This challenge is fitting for anyone, whether in vocational ministry or not. But, I'm issuing this in particular to us in full time ministry. How often we call on the aid of the Holy Spirit to speak to us a word to deliver, to show up to heal people in our services, or to give us insight into a particular problem we are counseling someone over. We especially call on His service when someone needs a good old fashioned dose of conviction.We may even call on Him to comfort us as we are dealing with difficult mean people. (Hey...let's be honest. Mean people happen.)
But, how many of us ask the Holy Spirit to do what Romans 5:5 say He was sent into our hearts to do. "And this hope [of salvation] will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love." While so much about life and (if we're honest) about ministry can lead to disappointment at times, our hope in Christ will not. And the reason we can be so assured of that is the Holy Spirit filling our hearts with the love that God has for us.
But how often do we dare to ask Him to minister to our hearts with that love?
Our culture radiates this dominating theme: God does not exist. And if He does by some freak chance exist, He is a big cosmic meanie. Heaven knows we need this ministry of the Holy Spirit today as much as any generation ever has. We need Him to shine the love of God abroad in our hearts today just like the first day we were saved.
We need to understand His love for us so we can have peace first and foremost with God. But it also allows us to have peace with ourselves. It then flows from us to others. For if we understand--I mean truly understand and feel--how much He loves us...how can it not flow to the world around us?
So, that's my challenge. Ask the Holy Spirit to let you really feel and understand how much God loves you. It was the life force behind Apostle Paul's ministry. I have a growing sense of hope that it should be ours as well.