7 Quotes From “Secret Power” Especially For Pastors

D.L. Moody’s book Secret Power is addressed to both individual Christians and church leaders (you can read my full book review by clicking here).

I posted some quotes for individual Christians to consider yesterday. Here are seven quotes especially for pastors and church leaders:

“The Gospel proclamation cannot be divorced from the Holy Spirit. Unless He attend the Word in power, vain will be the attempt in preaching it.”

“Skeptics and infidels may say they don’t believe in it. It is not our work to make them believe in it; that is the work of the Spirit. Our work is to give them the Word of God; not to preach our theories and our ideas about it, but just to deliver the message as God gives it to us.” 

“It is not the hard work breaks down ministers, but it is the toil of working without power. …If you ministers have not the Spirit of God, you had better not preach, and your people had better stay at home. I think I speak not too strongly when I say that a church in the land without the Spirit of God is rather a curse than a blessing. If you have not the Spirit of God, Christian worker, remember that you stand in somebody else’s way; you are as a tree bearing no fruit standing where another fruitful tree might grow.”

“Man cannot preach effectively of himself. He must have the Spirit of God to give ability, and study God’s Word in order to testify according to the mind of the Spirit.”

“Thousands and thousands are sitting in darkness, knowing not of this great Light, but when we begin to preach Christ honestly, faithfully, sincerely and truthfully; holding Him up, not ourselves; exalting Christ and not our theories; presenting Christ and not our opinions; advocating Christ and not some false doctrine; then the Holy Ghost will come and bear witness. He will testify that what we say is true. When He comes He will confirm the Word with signs following.”

“I believe the reason why God makes use of so few in the Church, is because there is not in them the power that God can use. He is not going to use our ideas, but we must have the Word of God hid in our hearts, and then, the Holy Spirit inflaming us, we will have the testimony which will be rich, and sweet, and fresh, and the Lord’s Word will vindicate itself in blessed results. God wants to use us; God wants to make us channels of blessing; but we are in such a condition He does not use us. That is the trouble; there are so many men who have no testimony for the Lord; if they speak, they speak without saying anything, and if they pray, their prayer is powerless; they do not plead in prayer; their prayer is just a few set phrases that you have heard too often. Now what we want, is to be so full of the Word, that the Spirit coming upon us shall bring to mind—bring to our remembrance—the words of the Lord Jesus.”

“I have lived long enough to know that if I cannot have the power of the Spirit of God on me to help me to work for Him, I would rather die, than live just for the sake of living.”

Pastoral Submission

What do you think of when you hear those words pastoral submission?

We may not be on the same page about this yet. I don’t mean people in a congregation submitting to a pastor. I mean something deeper than that.

Allow me to start with an unusual verse for this topic. Paul wrote,

When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face… (Galatians 2:11).

First of all, this is the proper way to handle an issue like this. Paul didn’t talk to others, nor run to the leaders in Jerusalem, but he went one-on-one with Peter.

Consider Paul’s relationship to Peter if there was a “corporate flowchart” for the First Century Church—Peter would have been Paul’s superior. Yet, Peter not only received this correction from Paul but continued to speak highly of Paul.

Beginning in the first chapter of Galatians we see Paul’s level of accountability. He answered to God, but he also submitted to other church leaders. Not only that, but this passage (Galatians 2:7-9) tells us that other church leaders submitted to Paul.

When I know God has called me, and I am doing my work for His approval alone, and when I know God has called others, and they too are ministering only for His approval then we can mutually submit to one another.

It’s not a top-down hierarchy in the church, except for Jesus being the Head and all others are below Him. All others (clergy and congregation) in the Body of Christ are on equal standing—no one is more important than any other. Therefore, as we submit to Christ’s Headship, we can also mutually submit to others in the Body.

What keeps us from doing this? Pride! We say, “What will others think of me if I submit?” Pastors think, “If I submitted to someone in my congregation, how could I ever lead this church? People will take advantage of me! No one will ever listen to me again!”

Not true!

When I am fully submitted to Christ, there is no stronger grounds for SERVANT leadership.

I don’t pastor to lead; I pastor to serve. 

I’m not building my church; I’m building Christ’s church. 

I’m not growing my followers; but followers of Jesus. 

Holy God, help me to know who I am in You. You have called me to pastor, so I am Your servant. Help me kill my pride! Help me serve and submit. Help me to build Your Church.

UPDATE: This post was one of the seed thoughts that went into fashioning my book Shepherd Leadership: The Metrics That Really Matter.

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