Appointed and Anointed

Exodus 35: 30 – 31

Then Moses said to the sons of Israel, “See, the LORD has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all craftsmanship.

The backdrop to this verse is the construction of the temple. God gave Moses detailed plans for the layout of the temple and the fabrication of every item related thereto. The time had come to build it. How do you succeed at a momentous task? What is the secret to getting a job done in excellent fashion. The answer is, “the anointing.”

This verse is in the Bible, not necessarily for its historical value, but more importantly, for its instructive value. We are all assigned jobs to do and sometimes, many times, they are larger than ourselves. Truly, most tasks worth doing are bigger than our abilities. That’s when it becomes fun and also when we learn how to do the impossible.

Today’s verse pries the lid off the mystery. God anointed Uri and filled him with His Spirit. It seems to me that two of the precursors to this anointing are humility and surrender. When confronted with a new task, how do we respond? Most of us were not trained to stop and consider Yahweh. Therefore, we usually begin in our brains attempting to figure out what steps and resources are required. Most of us begin with planning, then perhaps proceed to meeting with others. This is the way we were trained in the world. Today, Father is showing us a different way. Moses was in partnership with God. God told him, “Look, I’ve already called and appointed a project leader for you and I have gifted him with everything he needs.”

Moses was listening to God and, it seems to me, so was Bezalel. Father God downloaded to Bezalel all the wisdom and talent he needed in order to complete the project. That sounds pretty cool to me. The anointing is the power within us to do that which we could never do in our own strength and knowledge. It is supernatural wisdom and knowledge. It’s just the thing we need for that next big project.

The other remarkable bit about this passage is that it contains what many would consider New Testament language, so it is worth an extra moment to examine. This passage reveals that God “filled” Bezalel with “the Spirit of God.” This is a rare experience for the Old Testament. Jesus told us it was in our best interest that he go away so that he could send the Holy Spirit to us. In fact, the Spirit was not spoken about much in the Old Testament. Jesus introduced him and the Acts 2 phenomenon is the promised out pouring . What is important about all this is the revelation that with the infilling of the Holy Spirit comes the gifts and anointing. It is the Holy Spirit which empowers each of us. We can put aside theology and even history and resolve to something much more foundational and important. You don’t need to resolve any theological debates or questions. None of it matters. In fact, today’s passage seems to fly in the face of some of it anyway.

Here is what is important. We can see, apart from theology, that God thought it was important to fill Bezalel with His own Spirit. It seems the reason was to empower Bezalel to do the task at hand. Now, the bottom line for us would seem to be to inquire of God whether we, individually, are filled or not. I would encourage each of you to ask the Father if you have all of the Holy Spirit that you can have. I cannot imagine a response that says, “I have all the Holy Spirit I need or want.” That just doesn’t make any sense to me. That is why I believe we are afforded an opportunity today, to ask the Father for more. Ask Him what is next for us. What more do you want me to receive? Have I opened my heart to all you want to do in me? Have I surrendered all of me? Am I open and humble. I suppose most of us will find there is more we can surrender. We will likely believe we can be closer to Yahweh than we are currently. That’s great! Perhaps today, each of us can grow closer to the Lord and be filled with more of Him. Ask the Lord and receive the good news!

The River of God

Ezekiel 47: 9             NIV

So where the river flows everything will live.

First, let me say that this little snippet from Ezekiel 47 does the chapter, and you, a disservice. I really do think you will enjoy reading the beginning of the chapter down through at least verse nine. As you read through this story you will discover that the river of God brings health and healing to everything it touches. What an awesome reality!

When I read about water in the Bible, I always relate it right back to the Holy Spirit. In John 7: 38 – 39 Jesus told us that the river of “Living Water” is the Holy Spirit. Further, he taught that river could flow right from within us. It is actually a huge revelation, but one that has gone a bit unnoticed. Let’s be clear, though, if you believe Jesus, believe his words and teachings, then you have this river of living water flowing within you. That river brings healing. When we cooperate with Jesus and the Spirit then we, literally, have living water flowing through our veins and that flow is ministering healing to every cell it touches. Think of that! Does it bring you hope?

Everything Jesus is and has done works together for our good. You believe that, don’t you? I think we all do. How, though, do we get his goodness to work for us? When we look at the world around us, it is hard to believe. When you watch the evening news, it becomes really hard to believe. What we need is more of the “Good News,” that is, more of the Bible. Most of us read and watch more of the world news than the Word news and that is tough on our spirits. It beats us down. The Word builds us up.

