WHAT KIND OF MINISTER ARE YOU?
By: Norm Rasmussen
There are four kinds of ministers from God's perspective:
1) Ministers of the Old Covenant
2) Ministers of the New Covenant
3) Ministers of Self (selfishness, self-gratification)
4) Ministers of Satan (which are still ministers of self, but in expanded evil dimensions)
If you are a saved, born again believer in Jesus Christ, male or female ' desiring all the intimacy of the Holy Spirit available to you ' you are a minister of the New Covenant. Going to seminary doesn't grant you this privilege. Having Bible degrees doesn't grant you this high privilege, (though of course there is nothing wrong with seminaries and Bible colleges teaching the accurate understanding of God's Word and receiving wisdom about Godly matters and obtaining degrees of certification). Pastoring a local church doesn't grant you this high privilege. It simply is a category God places you in when you have the highest possible relationship with God you can have.
At what price would you pay to be in a position to have 100% maximized intimacy with the Holy Spirit? Asking it another way, what would you be willing to give up to be in position to gain maximized intimacy with the Holy Spirit?
It's possible that you might not believe that it is possible to be in a position in this life to have maximized intimacy with the Holy Spirit. If you are a reader or listener of the New Covenant (New Testament) -- if you have read the inspired words of the Apostle Paul . . . would you not assume he had maximized intimacy with the Holy Spirit once his ministry began to blossom? Sure makes reasonable sense to me.
Well then, if Paul could obtain maximized intimacy with the Holy Spirit, and God is no respecter of persons, (See: Acts 10:34) as scripture says He isn't, then I see absolutely nothing in the Bible that keeps you and I from being put in position to have maximized intimacy with the Holy Spirit either.
However, it is important to give an explanation of what "maximized intimacy" with the Holy Spirit is, before moving further:
I choose to define 'maximized intimacy' as being fully equipped to serve and glorify God in every capacity that He desires for us to serve Him. Some people get tricked by Satan to chase after 'intensified ' stimulated, euphoric feelings' in their pursuit of maximized intimacy with the Holy Spirit, and I see no place where God stimulated "euphoric feelings' in ministers of the New Covenant simply for the sake of their having maximized intimacy with God.
Certainly during times of prayer, (especially for those who have a bonafide gift of tongues; this gift is primarily to edify one's spirit) praise, worship and scripture reading, God blessed His true servants in the New Testament, as He's done down through time, but we can easily be chasing the wind in a selfish pursuit of constant 'good feelings' if we place this as the highest reason for desiring maximized intimacy with the Holy Spirit ... though I would be the first to admit if we don't get some "good feelings" from God now and then, very few would remain Christians, so obviously, God is certainly not against good feelings in their proper context and application. It's pretty tough to have joy when your feelings are being torn apart like a stretched rubberband over a hot fire.
God wants us building our spiritual foundation on a solid foundation. It's impossible to build on a solid foundation and not seek God to allow Him to form joy in us. Joy is a fruit, or by-product of obedience to God and receiving revelation of His Word. Joy is not founded or sustained by 'constant, wonderful, euphoric, stimulated feelings." The joy God gives us here in this life as ministers of the New Covenant is the ever present knowing that God is monitoring every little thing that is going on in our lives; monitoring what Satan is allowed and not allowed to do in our lives; using every trial and every hardship in our lives to work to the Church's ultimate good, for our ultimate personal good and His glory, if we continue to walk with the Lord. Knowing these facts - because they are cemented pillars in God's Word - is true joy in our spirit-man accompanied with great peace, no matter how much physical or emotional pain we may be experiencing at the time, which is very common for ministers of the New Covenant ' because Satan makes certain of it.
Am I implying that you or I are on the same level of spiritual revelation (understanding) that Paul had of God, and the future events to unfold for the Church, and the future rewards to be given to individual believers? In no way! What I'm implying is that if our desire is to have maximized intimacy with the Holy Spirit at all times, the Holy Spirit will reveal to us hindrances that are keeping maximized intimacy with the Him from happening in our lives, if we'll be totally unselfishly honest with ourselves and with God. (Which is the hindrance for all of us, to one degree or another, at different times of our life).
Having said all this: we must never lose our confidence that God desires to have maximized intimacy with us every second of our life.
The Apostle Paul ' inspired by the Holy Spirit no less ' says some priceless things about how to put oneself in the right position to receive maximized intimacy with the Holy Spirit.
Most importantly of all to understand ' is that unless one is a minister of the New Covenant, one is not capable of having maximized intimacy with the Holy Spirit.
Paul, in writing to the church at Corinth, starting in 2 Cor. Chapter 3, verse 1, builds an important foundation to help believers be assured they are ministers of the New Covenant ' and perhaps just as important ' how in one's spiritual blindness ' can keep one's self from entering into the position of being a minister of the New Covenant (From the NKJV Translation), thus not in a position at all to have maximized intimacy with the Holy Spirit:
Do we begin again to commend ourselves? Or do we need, as some others, epistles of commendation to you or letters of commendation from you?
Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart.
What revelation does Paul have here, when he writes: 'Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit ''
He has this revelation: It is totally impossible to have maximized intimacy with the Holy Spirit and rejecting Jesus Christ at the same time as the only Lord of all. They are lot and parcel. They go hand in hand. You can't have one without the other. It's impossible to separate them!
It's impossible to not be in position to receive maximized intimacy with the Holy Spirit when one desires to truly please Jesus Christ.
On the other end of the spiritual scale ' it is impossible to be in position to receive maximized intimacy with the Holy Spirit while rejecting Jesus Christ as the highest of Lords.
This is just a fact. One can disbelieve it ' one can believe whatever else one wants, but nothing changes the fact that it is impossible to be in a position to receive maximized intimacy with the Holy Spirit and reject Jesus Christ at the same time. That's just the way it really is.
If you are a minister of the New Covenant ... do it with everything God has given you. Testings and trials, heartaches and failures and discouragement will come ... as will great joy and peace, but always keep this in mind:
There is no higher position or call on this planet than being a minister of the New Covenant.
Give it all you've got, by direction from God!
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