The Holy Spirit in Ministry and Transformation
Philippians 1:6—. . . being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.
How many times as a vineyard worker have you been discouraged because of the seeming lack of growth in the professing branches to whom you minister? We long for repentance, growth, and change. We work to improve our messages, both in delivery and content. We explore possibilities of some new ministry functions and seek advice from others in what they may be doing. Honestly, sometimes we just flat out worry, are discouraged, and complain!
This chapter is to remind us of the most excellent character, presence, and authoritative power of God the Holy Spirit. He is the Spirit of Christ with us and within us that changes lives. We are not orphans, and in all our weakness and fear, we can experience the demonstration of the Spirit and power so that the whole congregation’s faith should not be in the wisdom of men but the power of God (I Corinthians 2:4,5). Our speech and preaching may be persuasive and humanly excellent, but without the Holy Spirit, lives are only moved but not changed. How powerful when the “lunch” of a well-prepared message is placed in the hands of the Holy Spirit who then breaks it, blesses it, and feeds the multitude. It’s the best of both worlds.
Here is a list of what the Holy Spirit does. This gracious Promise of the Father is truly our hope in ministry and the transformation of God’s people as we serve them and feed them. Thirty-five things the Holy Spirit does which gives us hope that our ministries can succeed if we believe in the work of the Spirit and wait on Him.
This list is adapted from Frank Viola’s blog, “50 Things the Holy Spirit Does.”
Speaks through us (Matthew 10:20)
Regenerates (John 3:5-8; Titus 3:5)
Brings things to remembrance (John 14:26)
Convicts of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8)
Guides into all truth (John 16:13)
Glorifies and reveals Christ (John 16:14,15)
Empowers for witnessing (Acts 1:8)
Comforts the church (Acts 9:31)
Calls some to a work (Acts 13:2)
Calls overseers (Acts 20:28)
Pours out God’s love in the church (Romans 5:5)
Sets free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2)
Leads us (Romans 8:14)
Bears witness that we are God’s children (Romans 8:16)
Helps us pray (Romans 8:26,27)
Bears witness to the truth in our conscience (Romans 9:1)
Reveals the deep things of God (I Corinthians 2:10-13)
Dwells in us (I Corinthians 3:16; 6:19,20)
Distributes spiritual gifts in the body (I Corinthians 12:1-11)
Baptizes us into the body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:13)
Transforms us into the image of Christ (II Corinthians 3:18)
Cries “Abba Father” in our hearts (Galatians 4:6)
Produces His fruit in us (Galatians 5:22,23)
Seals us for the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13,14; 4:30)
Gives us access to the Father (Ephesians 2:18)
Makes us corporately God’s habitation (Ephesians 2:22)
Reveals God’s mystery (Ephesians 3:4,5)
Strengthens our inner man (Ephesians 3:16)
Is the source of unity in the body (Ephesians 4:1-6)
Fills us (Ephesians 5:18)
Gives us joy (I Thessalonians 1:6)
Sanctifies us (II Thessalonians 2:13)
Enables us to know that God abides in us (I John 3:24)
Confesses that Jesus came in the flesh (I John 4:2)
Joins the bride saying, “Come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:17)
There are many more things the Spirit does, but I particularly included the activities which He does that relate to your ministry of the Word and prayer.
Perhaps you could keep the list handy and include one or two as you prepare messages and preach, or perhaps even when you share scripture in counseling and leadership.
Maybe you could pray something like this: “Lord, I am so thankful that as I preach this difficult text on purity that your Spirit can do His work and convict of sin and righteousness, Lord, Holy Spirit, You are such a gift to me and us. Lord, I will do my part, but you must do your part. Truly, without You, we can do nothing. I’m excited to see what you will do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
Throughout your ministry in every aspect of your ministry, practice and pray your dependence on the Holy Spirit and believe Him. He has been sent from the Father through the Son to be our Hope for glorious transformation. We are truly blessed by the Promise of the Father.
A few years ago, I wanted to take inventory of my own life to examine the reality of the Spirit in my every day. I am including the list I made to be an example of one in whom the Holy Spirit is still working in many practical areas. He is doing the same in your flock.
52 Reasons Why I Know the Holy Spirit is Real in My Life
I am looking for opportunities to learn more Scripture—I find it life-giving and exciting.
I am drawn to rich conversations about Scripture.
Praying Scripture prayers of faith secures me—makes more sense than just praying my own thoughts—I feel like I have prayed.
When Bible truth is explained, my spirit relates and agrees.
I have a deep sense that every answer to life’s problems somehow rises from faith in the truth.
I sense that I am part of a much bigger grand design.
I sense there is a designer—witness creation + the Scriptures.
I know when I sin (fall short, cross lines, maintain control).
Intuitively I sense when something is not solid spiritually.
Intuitively I know money, pleasure, and power are not the end goal.
Intuitively I know I must be saved by something outside myself.
Intuitively I know I am saved for some reason besides myself (i.e. the glory of God).
I am drawn to be honest before God.
I am drawn to be humble before God and man.
I am drawn to be sincere in all things.
I love to be with people who love truth, understand grace and know they are in process.
I know a marriage takes three.
I know I can’t save anyone including my kids, but God can.
I am uncomfortable in the presence of the display of sin.
I feel very motivated to invest the Word of God in people.
I have experienced a great peace in near-death situations.
I have been able to rejoice in trials and persevere through them.
I have been able to receive pain as a teacher.
I have been able to see setbacks as an opportunity to reach others.
I have found great reward in waiting.
I have been able to see the benefit in giving to others—investing in them.
I have found great comfort during the loss of loved ones.
I have been able to love when despised.
I have been given insight into Scripture.
I have felt valuable to the Kingdom even though I am surpassed in accomplishments by many.
I have been delivered from comparison.
I have been given confidence in the Word of God.
I have experienced the refreshment of mixing faith with everything.
I am willing to die to self and see the benefit.
I feel an immediate kinship with other believers.
I can discern between the flesh and the Spirit.
Scripture makes sense.
I have a healthy fear of God.
I want to redeem time and not waste it.
I look at money differently.
I am content.
Stewardship for the Kingdom is vital to me.
I want to approach all responsibilities as a servant—not a lord.
I see every encounter as a possibility for evangelism.
I really believe the answer to everything is the active headship of Jesus.
I believe the Bible-based, Spirit-led local church is the most powerful organism in the world.
I believe the Spirit can write His Word on children’s hearts supernaturally.
I believe every person who does not believe in Jesus goes to hell, even if they are good.
I believe that any attempt to go to Heaven outside of faith alone in Jesus leads to eternal destruction.
I really believe that what I believe is really real.
I can be still and let God be God.
I know I can do nothing eternal without the Holy Spirit.
None of the above would I have arrived at simply through the reasoning of my own natural mind. These were engraved on my heart by the Spirit of God—to God be the glory.
A Touch of Tozer
Deity indwelling men! That, I say is Christianity, and no man has experienced rightly the power of Christian belief until he has known this for himself as a living reality. Everything else is preliminary to this. Incarnation, atonement, justification, regeneration; what are these but acts of God preparatory to the work of invading and the act of indwelling the redeemed human soul? Man, who moved out of the heart of God by sin now moves back into the heart of God by redemption. God, who moved out of the heart of man because of sin, now enters again His ancient dwelling to drive out His enemies and once more make the place of His feet glorious.
The Tozer Topical Reader
(Holy Spirit: indwelling)