Ministering in the Spirit

Last week I finished re-reading “Preaching and Preachers” by Dr. Martin LLoyd-Jones. It’s a classic book (especially for those who preach) that needs to be revisited from time to time.

There are many truths this book reminded me about…..

but the most important is preparation isn’t as important as the Spirit’s Filling

Jones in his final chapter of the book refers to what he calls “unction.” This is a powerful experience of the presence of the Holy Spirit within your preaching. This doesn’t refer to anything charismatic or involved with miracles. Instead this presence is a confidence from the Holy Spirit, and His moving in people through your message.

Throughout the book Dr. Jones refers to revivals of the past (and encourages pastors to read about them) pointing out how God gave his power in a special way during those seasons. We should not only thank God for these times of blessings, but according to him, we should pursue them ourselves.

In the book he phrases it this way….

“Seek this power, expect this power, yearn for this power; and when the power comes, yield to Him. Do not resist.”

This passionate pursuit is motivated by a simple truth….

You can’t properly do the work of God in your own strength

Now technically you COULD serve the Lord in your own strength. But to PROPERLY serve the Lord, His anointing presence is demanded. Christ is the one who will build His church (not me). Anything I build is destined to fall.

This truth reminds me how many times I unwittingly serve the Lord in my own strength. This takes different forms, but one of the most common is focusing lots of attention on sermon preparation, and very little on prayer. This obviously doesn’t mean my sermon shouldn’t be prepared at all. But the most beautiful words make little impact if God isn’t with them.

For me this means to spend less time working…..and more time worshipping

Because power is found in sitting at the feet of Jesus like Mary instead of rushing from one place to the next like Martha.

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