A TRUE Christian pastor trains people to be good citizens and ambassadors of God. But how are pastors made? Many think that pastors are made only by training in the Word of God. Of course, graduating from Bible College is pivotal, but that alone cannot make a person suitable to serve as a servant of Jesus Christ. Knowing the Word is one side of the coin, and having the Holy Spirit upon the minister is another side.
When we learn from Jesus Christ, we would see that He was prepared in both the Word and the Spirit. Our Lord was first trained in the Word of God before later He was anointed with the Holy Spirit and power. Now, it is one thing receiving the Holy Spirit, but it is another thing making Him remain on you. The Bible says when the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus Christ, He remained on Him. There is no report of the Holy Spirit departing from Jesus Christ throughout His ministry.
“And John bore witness: I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God” (John 1:32-34).
Now, it is important for us to understand that the Holy Spirit is not a dove but a person, who teaches, counsels, guides, comforts, helps, warns and creates. John only saw the Spirit in a revelation descending gently and humbly like a dove on Jesus Christ. Thus the interpreters ought to have used the appropriate pronoun, ‘He’, to refer to the Holy Spirit, and not, ‘it’, as used in Scripture.
Essentially, when pastors of today diligently learn from the Lord Jesus, we would be exposed to the secret of making the Spirit of God remain on our lives. Many receive the Holy Spirit, who makes them zealous for God in ministry, but after a while the divine energy and fire of the Spirit disappear. But in the case of our Lord Jesus, it is written that the Holy Spirit descended and remained on Him. The secret was that Christ Jesus never sinned.
Unrepentant sins like bitterness, anger, unforgiveness, crude joking and others in our lives grief the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:25-32). Years ago, a pastor who had committed adultery told his church members that he could never lose the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon his life. He seemed to suggest that once a pastor receives the Holy Spirit, he would always have Him remain on him no matter the habitual sins he tolerated and committed.
Many misinterpret or misunderstand the verses of Scripture below to deceive themselves and other believers. “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:29). “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever” (John 14:16).
Yes, the calling and gifts of God upon Christians are without repentance. That is, God does not change His mind about His call on a pastor. And indeed, the Helper, Holy Spirit, is given to be with believers forever, but we must carefully read these verses of Scripture with deeper understanding. The only way a minister can have the Holy Spirit to be with him forever, that is, without leaving him, is when the minister learns to please God always. That was what Jesus did to have the Spirit remain on Him.
“And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him” (John 8:29). You see, always doing things that please God is the secret to having the Holy Spirit be with you forever. You can infer from the words of Jesus that doing what displeases God may cause His Spirit to leave you. In other words, the Spirit of God would leave pastors, who deliberately sin against God especially those who reject the Lord Jesus Christ or become apostate.
Often when the Holy Spirit leaves a person, he or she opens themselves up for evil spirits to possess them to continue doing some mighty works. They may be used to perform some miracles thinking that they are still being used by God, but they are actually being used by the devil to lead many astray. These are the ministers who may be rejected by the Lord Jesus Christ on the last day for being workers of iniquities (Matthew 7: 21-23). And there are many such apostles, prophets and bishops in the world today.
If a pastor sins and refuses to repent, or continues to disobey the commands of the Lord, he may lose the anointing of God upon his life. This means his calling may be there but the divine energy, ability or power to function in it will not be present on his life. The pastor may be left to do the work of God under the influence of human spirit or an evil spirit. How dangerous it will be for him!
David knew this secret; that is why he pleaded with the Lord not to take away His Holy Spirit from him after he had sinned. In his prayer of confession, David said, “Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me, (Psalm 51:11, KJV). After David had committed adultery and murder, he knew that God could take His Holy Spirit from him, and reduce him to be an ordinary person as it happened to his predecessor, King Saul.
Saul was an anointed servant of God, but when he sinned against God, and refused to repent, the Bible says, “Now the Spirit of the lord departed from Saul, and a harmful spirit from the LORD tormented him,” (1 Samuel 16: 14). And what happened to Samson? He habitually committed sexual immorality until one day, the Spirit of God left him (Judges 16:20).
By James Quansah