A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

December 14, 2023

Are The Saints Being Equipped?

This is a question that has long plagued me. And what does it mean to "be equipped"? When the Lord first spoke to my husband in a vision in the middle of the night, telling Him God wanted to sanctify us unto Himself for service to Him and His Kingdom, we didn't really know what that looked like. And I will be honest with you, He was silent for awhile after we accepted that momentous calling. So we spent the next few years doing a deep dive in our Bibles, and were amazed at what we didn't know about being called by the Lord and all that the Holy Spirit was beginning to open up and reveal to us.

The first thing that became apparent to us was that the modern Church isn't consistent in its understanding of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  Every denomination has its own doctrine, and from what I can tell, too few of them teach that we Christians should be seeking an experience with Him. But I will tell you that if Mark and I had stopped at just trying to understand the literal knowledge of the Bible, we would have missed out on so much of the spiritual knowledge that we needed to understand in order to step into our divine assignment. 

Ask any roomful of Christians about desiring the gifts of the Holy Spirit, or if we should be walking in the power of the Spirit [as Jesus did], and you will get opinions formed by those who have been wounded by the Church because they didn't appear to have a particular gift, and therefore don't desire to seek more of Him; to those who, while unknowledgable about the subject, are curious to know more; to those who flat out reject it; to those who have received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and are walking in His empowerment, healing the sick and setting the captives free from bondage.  

But I will also tell you that Jesus desires us ALL to have everything the Holy Spirit makes available. Sadly, I think Believers in this century have been deceived into believing that the knowledge and the power and the gifts of the Holy are only for a chosen few. But if Jesus wants us all to experience the Holy Spirit in His fullness, then it begs the question, Can anybody do what Jesus did, who definitely possessed the completeness of the Spirit? 

First of all, it is important that Christians realize Jesus was 30 years old before the Holy Spirit rested upon Him and He had the power to begin His ministry.  The Bible tells us that As Jesus grew, so did His wisdom and maturity. We must realize that the manifestation of the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives comes through our own process of gaining wisdom and maturing in our faith; of walking with God and experiencing an increase in His grace, and an increase in the comprehension of the Father’s plan for our life -- and all of that comes from the work of the Holy Spirit in us. We must recognize His presence in us! 

But I think most Christians are scared of the power of the Holy Spirit, primarily because they are unfamiliar with it. The Bible tells us there is a purpose for a five-fold ministry in the Body of Christ. By God's grace, some have been called to be apostles [an ambassador of the Gospel of the Kingdom]; some prophets [a proclaimer of a divine message]; some evangelists [a preacher of the Gospel of the Kingdom]; some pastors [providing tender care and vigilant oversight]; and some teachers [an instructor concerning the things of God and the duties of man]. But Ephesians 4:12 specifically says that these callings are to equip [nurture and prepare] all the holy believers to do their own works of ministry... which is at the heart of this post today. [NOTE: it is to be understood that the Gospel of the Kingdom includes, but is not limited to, the Gospel of Salvation. In fact, the Good News about Salvation is the first essential step in perceiving and entering into the Kingdom of God]. 

And here is the root of that concept of "equipping the saints": God's grace is the power of the Holy Spirit in us to do those things we have been called to... those things we could not do under our own power. And lest you misunderstand, we are all called to do the things that Jesus taught and commanded (defeating the works of the devil) and to walk in the manifestation [the enabling power] of the Holy Spirit to serve God in whatever gifts, achievement, or abilities He has designed for us to carry out. But we must be careful to discern that it is Jesus/God who calls us. It is not ourselves who decide what our calling is to be. Nor is it some committee of elders in a Church. And if a "prophet" reveals it, we must discern if he is a self-proclaimed prophet or appointed by Jesus through a personal revelation. I fear too many of the five-fold ministry have not heard directly from Jesus about their assignment, but rather, have been appointed by men. But this perception is for another post on another day. I want to get back to my original question ... Is the Church equipping the Saints for ministry? Are they nurturing them and preparing them to seek and receive the revelation from the Holy Spirit?

