Posts Tagged anointing

The Brass Ring

Isaiah 42: 1

Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations.

I am sometimes asked which book is my favorite of the Old Testament. That’s easy! I love the book of Isaiah. The prophet Isaiah undoubtedly was in the flow of the Holy Spirit. He saw into Jesus’ life and ministry as no one else did. Because of Isaiah’s own intertwining with the Spirit, one can see the person of Jesus all through this book.

Obviously, in this verse, Isaiah foretold the coming of the Messiah. He also was shown the partnership that would exist between Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Before the Chosen One would bring forth justice to the nations, he would experience his own union with the Spirit.

It is through this partnership with the Holy Spirit that Jesus was empowered to do any of the things he did. Without the power of the Spirit, Jesus could do nothing (John 5: 19). This is one of the most profound realities of Christian life. Isaiah’s fullness of understanding of Jesus’ anointing is seen in the sixty-first chapter. “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me,” (Isaiah 61: 1). These are the very words which Jesus read in the temple that launched his earthly ministry (Luke 4: 18). This prophesy shows two examples of partnership with the Spirit. First, it shows that Isaiah spoke by the power, leading and unction of the Holy Spirit. Second, it reveals Jesus’ collaborative relationship with the Spirit. This is Jesus’ commission. I have only given a small part of it but you will appreciate reading the entire chapter.

Nowhere is this cooperative relationship defined more precisely than in Zechariah 4: 6, “Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord . . . saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.” This is critical language but an idea that we, perhaps, are yet to fully realize. While simple in theory, it is a bit more challenging in application, especially in that most of this applied theory is new in many parts of the body of Christ. We are only just now learning how to work in the flow with the Holy Spirit as Jesus did. However, he is giving us this revelation at this time in Church history so that we may go forward as a dynamic body of believers. As we increase our walk in and with the Spirit, we bring his power and wisdom to our own lives. That must be our first step. Only when we, through the Spirit, have met the pressing needs of our own lives can we set our eyes upon the horizon. However, having learned how to cooperate with the Spirit of the Lord for our own needs, we then take his power to the world. Our perspective changes along with our vision. We can then begin to cooperate with the Father on His goals and His vision instead of constantly being bogged down by earthly issues.

This intertwining with the Spirit is the key element necessary for us to arise as the mighty church of God, The Eternal. If there is any singular expression of needed deep revelation for believers it is the knowledge of how to walk with the Spirit such that every one of us is in continual communion with him, following him step by step. God spoke through Zechariah to reveal to us that everything we need to do, everything we are called to do is to be accomplished in the strength and power of the Spirit. What does this mean? This is the critical question. When we can answer this question definitively, we will have laid hold of the Kingdom of God. This is the brass ring!

The Promise of the Spirit

Joel 2: 28 – 29

It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

This is the leading Old Testament verse which told about the coming of the Holy Spirit. Here God promises to, not only send the Spirit, but to pour out the Spirit on all humanity, even those of no rank or position. Even the servants and those of the lowliest station are entitled to this special gift from God.

There is so much rich text and meaning in this verse that we could mine from it for a week. However, there is one word in it that I want to bring to your attention. It is the word “pour.” God has promised not a trickle, not a drip but rather a continuous pouring out of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is represented in Scripture as a river or flowing waters. John 7: 37 – 39 is a good example of this, “Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit.’” The flowing river of living water is the Holy Spirit. Thus, it is apropos that God should pour out this living water upon us.”

The anointing in the Holy Spirit is reflective of the Old Testament anointing which was accompanied by oil being poured over the anointed. Again, this spiritual gifting is represented by a pouring out.
The Old Testament saints did not know the Spirit as the poured out one as New Testament believers do. They knew him as a promise. In fact, few people knew anything about him other than him being a promise from God. Interestingly, of the 248 or so scriptures about the Holy Spirit, only about 44 are from the Old Testament. However, God was speaking to His prophets about this pouring out. It may interest you to discover that there are six more Old Testament scriptures which specifically address the pouring out of the Holy Spirit (See list below).

