The 12th of January is a date that I will never forget, and that is an achievement!! I am not that good of remembering names or dates!! But the 12th is right up there!! Why? Because that Friday at 19:30 I was installed as Minister of First Ballynahinch Presbyterian Church.

We moved to the Manse on the 8th of January we left behind a ministry that forever changed me. The Living Room Church was nine years of God’s work in my life and the life of my family. During those years, I began to rely upon the presence of the Holy Spirit. I learnt to wait for his instructions, where to minister, who to minister to and how to do it.

I often heard the voice of the Lord, directing me to a home or sometimes not to go to places that I thought I needed to be.

One of the biggest lessons that I learned and am still learning is knowing that the Holy Spirit is leading the Church and me as a Minister, I am cooperating with him. This is not easy, and It was not easy then. It was challenging, demanding, and yet so rewarding. I discovered that Holy Spirit timing does not follow my timing and that He is big enough to look after His people.

The concept and the fruit of the Spirit called “Patience” was hard, and still, is a challenge to learn. Sometimes for weeks, the Holy Spirit asked me to sit still and pray, other times he told me to move and minister and other times he was waiting for me to engage with him in ministry as if He wanted to join me. That is mind-blowing.

Why am I sharing this with you? I am sharing this because we need to know that the Person of the Holy Spirit is living and active in our lives and even though we may not perceive Him, this does not mean that He is not working or that He is absent. For so long this has been my prayer: “ Lord I want to be aware of Your Presence” I felt with the Psalmist when he wrote, “One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD And to meditate in His temple.” (Psalm 27:4 NAS20). When I think He is not there with me, then I rely upon my finite mind, when all along He is reminding me the words of the Apostle Paul “For, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:1 NIV11).

Would you pray with me that during this year, and during this pandemic, and lockdowns, we will live as people who are engaging with the Mind of Christ? This will make all the difference of how we view the world around us, and it will sustain us, why? Because when we do, we live out the Gospel, the Good News that can support us while we are in this world. How do we do it? What if we start by learning this verse “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8 NIV11)

Rev. Dario Leal

Ps. If you would like receive “Emails to my Church” send us an email to info@firstchurch.co.uk

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