[Column] Activate Your Gifts and Obey the Holy Spirit

Activate Your Gifts and Obey the Holy Spirit

Written By Rev.Dr. Joshua Hong

Senior Pastor of Full Gospel Church of Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.

Activate the gifts given by the Holy Spirit. A leader needs to develop and activated the gifts given by the Holy Spirit. A spiritual leader needs two assurances. One is an assurance of salvation and the other is an assurance of gifts. He must have a clear assurance that he has been saved by the blood of Jesus Christ and a sense of responsibility that he has been called into ministry. God also grants the gifts to assume the responsibility for the ministry He calls a person into. It is the role of a fourth dimensional spiritual leader to be mindful of the appropriate gifts for ministry given him and to discover and activate them.

Those who work by the gifts of the Holy Spirit and those who do not are different as day and night. Dr. Cameron Perry was ordained a pastor at thirty yet did not experience the power of the Holy Spirit until he turned sixty. As his wife fell ill, he started examining the Bible to bring healing. He rediscovered Jesus the healer and came away with an assurance that He would bring healing through prayers. After that, he spent some intimate time with the Holy Spirit regularly for an hour while everyone was asleep. One day, as he was preparing food he felt the presence of the Holy Spirit and received healing. That experience empowered his ministry and he evangelized more people during the next few months than he did during his thirty years of ministry.

It is also very important to obey and unite with the Holy Spirit to become man of the Holy Spirit. Unless you learn to obey the Holy Spirit, you cannot be His true vessel even if you hear God’s voice or heal and minister to others through the gifts of the Spirit. When many pastors come and ask Rev. Cho, “How did your church achieve such exponential growth?” he answers, “I pray and obey.” He just prays and obeys. Because of his obedience to the Holy Spirit, God has blessed his ministry. When we obey and unite with the Holy Spirit, can we develop servant leadership that serves God and people.

The most important aspect of Jesus’ ministry is “service.” Service is necessary to becoming an excellent leader. First and foremost, we must learn to serve God. Why did so many godly leaders go through the school of desert and tears? They did so to lean to serve God. You must also serve the visions of God. When Rev. Cho was pastoring a church in Seodaemun, membership exceeded 3,000 and by 1969 it grew to approximately 18,000. At the time he thought to himself, “Everything will be great. I have a loving family, a car, and a chauffeur. It will be a good life.”

To his surprise, Holy Spirit spoke to him one day, “Leave this church. Appoint everything to the parish council. Do not take anything from this church. Build a new church in Yoido.” It was very difficult time for him. He was in deep denial and said to God, “Holy Spirit, You must have picked a wrong person. I planted churches in Daejodong and Seodaemun and brought enormous growth after years of painstaking effort. I am now exhausted. If you have a greater plan, find someone else.” Nevertheless Holy Spirit told him, “ I am the head of the Church. Your work is done at this church. You must go to Yoido, plant a church to house 10,000 people, and plan evangelization to reach the end of the world.”

Ultimately he obeyed the Holy Spirit and built a church in Yoido in 1973. While he could have contented himself with the church in Seodaemun, Holy Spirit gave him a greater plan and he obeyed. Sometimes serving the new visions of God can be a major struggle. However if we unconditionally obey God’s greater plan and proceed, He will lead and bless us.  Another important factor in service leadership is serving people by rendering service to God’s visions. Serving others should never be idolatry. In fact we are not to serve people per se but the visions of God. Helping them by figuring out God’s plan for them and the spiritual callings God has for them is to “serve” them.

The works of the Holy Spirit are accomplished through the people the Holy Spirit. Rev. Cho has been able to influence others because he went through trials and guidance by the Spirit. Likewise we must learn to fellowship the Holy Spirit, to listen to His voice, to activate and use His gifts in faith, and obey and unite with Him. Our thought itself must be that of the Holy Spirit; our visions and dreams should be those of the Holy Spirit; the words coming out of our mouth must be the language of the Holy Spirit. That is the ultimate union with the Holy Spirit. Now let us do our best to be the people of the Holy Spirit to accomplish the purposes God has for us. Without obedience to Christ, there can be no leadership to guide people.

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