At the end of Matthew, the resurrected Jesus commands His followers to make disciples, baptize, and teach others from all over the world everything He has taught them. Before ascending to heaven, He seals it with the promise that He will be with them every step of the way.
If Jesus is always with us—through the presence of His Holy Spirit, who dwells within us—then why do we relegate sharing Him with others to the people holding microphones on Sunday?
Too often, we envision “ministry” as the Man of God preaching from the pulpit, or the altruistic family living off of support in some third-world country, instead of a rhythm of love that flows out of our daily lives. The Bible clearly teaches us to regard those who labor in preaching and teaching with “double honor,” and a wise church loves and supports its missionaries wholeheartedly because they know “how beautiful are the feet that spread good news”—as well they should. But where does that leave the average Christian amid her routine of school or work or family?
Everybody isn’t called to Africa, but we’re all called to full-time missions. We’re not all called to preach a sermon on Sundays, but God commands each one of us to share the gospel.
When Jesus gave the Great Commission, He didn’t expect twelve guys to change the world all by themselves; the twelve apostles were special, but they weren’t that special. They were forerunners who received the same Holy Spirit as us, charged with guiding a generation into its newfound access to an intimate relationship with Abba Father. When Jesus gave the Great Commission, He envisioned an army of sons and daughters manifesting heaven in every situation they encountered, overflowing light and love into the daily darkness that He defeated on the cross.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever. –Psalm 23:5-6
In order for us to grow into those light-bringing lovers Jesus had in mind, we need to develop a relationship with the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit is like the anointing oil in this scripture, marking every believer as chosen and protected by God in front of all the cosmos. He is like really good wine that the Father pours into our cup, a constant availability and surplus of love and life and light overflowing onto the world around us. Holy Spirit is also God, the very presence of God, and our connection with the Father through Jesus’s work on the cross.
But the best part is this: He desires to be our most intimate companion.
Every born-again believer has unadulterated access to Holy Spirit—to the fullness of God’s goodness and mercy that we can experience all the days of our lives—not just pastors or the mythical “super-Christians.” We are all sons and daughters. Yet we seldom choose to operate out of the overflow of His anointing, of the blood-written fact that we are chosen and beloved. When this truth becomes the center of our being, it no longer matters how big or small our platform; “ministry” will happen everywhere we go.
Earlier, we saw how every Christian is responsible for manifesting heaven and spreading the good news about Jesus. This is ministry in its broadest, simplest form. We also hinted that accomplishing this task is intended to overflow out of a lavish relationship with the Holy Spirit. Now, we say it outright: You will do more for the Kingdom of God by accident, having established a firm foundation as a child of God through an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit, than you ever could trying to fit into somebody else’s calling.
Next time, we’ll further explore the link between intimacy with the Holy Spirit and our identities as children of God, and offer some practical ways that understanding in this area creates an overflow that will impact our daily lives. But for now, let’s ask God to shine His light on areas we need to grow with Holy Spirit, areas where we relegate to others our responsibility to manifest heaven because we lack confidence in our identities as sons and daughters.
David Wade writes fiction, nonfiction, and hip hop from his dining room table in Grove City, PA. He lives with his wife, Candise, and studies English Writing at the University of Pittsburgh. For occasional information, follow him on Twitter @davidwadetv