Summary: Ten Ways to allow the Holy Spirit to make your appeals more effective.
Let the Holy Spirit Make Your Appeals More Effective
Illustration: George Herbert was a gifted 17th-century English poet. At one point in his life he wasn’t sure he wanted to do what God wanted him to do. Being the pastor of a church didn’t appeal to him, even though he sensed that God was directing him to that vocation. He hesitated because he felt that he would have to give up too much.
After a time of rebellious struggle, he came to realize that submitting to Christ’s lordship is the way out of self-centered bondage and opens the door to authentic freedom and fulfillment. He also came to realize that serving the Savior does not usually entail heroic martyrdom. Rather, it is the willing and worshipful performance of the most menial tasks for His glory.
Many of God’s people are troubled because they can’t give themselves to what is called "fulltime ministry." All of us, though, whatever our vocation--accounting, farming, nursing, homemaking, or something else--need to recognize that we are always to work for the Lord. In Colossians 3:23 we read, "Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men."
Any job will take on greater significance if we consciously do our work for the Lord by the Holy Spirit’s power. (Our Daily Bread)
1. The Holy Spirit teaches us how to appeal to the most essential needs of every person. Paul wrote, "I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance." (Phil. 1:19) The Spirit gives us insights into emotional, mental, physical, social, economic, cultural, and spiritual needs of every person. Ask the Lord for special wisdom to help you persuasively appeal to every individual’s felt, perceived and real needs in a way that draws them closer to the Lord.
2. The Holy Spirit guides you to plead with people according to their individual and group perspectives. Jesus said, "For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say." (Luke 12:12) Ask the Lord to give you special guidance in the way that you plead with people according to their greatest needs for safety, security, belonging, acceptance and success.
3. The Holy Spirit provides you with a special timing in your appeals to people. . Dr. Luke wrote, "While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, ’Simon, three men are looking for you. So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them." (Acts 10:19) Ask the Lord for a special sensitivity to the timing of your appeals to people. The Spirit knows when people are at their most receptive state of mind.
4. The Holy Spirit senses the kind of appeals that will draw people to the love of Jesus Christ. People respond differently to motivations based on their personality, background and experiences. John wrote, "But you have anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth...As for you, anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you." (I John 2:20) Ask the Lord to help you to facilitate all the teaching abilities given to you in the person of the Holy Spirit. Beseech the Lord to help you appeal to the various personality, background and experiential wants and desires in your organization for God’s purposes and glory.
5. The Holy Spirit knows just which people are lonely, hurting or disillusioned. The Spirit can give the best kind of petition in your preaching to draw people closer to God, His will and His people. Dr. Luke wrote, "Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom." (Acts 9:17) Pray that God will give you special sensitivity to the emotions of your people so that you can minister the best healing words to them. Also, ask the Lord to help you to find people who are skilled in appealing to the lonely, hurting and disillusioned and learn all you can from them.
6. The Holy Spirit provides you with the best appeals for repentance, conviction of sin and conversion. Dr. Luke wrote, "Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:38) Ask the Lord for such persuasive abilities that you can appeal as Peter did when He saw 3,000 added to the family of God on the day of Pentecost. Trust the Lord to provide you with elders and leaders in your church that will be able to make powerful appeals for repentance, conviction of sin and conversion as they may have special gifts of evangelism that you are lacking.