I've had 55 years of walking with the Lord-most of them since my student days at Fuller. If I had only things to share with the Fuller faculty, alumni/ae, and students, it would be these 10 keys to having an anointed ministry for our Lord:
1. Discover the character of God.
Our view of God determines everything we do: our lifestyle, the friends we gather around us, the literature we read, the music we enjoy. Everything is determined by our view of God. So study, meditate on, and memorize the attributes of God. We must know and understand who God is--our Creator God and Savior, a God of love, a God of grace, a God of power, a God of wisdom and compassion.
One of the great truths I have learned through the years is that God is holy and that we are commanded to be holy. But we cannot be holy and have his righteousness apart from the Lord Jesus Christ.
As I have traveled around the world, I have seen God do incredible things. Yet, as Jesus said, "Without me, you can do nothing." So none of us can boast-only rejoice over what God has done and have the assurance that he is with us!
2. Surrender to the Lordship of Christ.
Make Jesus the Lord of your life. To know him is to love him, and to love him is to obey him. Jesus is the one to whom we can dedicate ourselves without reservation. Surrender everything to him. Hold nothing back. Make him Lord, Master, Savior, King. Become his slave.
In 1951 my wife, Vonette, and I signed a contract to become "slaves of Jesus." Now why would we do that? First of all, because Jesus became a slave for us (Phil. 2). God became man, the God-man Jesus. And Paul speaks of himself as Jesus Christ's slave (Rom. 1:1). Peter also calls himself a slave. There's a difference between being a servant and a slave. A servant is paid. A slave is totally under the control and authority of his or her master.
We want the Master to work his incredible miracles through us. But first we must present our bodies as a living sacrifice and be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Rom. 12:1).
3. Be filled with the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is ignored today in many of our churches. Others say very little about him, except when reciting the Apostle's Creed. But Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to the church on the Day of Pentecost. His last words to the disciples were, "Wait . . . until you're endued with power from on high" (Luke 24:49). They waited and prayed in Jerusalem until the Day of Pentecost came. Then these weak, impotent, fruitless followers were filled with the Holy Spirit--and their lives were transformed so powerfully that they changed the course of history!
The Holy Spirit indwells us as believers. He wants to empower us. But we cannot be filled with the Spirit unless we willingly surrender to the Lordship of Christ and by faith appropriate that which God has promised us.
4. Study the Word of God.
This is the most important book ever written! The Bible is God's divine, holy, inspired Word. Sixty-six books that were miraculously written by kings and slaves and servants and prophets-and there's no conflict! Imagine the harmony, the unity, of this inspired Holy Book! We must study the Word of God; memorize it; meditate upon it, hide it in our hearts. Our authority is God himself-and his holy, inspired Word. Start each day right by seeking first God's kingdom and by reading his Word. It is more important to our lives than physical food. Read it before you have breakfast. Make it absolutely irrevocable that you begin your day by studying God's Word. Make the Scriptures a priority in everything you read.
5. Practice Spiritual Multiplication.
Submit yourself to personal evangelism, mass evangelism, and every other means of discipling people, to accelerate the fulfillment of the Great Commission. If you are a pastor or church leader, you cannot expect your laypeople to do evangelism if you are not regularly sharing your faith. Paul says in Second Timothy, as you disciple the members of your church, teach people not only how to be holy, but how to share their faith.