The significance of this pouring is distinguishable from a onetime gift or offering. God doesn’t just give us the Spirit one time. He continually pours out to those who continually seek Him. Don’t forget too, that we can seek more of the Spirit just as we seek the Father because they are both God.

Every person has a measure of the Spirit of God. When God breathed life into us, a piece of His Spirit was deposited within us. We are able to receive much more than that now, however. The Spirit is no longer a promise. He has been poured out. What the Old Testament prophets foretold, we now behold. The initial pouring out is described in Acts 2: 1 – 4, “When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.” This is the fulfillment of that which was promised in Joel 2: 28 -29. Everyone who wishes can now be filled by the never ending pouring out. It can be compared to a water fall. The water continually pours over and onto anyone who chooses to stand in the flow. You can stay in that flow just as long as you wish. It is God’s delight to give you more and more. He is pouring. Are you receiving?

See Also: Isaiah 32: 15, Isaiah 44: 3, Ezekiel 36: 27, Ezekiel 39: 29, Proverb 1: 23, Zechariah 12: 10).

Practice Presence

Luke 5: 16

But He Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.

This passage is speaking of Jesus. Most of the scripture reveals His public ministry but this is a glimpse into Jesus’ personal habits. Ministry isn’t that different from sports. The success is in the preparation. For athletes we like to say it is what you do away from the cameras that really matters. We know from Acts 10: 38 that Jesus was anointed with Power and the Holy Spirit. That should be enough, one would think, to be anointed by God, but Jesus developed the gift in Him by spending time alone with his father and the Holy Spirit. It is that alone time that built Him up and prepared Him for the work of the Lord. It was necessary, vital time.

Not much has changed. We can have the same anointing as Jesus, many do. But we, like Jesus, need time to develop the gifts inside of us. We need time alone with God, quiet time that He can use to build us up and develop us. You and I are never going to develop spiritually by spending an hour in church once or twice a week. For that matter, no amount of time at church is going to replace the time that you need to spend alone with your father. Church serves a different function and was never meant to replace quiet time with the Lord. I wish for you all to have fulfilling intimacy with the Lord. I want you to be as close to Him personally as you want to be. That only comes by time with Him though. You have to sneak away from the bustle of life and find quiet time with him. For those of you with a lot of time on your hands, praise God. You have the time others have a hard time finding. Don’t let yourself be lonely. Use that time to get into God’s presence. The rewards are awesome.

Anointed

Psalm 20: 6

Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed.

Who is the anointed of the Lord? Is it you? In Isaiah 61: 1 the prophet Isaiah foretold the coming of Jesus. He prophesied about the anointing that would be on Jesus. The first of Jesus’ anointed duties was to bring good news to the afflicted. When Jesus began his public ministry, he went into the synagogue in Nazareth. When the book of the prophet was handed to Him, He opened it to Isaiah and reading the passage in Isaiah 61 declared that the scripture had been, that day, fulfilled in those people’s presence. Jesus was anointed with power and the Holy Spirit so that He could fulfill His commission as enumerated in Isaiah 61 and Luke 4: 18. Then in Matthew 28: 16 – 20 we read about Jesus passing this commission on to those who follow Him. We are still to go to the world bringing the good news of the gospel to all. We don’t do this in our might though. We do it in the strength of the Lord and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. It is God’s anointing on us and in us that empowers us to do His bidding. If you have received God’s commission to you and you have received his blessing of the anointing to do His will, then you are His anointed and you, therefore, are protected under His anointing. And while the enemy will do everything he can to thwart you, you are covered by the grace and anointing of God. Jesus said that persecution would come but for us to have no fear because He, Jesus, has overcome the world. Rely on Jesus. Rely on your anointing for they have great power to save you.

Inspiration vs. Perspiration

John 14: 10

Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.

This is a great word for ministers but truly Jesus modeled life for us all. He is our example. Therefore, we can take inspiration from this message from the Lord.

