Rick Joyner once remarked that one definition of hell was to sit in an endless church service without the presence of God. My definition would include a sermon or message that comes out of the speaker´s mouth and crashes to the floor with a loud thud instead of one that brings life and hope and transformation to the listener. There is a tremendous difference between the two. The first one misses the mark and is destined to fail. Even though it may have been well thought out and diligently researched, if it is void of the Spirit of God, people won´t even remember the topic much less be changed by it´s content. As II Corinthians 3:6 (KJV) says, ".... the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life."
We can be given a truck load of information but if the message is not inspired by the Holy Spirit, we leave just as empty as we have come in and any problems that we have brought with us are still staring us in the face the next morning. That is why so many people spend countless dollars on self-help books and lectures and seem to go round and round the same mountain, never getting the victory over their particular situation. Or they can be in therapy for years and never seem to get much better. I believe that many would benefit more from speaking to someone who had been sexually abused, rejected, or addicted but who have been healed and are now living as overcomers because God has brought wholeness into their life by the supernatural healing power of the Holy Spirit.
When the Spirit of God Himself is the author of the message, it carries an anointing and succeeds in bringing transformation. It is not boring and it is not dead. Something happens. Growth occurs. Maturity develops and lives are changed by the power of God. The change is permanent because hearts are transformed from the inside out.
Whenever I counsel or present a message, I depend entirely upon God for it´s content. I speak out of either personal revelation that God has previously illuminated to me or out of the experiences that God has had me walk through. If I have not been down a particular road myself, I would not even attempt to lead anyone down that unfamiliar path. I need to have the Holy Spirit impart the truth of a passage of scripture to me personally so as to have His divine understanding of it before I will present it to someone else.
It would also be almost futile to speak about the Holy Spirit unless I intimately ´knew´ the person of the Holy Spirit just as I could not relay to you what Jell-O tasted like unless I had eaten a bowl first. I know ´of´ Queen Elizabeth but I do not ´know´ her personally. I don´t know what side of the bed she gets up on or what she has for breakfast. I do not even know if she likes Jell-O, so how inspiring would my commentary on her be?
Neither is a church supposed to function as a social club but as the living, breathing ´Body of Christ´. It is meant to be a hospital for the sinner, the broken and the hurting. That is why supernatural events erupt when the spirit of God is allowed to move in a service because it is only the Holy Spirit who knows which heart needs a touch from God.
Just this past Sunday, in the middle of the service, a sweet little lady asked if she could say something. The pastor graciously obliged and allowed her to address us. Since she felt safe with us she shared how her father had always called her the black sheep of the family and would even introduce her to people using those hurtful words. Suddenly, as if a dam had burst, she started to sob violently as those terrible memories rose to the surface. The pastor walked over to her and cradled her in his arms, as would any loving, caring father and just held her as she poured out her pain. The rest of us gathered around them and started to pray and comfort her. As we manifested our Heavenly Father´s unconditional love for her, it met her deepest need. She will never be the same again because she received the ministry she needed. The torment and the pain lifted and she left the church smiling realizing she now belonged to the family of God. . My heart aches (and so must God´s) for those that go to church out of obligation and listen to someone who is only going through the motions. Or for those who sit under a pastor who needs to control each and every thing that happens in a church service. God has so much more. When we allow Him to compose our messages and invite Him to orchestrate our services He brings liberty and freedom from dead works and lives are reconstructed.
Copyright Donna Martonfi www.psalm40ministries.com