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In ministering, never follow the path your mind wants to take. Don't lean to your own understanding. Learn to follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit within you. He is there inside you to lead you.

I remember when I first started in the ministry. I had been preaching for about two years in various churches, usually ones in which no one else would preach. Then one day the Lord spoke to me to get out of those churches and to start holding some meetings of my own. I prayed about it, and the Lord led me to Wichita Falls, Texas. I rented an old abandoned drugstore building and some folding chairs.

One particular Wednesday night, I remember that the anointing was really strong. I preached on the Reality of the Righteousness of God. It was going great, and I was having the time of my life. But just as I built my sermon up to its climatic moment and God was just coming forth with the finish, a woman in the audience suddenly burst forth in tongues.

I felt like someone had stood up and doused me with a fire hose. I said, "Lady, hold that." She just kept on. Again, "Lady, hold that until I finish." She got a little louder. I shouted, "In the name of Jesus, shut up!" She grew louder still. By this time the service was in shambles. I finally just stood back and let her go on and on and on. It seemed to me that she went on for an hour and a half.

This continued on for what seemed like an eternity. After a while, everyone was squirming around in their seats. They looked like they were about ready to wring her neck.

Finally, when she hushed, I looked right at her and I said sternly, "Well, we've already lost what we were studying anyway, so I am going to teach you something. You wouldn't have had the nerve to interrupt me in English while I was preaching, so why would you do it in a language you don't understand?"

About that time, a man sitting next to her spoke up and said, "Brother Copeland, she is stone deaf. She didn't hear a word you said."

Now What?
What do you do when faced with a situation like that? Whatever you say can and will be held against you. What is there to say anyway?

I found out later that someone had planned the whole thing. They had already run half a dozen preachers out of town with the same trick. She was being used by some very selfish people. It was set up that when the man next her punched her with his elbow, it was "her turn" to prophesy.

During times like these, your decision to meet the needs of the people must rise to the surface. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would lead us into all truth and that His sheep would know His voice. I was determined that no demonic spirit would run me out of town.

It was so heavy in there, so quiet. Everybody was just waiting to see what I would do. I just closed my eyes and inside my own consciousness I said, "Lord, you will have to show me what to do. I am not going to make a move until you show me what I am to do."

The answer came to me. It was so simple that my carnal mind would never have thought of it. I would not have even acted on it if I had thought of it!

The Lord said, "Call her up and lay hands on her, and I will open her ears." I said to the man next to her, "Sir, bring her up here. I am going to lay my hands on her and God will open her ears." He would not budge, so I called her up myself and laid hands on her, and God opened her ears.

Ministry Of The Holy Spirit
If you are going to minister to peoples' needs, you will have to be led of the Holy Spirit because more often than not you will find yourself in situations that only His wisdom can handle.

Unless a situation like that is controlled quickly, a whole service will be ruined. When these types of instances arise, you must also be prepared beforehand. Unless you have spent time in prayer, you will not be able to effectively deal with those situations.

You can forget about being led of the Holy Spirit if you spend your preparation time tending to personal affairs, playing golf with influential people, making business appointments, and selling your tapes and records. Hire someone else who is anointed to handle those things.

Spend your time in prayer and in the Word before a meeting. Otherwise, you will simply not be spiritually prepared to minister the Word and to overcome the obstacles which Satan will surely throw in your path. Don't ever substitute hard work for prayer.

In order for you, as a minister, to be able to be led of God, you will have to be attuned to the Holy Spirit. You cannot lean to your own understanding. You must be totally grounded in and dependent upon the Word of God. You must let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom (Col. 3:16).

Don't be Influenced by Situations
On another occasion, I was preaching in Jamaica. Sometimes, it was so dark at night there that you can't see the outline of your hand in front of your face.

I was up in the mountains. About 150 people were gathered in one small room, so jam packed that they could hardly move. Everyone except me was black, and the room itself was in total darkness except for a kerosene lantern. It was hung over my head so that I could read my Bible. All I could see was my Bible and the feet of the man right in front of me - not his face, just his feet.

The first ten to fifteen minutes was the most difficult preaching I have ever done in my life. I began to realize how much I depended upon the facial expressions of the audience. As I was preaching, I noticed that people's reactions determined how my sermon was being received. I could adjust my message or delivery accordingly.

I never realized that I had been doing that. I stopped quietly for a moment and in my own spirit I said, "In the name of Jesus, I make this firm quality decision. For the rest of my ministry, I will never preach another sermon except for faith. I will not be swayed by the expressions of people."

I finished ministering that night and had a glorious time doing it.

One lady had been completely healed of blindness during one of our meetings. She never let on that anything had taken place. It took her some time to work up the nerve to come and tell me about it. She was almost rigid. She found me outside and said simply, "Brother Copeland, I was blind but now I can see. Thank you."

That was all.

A miracle had taken place, and yet she seemed totally unemotional about it. So I learned another valuable lesson from this experience. Don't be influenced by emotional reactions or physical expressions of the people while you are ministering the Word. Be totally led and motivated by the Holy Spirit.

Be Prepared for Disturbances
From Jamaica I came back to Little Rock, Arkansas, the following week. I was preaching in a place provided for us by the Dairyman's Association. Suddenly one evening, every light in the place went out. The P.A. system, the air conditioning, the tape recorder and everything else went completely off. It was totally dark.

Your first reaction in the natural is to stop and say something like, "What happened to the lights?" Don't stop preaching regardless of what happens or what anybody else does. Never let disturbances stop you unless it is a situation in which you have to deal with people. Then just pause long enough to find out what the Spirit of God says to do about it, but don't be caught at a loss of what to say or do.

In every disturbance, the confession of your heart and mouth ought to be, "I am led by the Spirit of God. I am a son of God, and I am more than a conqueror in this situation."

As I continued, I could hear the people snickering. They didn't know what to do. Finally, God's Spirit said to me, "Give an invitation to receive the Holy Ghost." I did. Three people came up, and I laid hands on them. I could barely see their outlines, but they all received the Holy Spirit.

When the lights came back, I acted as though nothing had happened. Everybody else may want to acknowledge the situation. If you don't do it, they will follow your lead. You are in charge of that service, so you be the master of it. Keep control at all times.

God's principal method of guiding His people individually and collectively, is through the ministry of His Holy Spirit - not by prophecies, dreams, visions and other "supernatural" phenomena. This is God's way of leadership in our lives. To enjoy excellence in your calling, you must depend on the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Excerpt permission granted by
Eagle Mountain International Church, Inc.
aka:  Kenneth Copeland Ministries

Author Biography

Kenneth Copeland
Web site: Kenneth Copeland Ministries
For the last 50 years Kenneth and Gloria Copeland have been passionately teaching Christians all over the world how to apply the principles of faith found in God’s WORD to their lives.

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