"My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God" (1 Cor. 2:4-5).
When the Spirit is released and the power of God is demonstrated, it ignites the saints to do the work of the ministry. This is when a body of believers is the strongest. The demonstration of God's Spirit and power even ignites the service gifts and what is commonly called the ministry of helps (1 Cor. 12:28). A leader won't have to constantly ask the people to serve or arduously recruit volunteers. The joy of serving and moving with God is ignited through the demonstrations. The people are always willing in the day of God's power (Ps. 110:3).
Even as far back as the beginning of the church age, the seven men chosen to wait on tables were to be men filled with the Spirit (Acts 6:3). The apostles' quality decision to stick with their unwavering devotion to prayer and the Word kept them in a place of always ministering the Spirit. This is where the focus of ministers needs to be.
Not only will it help ignite the saints when the demonstration of the Spirit is on, but it helps the preacher and teacher and God's ministers, for they too are ignited in their spirits. God's workings affect their utterances, and there is a greater kick and "umph" in their ministry; their words are freighted with the Spirit's authority.
When pastors make the choice to back away or turn off the move of the Holy Spirit, it diminishes the power of God to fill every heart, and it opens the door to other things to where people have to be entertained, because their hearts are not satisfied and fulfilled in the Lord.
Years ago, during a series of Holy Ghost meetings, the senior pastor of a large charismatic church shut off the lights and closed the meetings down on a guest minister. There was joy being manifested in the meetings with unusual manifestations, and many of the saints were getting filled and liberated. All kinds of spiritual activity happens when God starts moving like this. To abruptly and irreverently shut down a meeting where God is moving, even when there is some extravagance, is to slap God in the face.
What followed shortly after in this church was tragic, as marriages went sour, divorce and adultery became rampant, heretical doctrines surfaced, and many people backslid. This is what happens when pastors stop or hinder the move of the Holy Spirit or refuse to allow Him to move. It is better to put up with a little extravagance than to quash or quench the liberty of the Spirit.
I call this "the aquarium effect." Studies have shown that if you put a certain species of a large fish in a small aquarium, it will not grow beyond the size of the tank. When a pastor puts too many limitations on a service or on the church, it not only quenches the Holy Spirit, but it also limits the expression of the kingdom and the growth and freedom of the people and who they are. There must be an expression of extravagance, or you will kill the anointing through formality. You might say: "What if chaos breaks out? After all, Paul told the Corinthians to do things decently and in order."
Here is the simple answer to that concern. Paul laid out some guidelines and protocol for their gatherings (1 Cor. 14). What we must ask ourselves is this: Is it Holy Ghost chaos or is it fleshly chaos? Does it minister edification or confusion? The Spirit's wisdom is always liberty with limitations.
In a kingdom mindset, each one has something (1 Cor. 14:26); the Ephesians 4:11 ministries are free to demonstrate the Spirit and power of God, and each joint makes its supply (Eph. 4:16). When everything has to be sifted through a pastoral controlling mindset, people will reach a spiritual ceiling. Pastors who are concerned with only their vision and how they want things done will produce an aquarium effect. Those who are truly following God's plan are kingdom builders and moving in an ocean with no confinement or ceiling. Their pulpits and ministries are submitted to the Spirit of the Lord, and they recognize that their responsibility is more to oversee, direct and interpret the move of God, rather than control or quench it.
I am thinking of two pastor friends right now who fall on the godly side of this example. In their churches, there is much liberty, with some limitations. Actually, knowing both of them well, I would venture to say that, if they had to err, they would err on the side of liberty rather than on the side of having too many limitations that would quench the joy and liberty of the Holy Spirit. Their churches buzz with excitement and the joyful activity of the saints. As a result, more increase keeps being given to them.
There is an awakening to the Spirit of God in pastors right now, especially upon those who are listening and paying attention to the Lord. They know something is missing. They know they made a wrong turn somewhere. They are about to retrace their steps and move back into the will and plan of God for their lives, ministries and churches.
Pastors of local churches who sincerely desire the plan of God will have soulical/emotional ties removed from their make-up, and they won't be able to go back to familiar settings. It will be more difficult, however, for denominational pastors or those in controlled settings to wade out into the waters of the move of God. Once a man comes under a system of humanly designed agendas, where the wisdom of man has pre-eminence and man's traditions are esteemed higher than God's plan, there will be attachments and restrictions in that organization.
Do you want to be an aquarium keeper or an ocean swimmer? Any minister who comes under a man or an organization that has many restrictions will be hindered if their calling is to be an ocean swimmer instead of an aquarium keeper.
It's time to get out of the aquarium and into the ocean. It's time to wade out into the deeper waters of God's ocean and start swimming in the Holy Ghost. You'll be glad you did.
Bert Farias' books are forerunners to personal holiness, the move of God and the return of the Lord. They also combat the departure from the faith and turning away from the truth we are seeing in our day. Cleansing the Temple is his most recent release. You can follow him personally on Facebook, his Facebook ministry page, or Twitter.
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