The book below is available in paperback books & printable downloads: 2nd Edition, completely revised beyond online 2004 first edition. 2008 version at a donation price.
PART 4: THE CENTRAL ROLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
DETERMINES OUR WALK WITH GOD
Many of us began our Christian pilgrimage with the belief that the main determinant of a closer walk with God was the church one goes to. So, we would wonder from church to church looking for the “right” church. It’s like an unbeliever searching for a right partner by using sight and opinions from others. We focus on big churches or those respected by people. It’s amazing how our worldly ways unconsciously influence our lives. It takes God to reveal and purge them.
Our Lord Jesus did not say that when he ascends to the Father he was going to send individuals to guide us to all truth. Neither did he say he would leave us a book of truth that we’d read on our own to know the truth. He said, “The Counselor, the Holy Spirit…..will teach you all things,” (John 14:26). “When he, the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth,” (John 16:13). He repeated it on so many other occasions to ensure that we get it very clear. It is a very important matter.
It is tempting to replace the central place of the Holy Spirit’s inner witness in knowing the truth with other outer avenues. Since he lives inside us and cannot be seen it is tempting to replace his central role inside us with external sources which can be seen. These include church ministers, respected believers, Christian books, tapes and visual programs. These avenues are secondary avenues the Holy Spirit uses in revealing the truth to us. They usually give the boundaries around where truth in regard to our individual lives can be found, not the specific location.
For example, a believer may desire to get married. She wants to know and find her true partner. If she consults fellow believers or reads a book on marriage she’ll only learn how she can know her true partner. Regardless of the number of people or books consulted only the ‘how to’ part will be revealed. She will not know who her partner is, where he is and when God will make it possible for them to be bound together.
The only way to understand these areas (who, where and when) is through the Holy Spirit she received inside her the moment she got born again. Scripture says, “We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us,” (1 Corinthians 2:12). To understand what God has freely given her she must have ears to hear from the Spirit she received inside her. Therefore, if she is able to hear from the Spirit of God she’ll be able to have what God has already “freely given” to her.
The same goes for ministry and other important areas of life. Whatever God has called us to do is ministry. For instance, some are called to be pastors, others lawyers, farmers, medical professionals and all other godly professions. The Holy Spirit’s inner witness will confirm what God has called an individual to do in life.
Outside God’s calling an individual ends up having a job. A job is born in the flesh because it is the individual’s chosen assignment. Ministry on the other hand, is God’s chosen assignment for the individual.
A job is determined by human strength in areas of relative advantage. It is determined by things of the flesh such as education, qualifications and other human attributes. Ministry on the other hand, is not determined by our human might or power. It is determined by the Spirit of God. It is determined by one’s submission and sensitivity to the leading of the Holy Spirit. God can use our human attributes but he does not depend on them.
Being of the flesh (the sinful nature), a job brings fruits of the flesh in one area or another of the individual’s life. Scripture says the fruits of sowing to the flesh (sinful nature) include, “Sexual immorality; impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I ward you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God,” (Galatians 5: 19-21).
On the other hand, ministry being of the spirit brings fruits of the Spirit. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control,” (Galatians 5: 22-23). It also makes an individual to be a part of the body of Christ, thus facilitating his relationship with God. All these benefits are “freely given” and are obtainable through one’s fellowship with the Spirit he/she has received from God..
The central place of fellowship with the Holy Spirit cannot therefore, be replaced with church or book fellowship. Its central place must remain if an individual wants to know all truth concerning God’s perfect will for his life. The other areas must be there to facilitate it. They must be effectively used so that fellowship between the individual and the Holy Spirit can grow.
More content available in the Second Edition of the book: Click here to acquire it
Book on hearing from God:- Hearing from God: How to Hear God’s Voice in Your Life © 2008 Eric Gondwe