Friday, September 27, 2013

No Secrets: Following the Holy Spirit's Leading

No Secrets:  Following the Holy Spirit's Leading

Be a student of the Word.  I committed to memory as many scriptures as I could.  My Bible was marked so that I could refer to them as needed.  These truths and promises will come to your mind at the precise time that you need them, whether in preaching, visiting and praying with someone, or claiming God's Word for a particular situation. I believe that God has the answer to every need if we earnestly seek His will and stay in the Word.

Keep your prayer channel with God open.  Get quiet enough to hear God speak. Keep your Bible open when you pray.  God most often speaks through His Word.

Never preach the same sermon twice unless the Holy Spirit leads.  People expect something fresh and your own soul, mind and spirit are renewed as you seek to teach others new truths.  I found that reading books written by the early preachers, Billy Sunday, Dwight L. Moody, C.W. Ruth, Bob Ingersal, Charles Spurgeon, John Wesley, and C.B. Jernigen were helpful in developing sermons. 

Stay close enough to Him to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit's leading in every aspect of ministry.  Often I have had to change a sermon just before I got up to preach.  However, it is really important to KNOW that it is the Spirit leading.  There are times when God will give the nudge to call people to move.  It is important to know when to do, what I've often referred to as "draw the net."  I can put aside my little sermon for another time.  I have seen good preachers who did not have the discernment of the Spirit to know when it was time to get out of the way and let God move.

Obedience is to the Holy Spirit is vital in winning others to Christ.  Many times I have been driving to one place and the Spirit would say, "You are needed at the hospital or that home."  On more than one occasion I would arrive at just the right time.    I'm glad to say that direction from the Holy Spirit is available to every pastor who is willing to obey.

Daddy relaxing in the new parsonage.

Reflections from Doris

It is important to be partners in ministry.  Over the years, when Emory was about to make a major change, we talked it over together and prayed.  We were prayer partners.

We had lived sixteen miles from the church for five years.  Emory began to feel the need to be "on the field."  We began to pray that somehow the church could buy or build a parsonage. He met with the church board while I continued to pray.  The board agreed.

We knew a man in the community who owned land.  The Saturday morning that he was to talk to the man about donating the lumber to build the parsonage, he asked me to pray.  I got out my Bible and sat down to read and talk to the Lord.  The Lord showed me in His Word a verse I had never noticed before, "And this is the confidence that we have in him that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions we desired of Him." (I John 5:14-15 KJV)  I literally claimed that promise, phrase by phrase.  
I prayed, "I have confidence in You, Lord.  I am asking 'according to your will.' Lord, you know that we don't want anything unless it is your will.  You are able to block the deal or seal the deal.  If it can be your will, we are praying for it to be so.  I know, Father that Your Spirit is bearing witness with my spirit that you ARE listening right now.  Since I feel your Spirit and know that you hear, then by faith, I have the assurance that we will get the trees needed for the parsonage."  I almost had a shouting spell, and I don't shout, right then and there.  I had no doubt that my prayer had been answered.  

By the first of the next week, the trees were cut by one of the loggers in the church and were hauled to the sawmill and cut into lumber.  The church never had to pay one cent.  God provided. The carpenter in the church who supervised the renovating of the church, also supervised in the building of the parsonage.  The men of the church built the church and God gave the increase.

Again, I want to say that this is ministry
from my parent's point of view.

Daddy was on the Georgia District Church of the Nazarene
Board of Ministerial Studies
for many years. 

He did all he could to help 
other young preacher boys.

Thus, these written words
are not meant to be a list of must-dos,
but to encourage. 

thanks to you who have asked 
me to tell their story.


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