 So, now I ask you this ... how many of us can say that we have experienced any of this nurturing within the Body of Christ?  Jesus is our model, and everything He did was the product of the Holy Spirit working in Him to carry out His commission [ministry] from the Father. AND it is the function of those called by God's grace to equip us to receive that same Holy Spirit power to do our "own works of ministry." But how many of us received that equipping ... that nurturing and preparing ... that instruction and modeling of how to become more like Jesus? This question is pertinent because the Bible says it plainly and clearly ... in Hebrews 10:23-25, we are told to hold tightly to the promise given us [that the Holy Spirit would come to empower us and guide us]; and we should give considerate and deliberate thought to encouraging each other to love and do the good deeds Jesus modeled, not forsaking the gathering together to encourage each other to do these things as we wait for His return. The "gathering together" has been characterized as meeting in a Church building. But that is not the primary focus of this passage; it is the encouragement of each other to walk in the power [and assignment] that God sends us through the Holy Spirit who indwells us.

But here's the thing ... since I would venture to say that a large majority of us were never encouraged or equipped to walk in our own giftings and callings, we are uncomfortable with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit and it is easy for the Enemy to convince us that this concept is not from God.  When the power of the Holy Spirit to work in our lives through the gifts and counsel He gives us is never taught; or it is explained away; or it is not used; or it is buried under disappointing attempts that appeared to fail -- then it is easy to believe the lie that this empowerment is not for Today.  And then we end up with powerless Christians who miss out on encounters with God and fulfilling the purpose for which they were called.

So, again, I ask the question, Are the gifts and the experience of the power of the Holy Spirit only for a chosen few? The answer is No! It says in 1 Corinthians 12:6-7, "The same God distributes different kinds of powers [gifts] that accomplish different results through each believer's gift and ministry as He energizes and activates them. Each believer is given continuous revelation by the Holy Spirit to benefit not just himself but all". In light of this Biblical truth, I believe it is up to each believer to seek the Holy Spirit and receive that revelation. It also leads to the truth that it is God who does the calling, but it is the Holy Spirit who begins to reveal the knowledge we will need and provides the power to carry out our assignment.

This intimate experience with Jesus and the Father through the Holy Spirit is the only way to impact this world for the Kingdom of God.  Without experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit in one's life, it is my humble opinion that you can't truly know God and know His will for His Kingdom. You can read and study Scripture and recite all the verses from memory, but as my wise husband expressed, "It's like saying you know how to swim, when all you've done is read every book in the Library on swimming, but never actually experienced getting in the water and swimming".  And I liken it to reading every post on Facebook by a friend, and reading every text message she sends me, but if I'm never in her presence and experience her, can I say I really know her?  How can we be ambassadors for a Kingdom when we don't know the King and what He desires?

Finally, Can everybody do what Jesus did? The simple answer is Yes. But can we guarantee success every time? No. But what I can tell you from my own experience in walking in His power, is that the more you do it, the more confidence you get in your identity and the ability of the Holy Spirit to work through you.  In other words, people who pray more for healing, will see more healings happen. John Wimber, one of the founders of the "Power Evangelism" movement in the U.S. prayed for healing for 1,000 people before he saw anyone healed. And I have heard so many similar testimonies from those who walk in Jesus' signs, wonders, and miracles who say the same thing: Christians must make a commitment to press into what CAN happen and SHOULD be happening.

But it is also the responsibility of the Church leadership to seek and hear from the Holy Spirit on how to equip, nurture, and encourage the Body of Christ to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal their particular calling/ministry in the Kingdom of God and earth, and how to discern that they are hearing correctly. That is "equipping"! 

My final analysis of experiencing the Holy Spirit in the Christian life so that we might become equipped to serve God,  is that God brings each of us to a place of maturity that requires our perseverance through the discouragement. The Enemy likes nothing more than to send obstacles to walking in the power of the Holy Spirit [that is in us]. The Body of Christ must begin to overcome the lack of equipping and our long season of apathy and indifference [and yes, fear] towards embracing the power of Heaven within us. The Holy Spirit of God is the key to an effective Christian life of service. Without His ministry to our spirits, our Christian life will be powerless and fruitless for the Kingdom. And this life is all about serving the Kingdom on earth!

#equippingthesaints #seekingyourdivineappointment #whatisGodscallingonyourlife #jobofthefivefoldministry #poweroftheHolySpirit #answeringGodscall #jobofthechurch #belikeJesus #lackofchurchtraining

1 John 2:27    But the wonderful anointing you have received from God is so much greater than their deception and now lives in you. There’s no need for anyone to keep teaching you [the false doctrines of men]. His anointing teaches you all that you need to know, for it will lead you into truth, not a counterfeit. So just as the anointing has taught you, remain in Him.   

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