If you haven’t done anything with these Bible verses up until now, maybe today offers a fresh opportunity to think about writing them out on your own piece of paper or creating a deck of 3 X 5 cards.

There is a river of life, and it heals and blesses everything it touches. Jump in it. Dangle your feet in the water. Let’s get immersed and in immersion find healing and blessing. Let the river of life, the river of God, flow over you and anoint you with Christ’s goodness. Amen.

The Great Secret

Colossians 1: 27

For this is the secret: Christ lives in you, and this is your assurance that you will share in his glory.

Here is your answer Job. Yesterday’s Word of the Day saw Job lost without God and no way to find Him. Job wanted to speak with God directly but didn’t know how to find Him. What great news this would have been to him.

Can we even begin to wrap our heads around this? I cannot, yet I believe it and rely on it in no small measure. The Trinity has come to earth to make its abode with us, more importantly, in us. This is the great mystery, the super-secret. Paul was astounded that he got to share it with people but like John, he struggled for the words to make it come alive in people’s minds. How do we open ourselves to this truth enough that it becomes real to us?

One of our issues is that we have been trained to be more physically minded than spiritually minded. It shows up in this question, where within us, does God abide? Is He in our hearts? Is there empty space in our abdomens that He can abide? We think of empty spaces that he can fill. That is a very physical concept. However, God is beyond that. He can fill non-empty spaces.

Begin here. Imagine your spirit. What does it look like to you? Is it some ethereal cloud like form that lives within you? Now, imagine two clouds blending together. That’s not so hard to do. You’ve watched the clouds in the sky on a summer’s day and seen it happen. They simply become one cloud. The new looks like neither of the individual clouds. They have become a new thing.

Let’s go a different direction. Perhaps your spirit is more like oxygen moving through all the spaces of your body. It infiltrates every cell. This is how I picture the Holy Spirit living in my body. He lives within muscle tissue, in blood cells; he abides in the cartilage and ligaments in knees, in bones, literally everywhere.

This is the great mystery, and it is so fascinating, but truth be told, we do not have to unravel the mystery to appreciate it. The best thing we can do is to just accept it and live our lives in the reality of it. What does life look like if you really believe Christ is in you? What if you were aware that he goes with you in every appointment or every job interview. Would that change your confidence level? Think, too, is there any place you sometimes go that you would not want to take Jesus to. That is a sobering thought.

Enjoy this great miracle of the Holy Trinity living in you, living in your spirit and in your living tissue. That ought to impact the way you think about healing too.


Ephesians 3: 16        NLT

I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit.

As you can tell, I am still hanging out in Ephesians. It is such a rich book that I sometimes hardly get past one verse before I have to stop and contemplate. When Paul stopped and considered all the great works of God’s hands, he fell to his knees and prayed. Undoubtedly, he praised God for all the glorious things He has done. That isn’t all though. Paul’s pastor’s heart shows here. All that awe and wonder turned into a prayer for the people Paul served. Paul prayed an intense prayer. This is my prayer for you today.

We cannot fathom the quantity of glory and resources God has. It boggles the imagination even trying. Take that imagination, that image, however you see it and try to picture God filling you with it. Imagine His might filling you, making you strong in your inner self. Paul asked for God’s Holy Spirit to flow into people and leave, within them, deposits of God’s glory and His ability. I cannot even imagine what resources Paul might have been thinking about but God’s wisdom, patience, insightfulness, and resilience might be some of the resources the Holy Spirit has for us.

The question is, what do we need? God has a resource for every need. I pray Paul’s prayer, that the Holy Spirit will fill you with every glorified resource you need for your life. I also pray that He gives you a new and bigger dream so that you need to pull on those resources more and more. May the God of Glory, the Son of Righteousness and the Spirit of Life shine on you today and leave deposits of their essence in your spirit. Amen.

Spirit Guide

Romans 8: 26

Now in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

This verse describes my prayer over the last year and a half. If ever there was a time I have not known what to pray or how to pray, this has been it. Yet, never has there been a year when the need for prayer has been so great. Many times, I began praying just to find myself out of words, lost and frustrated. I thank my God, as did the Apostle Paul, that we have the Holy Spirit to help us pray as we ought.

The Spirit helps us pray and brother, we need the help like never before. The Spirit can lead us in prayer in our known language or in an unknown language, though it takes a certain amount of surrender to utter syllables you don’t personally understand. I used to pray in what sounded like French. It was beautiful but I didn’t understand it. He can also inspire your prayer with pictures. That can be quite helpful. During the Covid crisis, the Holy Spirit gave me an image of angels with flame throwers. That picture conveyed a lot of meaning in an instant. Later I was able to wrap words and prayers around it.

