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"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." ~ 1 Peter 3:15-16

What About Equipping?

Some are wondering whether believers should depend solely on the Holy Spirit or should they seek to be equipped or undergo proper training before going into ministries. I think that's a very good question to ask. In fact, the answer can probably be applied in everything that we do, be it vocational, daily chores or others.

While I don't profess to have all the answers, I do think that it is of utmost importance to have an attitude of reliance on the Holy Spirit. Remember that Jesus says in John 15:4 that we cannot be fruitful unless we remain in Him. Now if we understand that while we may work or labour hard, yet it is not us but God who is working through us by His grace (1 Cor 15:10), the issue will be resolved easily.

As a general guide, it is possible to seek equipping in order to be effective in a particular area, as long as we understand that we do not derive our competency from that equipping. Only the Spirit is our sole Equipper. He alone empowers and equips us, not the knowledge or skills we acquired. In fact, the Scripture says WE are His workmanship (Eph 2:10). It is so important to imprint this truth into our brain circuit, because we often forget that it is also He who gives us the ability to create or produce wealth (Deut 8:18).

When we have cultivated the attitude of reliance and adopted a humble posture before God for everything that we do, we will then be in a better position to discern what God is saying to us, in any given specific circumstances. Sometimes, the Spirit will lead us to do something without going through "proper training" (in the eyes of man). Other times, the Spirit will lead us to go through "proper training" before doing something. So rather than sticking to a textbook guideline, we ought to listen and hear what the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has to say. He is the living God who speaks even in the present. And His sheep hear His voice (John 10:27).

It is also critical to understand that in whatever we may do, our doing actually stems from the Life of Christ in us. There is this exceeding greatness of God’s power for us who believe Him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in the heavenly realms (Eph 1:19-20). In Rom 8:11, we understand that the Spirit raised Jesus from the dead, and it is the same Spirit who now lives in us. Therefore, it is entirely possible for the Life of Christ to be revealed through us and our doing, while the indwelling Spirit continues His sanctifying work in us. In a nutshell, it is to pursue Christ and to know Him (John 17:3), while letting His life flows out from us (and the things we do) so as to minister to others.

More can be said, but in lieu of a black and white answer, I hope the above will give you some new perspectives and food for thought.

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