Every Christian must deal with their self-nature. It desires recognition and does not want to be hidden away with God where it cannot be seen.
30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
John told his disciples that his goal was for Jesus to “increase”. We present our bodies living sacrifices for this reason. Our goal is to crucify our selfish carnal desires so that Jesus can increase.
We have talked about the secret place where God prepares us to walk in His plan. Jesus’ secret place was in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). The disciples’ secret place was the upper room (Luke 24:49). Your secret place will be different from mine, Jesus’, or the disciple’s. We all must go there to crucify our flesh if we are going to successfully unlock the plan of God.
Many churches have mobilized crowds of people and sent them out to hand out tracks. I have had some of these people stop at my home to tell me about Jesus. These people are sent by the local church but could we find even one who has paid the price to be anointed by the Holy Spirit?
Church history is filled with accounts of people who walked in the power of God. People were healed when Peter’s shadow fell on them. Peter was a fisherman before meeting Jesus (Acts 5:12-32).
Smith Wigglesworth was an uneducated plumber in England. He had an encounter with the Holy Spirit and traveled the globe ministering in mighty power.
Kathryn Kuhlman was from the small town of Concordia, Missouri. She lived a separated life and often talked of the price required to walk in the anointing. Her miracle crusades saw many thousands healed in cities throughout the world.
So why does God seem to anoint what seems like only a small percentage of Christians to walk in His power? I believe the answer can be found in the price they paid. Each person mentioned above paid the price needed to crucify their flesh and as a result, unlocked the plan of God.
My point in this discussion is that we will not successfully unlock and fulfill the plan of God without first paying a price to become living sacrifices (Romans 12:1). The cost will be different for each person.
I have seen that Church history seems to indicate those who have paid the price and walked in the power seem to be in the minority of believers. This is why it seems God only chooses a few to walk in His power. The majority of Christians are unwilling to make sacrifices to pursue Him.
We have seen that the people flocked to Jesus’ ministry to see a miracle and that He would not commit Himself to them (John 2:24). He knew that their hearts were not committed and as a result could not trust them. Can He trust us with His anointing?
37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
Jesus spent three to three and a half years with His disciples. They still needed to wait in the upper room for the promised Holy Spirit.
There is not a shortage of people available to serve today. Churches are full of people willing to work on a service team.
There is however a shortage of laborers who are ready to be launched out into the plan of God. We are excelling at converting people to Christ but failing at making disciples!
Many ministers have been trained in seminary and launched into ministry. They rely on their natural abilities to accomplish the tasks of ministry. Services conducted in their churches rely on natural tactics to draw crowds which often make it difficult to show any differentiation from gatherings of unsaved people.
We live in the age of seeker-friendly churches. Our goal seems to be to make people comfortable with the goal of being able to fill buildings. Buildings full of empty people have no eternal value!
Kathryn Kuhlman often spoke of the cost that must be paid for the anointing. For her, it meant walking away from everything she valued in life. She became a living sacrifice and touched the world as a result.
It only requires one person willing to pay the price. Very few people are willing to be that one.
All ministry should flow in the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit but few do. I believe that the reason lies in how few are willing to pay the price to become living sacrifices.
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