Does your ministry have a cutting edge?
Does your ministry have a cutting edge? Most of us have read the story of the lost ax head in 2 Kings 6:1-7. The sons of the prophets were constructing a larger place to meet and in the process of chopping down trees, the ax head came off the handle and fell into the water. Elisha performed a miracle that caused the ax head to float to the top of the water, and it was restored to its proper place on the ax handle, allowing the work to continue.
Can you imagine the frustration of trying to chop down trees by using a handle that did not have an ax head attached? That’s what ministry is like when we try to do it without the power of the Holy Spirit! The tragedy of much of our modern day ministry is that we have substituted entertainment, creativity, and technology for the power of the Holy Spirit. One of the lessons that I have learned in my 40 years of ministry is this – there is no substitute for the power of God!
During their time with us, students at Fruitland Baptist Bible College learn about various aspects and areas of ministry. They increase exponentially in their Bible knowledge, and they learn to preach the Word of God in an effective manner. However, it is possible to excel in academics and to fail in ministry. That’s why I believe there must be a continual emphasis on our daily walk with God as we live a surrendered, Spirit-filled life. Ministry that is performed in human strength will always lack the cutting edge of the Holy Spirit’s power.
It is my prayer that every Fruitland student and all of our alumni carry out ministry with the Hand of God upon them and with the power of the Holy Spirit flowing through them. I firmly believe that we receive the baptism of the Spirit at the moment of salvation. While the baptism of the Spirit is a one-time event, the filling of the Holy Spirit should occur on a daily basis as we die to sin and allow God to flow through us. I am not very impressed with my human ability, but I am very impressed with God’s supernatural ability. Let’s allow ministry to be less of us and more of Him!
Shortly after completing this article, I received the news of Dr. Riding’s entrance into heaven. What an example he has been of preaching the Word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit! He is a great model for all of us regarding the anointed expositional preaching of the Word of God. Let’s pray for a double portion of that same Spirit to fall on us. Elisha made that request and it happened for him. May it be so for you and me as well!