The true meaning of ministry is found in the words of Jesus in John 7:38, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”
The King James rendering of this verse as well as a few other translations have a little bit of a problem. The King James says, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture has said out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” Reading it this way, one would think Jesus is quoting a scripture. No, the punctuations are wrongly placed. The actual rendering of the verse says, “He that believeth on me as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” Notice, the first comma is no longer there, and that’s the correct rendering.
Thus, Jesus was actually telling us, “If you believe as the scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow out of you.” That is ministry! Ministry is the outflow of the rivers of living water in you. The next verse shows us more clearly was the Lord meant, “But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.”
The rivers of living water is the Holy Spirit, and that is ministry – the outpouring of the life of the Spirit of God that is flowing from you. You can’t give what you don’t have. Thus, the Bible says, “out of his belly,” that is, “out of his inner most being” shall flow rivers of living waters.
This understanding is higher than every structure you could ever build; higher than any kind of organisation you could ever raise; the ministry of the Holy Spirit – pouring out rivers of living waters from within you. Hallelujah!
Look at the words of Jesus in John 6:63, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” It is the Spirit that gives life. In my life and ministry, that was what I wanted. I wanted to speak words that were spirit and life. I didn’t want to be an orator; or a nice talker or even a good preacher. No, I wanted to release words that were spirit and life.
Thus, I understood when Jesus said, “out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” . This meant could I pour out spirit and life through words. My words would not be ordinary; but full of spirit and life. This is very important, the outpouring of spirit and life through you.
A young girl once told a story. She was brought into our church, while she was sitting and listening, not even knowing what was being taught, but as she was just listening, suddenly, the evil spirits that had bound her for so long, went out of her. While out of her, they began threatening her but they couldn’t stay. She knew then that the devil was afraid. She told us later, “The devil was afraid of what Pastor Chris was saying and ran out of the church”. Praise God!
There are many that come into our Churches and when they get up to leave the service, they’ve been healed. They can’t understand it, but they have been healed. The sickness they came with left them while in the service. There was no prayer made. They were just listening. Someone once testified, “I had been sick for so long but I noticed that every time I came to church, I got better. So, I decided to keep coming and I just kept getting better!” Glory to God! The words received were spirit and life!
One sure way to activate the power of the Holy Spirit in you is by speaking in tongues. As you pray in other tongues, and keep at it, soon enough you will find that you are ready to pour forth from within you just as the scriptures say, “Out of your belly shall flow rivers of living water”. At such a time, it doesn’t matter whether you are going to preach or teach, or even if you are being led by the Holy Spirit to just read a verse of scripture, go ahead and do it. Things will begin to happen. It may not happen immediately. Sometimes, the miracles will occur long after the people have returned home, but they will remember that it was while they were in the service that the power of God came on them.
That’s the ministry of the Holy Spirit; things you cannot calculate with your mind or make ready by yourself but will surely happen as you learn to walk with Him. Praise God!