Faith Messages to build your faith

Thursday, April 5, 2018

#42 The Shepherd Leads Constantly to Spiritual Refreshment

Dr. Wesley L. Duewel: Every Christian needs special times of spiritual refreshment. "He leads me beside quiet waters" (Ps. 23:2) speaks of God's provision of constant opportunities for spiritual thirst to be quenched. 

   It is normal for a Christian to long for more and more of God. Christians without spiritual thirst are spiritually ill. Google image, Besides still waters)
   Water speaks of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. God created us to be filled with the Spirit, to recognize the presence of the Spirit, and to long for evidences of the Spirit's working.

   I am not speaking primarily about spiritual gifts. The primary evidences to which I refer are God's anointing, guidance, assistance in prayer, and answers to prayer through the Spirit. I am also speaking of the pervading sense of God's presence in a service and evident in the ministry of God's servant-leaders.

   Truth without this special blessing of the Spirit is not sufficient to satisfy. The most wonderful truth may be presented in a deadening way (2 Cor. 3:6). In some services the human so clearly predominates that little of the Spirit's working is evident.

   The leader cannot control the working and manifestation of the Spirit. But the leader can do much to prepare the way for the Spirit's refreshing presence to be manifested.

   1. Your personal prayer life will decide to a large extent how
 fully the Spirit anoints and refreshes through your Ministry. 
Every spiritual person knows it when the speaker is anointed. Even unsaved people can at times sense God's presence in a service and upon the ministry of God's Word, the prayer and the songs.

   2. Your instruction to the choir or special singers prepares for God to refresh. Your urging them to prepare their hearts by prayer, to select their musical numbers in prayer, to put emphasis upon the words being fully understood and not just the display of the voice, to seek to make their song God's message, and your emphasis that their musical numbers must become part of the Spirit's ministry—all this can help them to be used by the Spirit. Your prayer time with them before the service can do much to help them sense their dependence on the Spirit.

   3. Your preparing your own heart for public prayer prepares for the Spirit's refreshing ministry. You must commit your pastoral prayer in advance to God for His blessing just as much as your message. 

   Lead the entire congregation into the very presence of God. All this is of great significance in preparing the way for the Spirit's refreshing your people.

   4. Your preparation of your own heart to read the Holy Word of God prepares the Spirit's way. Let God guide you in the choice of Scripture selections, in your emphases on specific words as you read, and let Him give you anointed freshness.

   This too prepares the way for the Spirit. Paul Rees tells how he found as a young minister that just to hear G. Campbell Morgan read the Scripture lesson before he preached was an experience of worship. Do your people hear God speaking when you read the Scripture?

   5. Your preparation of your congregation to cover each service with prayer prepares for the Spirit's refreshing ministry. You may arrange for a selected number of your people, chosen by rotation, to spend a half-hour in prayer on Saturday and again on Sunday morning (or at least 15 minutes both times).

   They must intercede for God's refreshing presence throughout the service. Or you may arrange for a volunteer group to gather forty minutes before the service and to pray until ten minutes before the service begins. 

   Your goal must be such a sense of God's presence in your service that all—saved and unsaved—are gripped by the Spirit of God, are aware of the presence of God, and bow before God in new obedience to His will.

   Not only will the unsaved be profoundly moved, but the saved can be even more arrested and moved by the Spirit into the path of God's will as they recognize with awe the holy presence of God. 

   God manifestly among you; God Himself speaking through the hymns, prayers, and message; God's hand upon the service—this must be your goal.

   Only the Spirit's holy ministry in a service will bring the refreshing water of the Spirit to slake spiritual thirst. This may be manifest in various ways. It will bring special life and joy to the singing.

   It will add a holy hush in much of the service. It may result in quiet tears of joy as the Word of God is read or as you lead during the pastoral prayers. It will add a special sense of God's anointing upon your message and upon you as God's messenger. 

   It will help God's Word come alive and speak personally to the hearts of the hearers. It may result in a special awareness of God's presence. It may add a special liberty to respond when, at the close, you challenge the congregation to commitment.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

   Used by permission of the author and Duewel Literature Trust, Inc., Greenwood, Indiana. Creative reading style by Jean.

Ablaze for God
#42 The Shepherd Leads Constantly to Spiritual Refreshment

by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel
(pp. 145-148) ZondervanPublishingHouse

Man praying

    Father, as Your children, we long for more and more of You, to be filled with Your Spirit, to be able to recognize Your presence and working in and among us.
   We desire to see evidence of Your anointing, guidance, assistance in prayer, and answers to prayer through Your Spirit.
   Our need is to have You evident in the ministry of our servant-leaders, to help them prepare the way for the Spirit's refreshing presence to be manifested.
   Urge us to pray for them to prepare themselves prior to services, by seeking You in their studies and praying for Your will to be done.
   Help us realize we have the responsibility to support them with our prayer in their reading Your Word, and that You will help them prepare for the Spirit's way among us.
   May their goal be for Your Spirit's involvement to be evident in each service, that—saved and unsaved—will be gripped by Your Spirit, and made aware of Your presence and bow before You in new obedience to Your will.
   I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.   
Today's Bible verses-

       John 10:10 (KJV) "The thief cometh not, but for to 
       steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I am come that they
       might have life, and that they might have it more 

       James 4:6-8 (NIV) "But he gives us more grace. That 
       is why the Scripture says: 
               'God opposes the proud but 
                gives grace to the humble.'
      (7) Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (8) Come 
       near to God and he will come near to you. Wash 
       your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, 
       you double-minded."  

       James 3:13 (NIV) "Who is wise and understanding 
       among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds
       done in the humility that comes from wisdom."

Today's quote-

Quin Sherrer- "How should we pray? Let's begin by surrendering our fear and anxiety to Christ. I call these the 'what ifs.' What if I pray and I don't get well? What if I don't have enough faith? Releasing all our 'what ifs' (anxiety, worry, distractions, unbelief) into God's hands means trusting him, and trust changes our whole perspective. Jesus instructed us not to be anxious, for we are under the watchful care of our heavenly Father (Matthew 6:25-34)." (p. 120 of Miracles Happen When You Pray).  

Today's question

    What do we do when we're aware of any wicked way in us?

   By allowing the Lord to search us out, we must humble ourselves and not let our pride keep us from receiving His answers. He wants us to walk in victory, so He'll show us where we need to change.
   Christ Jesus paid the price for us to be overcomers, so He will be glad to enable us to repent of any wicked ways we have, and to guide us to find the help we need to discontinue the attitudes and habits which are displeasing to Him, and which damage our witness.
   We grow through the searching of our ways and making changes, as we'll become more and more like Christ Jesus.

Upcoming posts-

Thoughts and Prayers Are Nice, But . . .
7th- Saturday's post by Ron Hutchcraft
#43 The Shepherd Aids Spiritual Restoration
10th- Tuesday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel
#44 The Shepherd Must Give Guidance to His People
12th- Thursday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel
Offenses Will Come
14th- Saturday's post by Jean Oathout

Tropics beach


Jean's blog  (Click to see snippets of the 7 recent posts)

Healing Thoughts and Prayers
Jean's published book Paper back $7.95
(Be sure to "look inside" to see contents
through the 2nd devotion)

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