in the everyday fray of our lives. When we begin to abide in God’s love and allow him to be interwoven in our everyday lives then we will be in a position to minister powerfully in whatever platform the Lord chooses to give us.

My hope as you read this is not just that you are inspired to change the world with an anointed ministry but rather that you are also CHALLENGED to know the Father. The worst thing we can do is operate in a great anointing and see the power of the Holy Spirit demonstrated and yet have no intimacy with the Father. How horrible would it be to arrive on judgement day declaring to the Holy God of the universe about all the amazing things we did in His name only to hear him reply, “I never knew you. Get away from me…” (Matt 7:22-23). Run after Jesus and not the anointing. Pursue God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. If we uphold the great and first commandment then there is no limit to the ways God can use our lives. If we remain in Him anything is possible.

How can you commit to run after Him today with greater passion and greater fervency in the secret place?