FRISCO?”Ladies and gentleman, there is a direct relationship between preaching in the power of the Holy Spirit and people coming to Christ,” Austin pastor Kie Bowman reminded those attending the 2011 Empower Evangelism Conference, held Feb. 28-March 2 at the Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco.
Bowman’s sermon, “The Anointing of God,” was from Luke 4:18, which records the words of Jesus as he read from the scroll of Isaiah in the synagogue: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed.”
Citing examples from the lives of evangelists such as Charles Finney, D.L. Moody, Billy Graham and Evan Roberts, a Welsh pastor, Bowman said God seemed to move in times past when godly people begged fervently for God to fill them.
“Brothers and sisters, there is such a thing as an anointing. The old-timers used to call it unction,” Bowman said.
Under Finney and later Moody, hundreds of thousands came to Christ. Bowman recounted that Moody’s ministry was unremarkable until one day, while visiting New York City, he felt so anxious for God to move in his life that he pled for the Holy Spirit’s filling?an experience so powerful that he went to a friend’s house and fell down on his knees in the bathroom.
“‘I asked him to stay his hand lest I die from the glory of it,'” Bowman said in reading a quote from Moody.
Similarly, Evan Roberts attended a weekly prayer meeting for 13 years, asking God to move. Then in 1904, Bowman said, the Holy Spirit moved in Roberts in what he said “felt like a living force.” Subsequently, 100,000 people came to Christ under his preaching.
Bowman said Billy Graham had a similar testimony of God’s anointing at a point early in his ministry, after hearing the late Stephen Olford preach the imperative command to be filled with the Spirit from Ephesians 5:18.
“I can take you back to the moment of October when I was praying to God about this night,” said Bowman, explaining that God clearly placed the message on his heart. “I didn’t want to say something I’ve said 100 times before. This text and this message started flooding into my life.”
The text of Luke 4:18 tells the preacher, “I need an anointing to preach a sovereign God,” said Bowman, noting Jesus’ words from his first recorded sermon that “The Spirit of the Lord is on me?”
Preaching was so weighty to the Puritan Richard Baxter that he wrote, “‘I preach as if never to preach again, a dying man to dying men,'” Bowman relayed.
“Brothers, preaching is God’s business. Preaching is not just a business of the church.”
Noting that the Holy Spirit is the breath of God and the power of God, Bowman told of drawing lawn-mowing duties while working part-time at a church during seminary. Flustered by high grass and a mower that seemed to be unusually difficult to push, Bowman said he was humiliated to learn the mower was self-propelled and he hadn’t engaged the propelling mechanism.
Likewise is a ministry propelled by self-effort, he said.
“Let’s do this thing in the power of the Holy Spirit of God,” Bowman pleaded. “He has been promised to you.
“When you pray, expect people to be saved because this gospel is the power of God to salvation for those who believe, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”