One day, when I was a bit over-taxed with duties and responsibilities, it occurred to me that I could work through inspiration or perspiration. Well of course, I was working hard. I was sweating the deadlines, burdens and responsibilities. I was in my strength instead of Jesus’. You see, he has created a model by which we work, accomplish, rest, serve him and honor him all at the same time. When we yield our heavy burdens to the Lord, allowing him to carry the load, he is honored. We have also preached the word by our very actions because we have communicated a reproducible model. People can appreciate that we accomplish through Jesus’ labor and wisdom and perhaps recognize that since they have the same access to Jesus as do we, that they can do the same thing. 

Whatsmore, we are only doing what Jesus did. We model him. Jesus said he did nothing of his own initiative (John 8: 28). God was the one performing the works. He supplied Jesus with the words to speak. The Father directed Jesus steps. He navigated him to the town or village which was right for the time. Imagine how much easier our lives would be if we could learn to follow God’s voice within us the way Jesus did.

You know, there is an easy way and a hard way to do everything. When possible, let’s do things the easy way. I choose to live by inspiration rather than perspiration. How about you?

Saved, Anointed, Blessed

Psalm 20: 6

Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed.

Who are the anointed of God? These are his saints. God has separated you unto himself. You are a chosen people, a holy race. God sent Jesus into this earth in order to make it so. That is what it took to separate you into a holy and secure place in the Lord. It took no effort on your part other than that you receive his anointing; receive his gift of salvation. When you did, you became set apart unto him. With that comes all the blessing of being his chosen. You have been anointed in the blood of Jesus rather than in oil. This was God’s will for you. It is the fulfillment of his desire so that he may care for you; so that you could partake of all of the blessing that inures to the anointed of the Lord. You, no matter how insignificant you may sometimes feel that you are, are the anointed of the Lord. You are highly favored and chosen so that he may show his goodness to you. You, though, must receive it. He prizes you highly above all things. He desires you and longs to be in deeper fellowship with you. You, though, are the captain in that relationship. He has saved you by his righteous right hand and will walk with you in all things.

One Touch

Matthew 9: 31

They went out, and spread the news about Him in all that land.

Do you want to know how to evangelize the world? Here is an evangelism revelation. There were two guys in this story who spread the word about Jesus throughout the whole land. Were these just two of the best evangelists ever or is there something else going on here? And most importantly, what can we learn from their story?

The backstory is that two blind men pursued Jesus and healing. When Jesus asked them if they believed he was able to restore their sight they answered, “Yes, Lord” (v. 28). Jesus then touched their eyes and said, “Be it done to you according to your faith,” and the men’s sight was restored (v. 29 – 30). Clearly there is a faith message there but we also see in this example of Jesus’ ministry how we can spread the good news about the Kingdom of God – heal a few people.

What? Me? Well, isn’t that the ministry Jesus has left us with? Look at Ephesians 4 with me, “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service to the building up of the body of Christ” (v. 11 – 12, emphasis added). God has established these ministry positions in order to equip the rest of us for the work of Christ. We, the body, carry out the divine commission. Jesus has also empowered us for this service. “And having summoned His twelve disciples, He gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness, ‘Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons’” (Matthew 10: 1, 8). The only question we have to answer is, “Am I a disciple of Christ” because all who are Christ’s disciples are anointed with his authority. 

God gave Jesus the power to heal and Jesus gave it to us. “So Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you’” (John 20: 21). As we see from the experience of the two blind men, one touch from God will change a person forever. They become the voice heard in the desert. The steps to world evangelism are first that we must allow Jesus to touch us, and I mean really touch us. It is his ministrations to our heart and receiving our own miracles that make his word like a fire brand in our mouths. We need to seek that personal touch and live in it. Then we extend his grace to others. We lay hands on the sick and they recover, not because of our faith, not because of our healing anointing but rather by the blessing of the Lord. Jesus said, “The Father abiding in Me does His works” (John 14: 10). So, we need not have performance pressure. It is Jesus within me who does the works and whoever Jesus touches will want to tell the world.

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