Some of us are more in our heads when we pray than others. I find some people are adept at connecting with their spirits and, subsequently, with the Holy Spirit within. I have found it an immense relief to be able to pray with the Holy Spirit and to let him give voice to my desires and emotions, especially over the last year and a half.

If you are not accustomed to praying with the Holy Spirit or just think you would like to encourage a closer communion in prayer, it begins with asking the Spirit to join you. Then try to open your senses to the Spirit’s presence. He is there right now. That I can guarantee. I am not the most sensitive person, so I run with the understanding that he is there and that is my anchor. Knowing he is with me moves me towards sensing his presence and guidance. Then pray and as you pray, try to relinquish some of the control. Don’t hold on so tightly. Try to be in the river, floating along with the current. Relax, breathe, pray. That is your model. Let God’s Spirit guide you and life will get easier. This, I promise you. And do not be surprised if it takes a little practice. Just pray every day asking for the Spirit’s assistance and then intentionally try to flow with him. Let the Spirit intercede for you. You really can’t beat having God pray for you. It is as good as it gets.

Receive the Breath

John 20: 21 – 22

So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

Why in the world did Jesus breathe on his disciples? After yesterday’s Word of the Day, I bet you know the answer. Let’s ponder this just a moment though. Yesterday we saw that the breath is the Spirit. We also saw that where this breath is there is life and when there is the absence, there is cessation of life. So, I suggested that everything which has life has a measure of the Holy Spirit. I also wrote that there are different measures of the Spirit. That reality is shown in today’s verses.

John 3: 34 reads, “For he is sent by God. He speaks God’s words, for God gives him the Spirit without limit.” This verse is about Jesus and says that God gave him the Holy Spirit in unlimited measure. In John 20, Jesus breathed a new measure of the Spirit upon his disciples. I’m thinking, “Inhale deeply.” As he breathed on them, he said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Wouldn’t you think this to be the end of the story regarding Jesus giving them the Spirit? It’s not. Later, in the first book of Acts, Jesus gave further instructions regarding the Holy Spirit to these same disciples, “Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now,” (Acts 1: 4 – 5).

I find all of this interesting. We know the connection between the breath, specifically God’s breath, and the Holy Spirit. People who don’t know that the Spirit is the breath of God probably don’t recognize the importance of Jesus breathing on them. In fact, it probably looks odd to them but then Jesus did spit to make clay for a blind man’s eyes, so he has reasons we don’t always recognize the fullness of.

The most interesting thing is this conferring of the Spirit. You get the sense from today’s verse that Jesus was passing his anointing to them. In Acts, it was all about the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Clearly, the two acts are related but there must be some nuance in that Jesus is using two events to give the disciples the fullness of the Holy Spirit. So, every person has some of the Breath of God. Jesus has an unlimited measure of the Spirit and I believe it is this fullness, this unlimited measure that he transfers to us at some point.

The thing to ponder is these different measures. Why? If we recognize we can have a bit, some more, and then a fullness, it might move us to pray for the unlimited fullness of the Holy Spirit that Jesus desires for us. So, let’s all get filled up with the Breath of God.

Helping Hand

Galatians 5: 24 – 25

Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

So many times, when people hear about passion and desire they think of sexual desire. That is a very limited view of what this passage is speaking about. Your passion for anything, your desire for anything that is not God can be a problem. When your consuming passion is for a new car, a favorite activity, food, etc. then you are serving the desires of your flesh instead of the desires of the Spirit. So even if sexual lust is not a problem for you there may be something that does consume your thoughts. There is help though. When we crucify the flesh, Jesus stands with the promised gift in His hands. We do not have to fulfill the lusts of the flesh because we have a helper. We are not alone.

For those who belong to Jesus the helper leads and guide. He teaches and He empowers. As He teaches us, He also leads us in our own personal reformation. He changes us from the inside out. We no longer have to adhere to a strict set of rules that we enforce through an act of our willpower. That is life according to the law. Now, in our enlightenment, we walk by the Spirit. The Spirit leads and guides us. As we surrender more fully to His guidance, we just naturally do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh because He leads us by a different path.

The key word, though, is surrender. It takes a person of courage to surrender their lives fully to God. It also requires someone who can sacrifice their ego on the altar of grace. God, through the Holy Spirit, will do all of the heavy lifting but you first have to find the guts to move out of God’s way and give your complete life over to Him. In truth, I find that many just can’t put God ahead of themselves. They do not have the courage to surrender. They are just plain scared, and they don’t really trust God. Look, it is easy to talk the talk, but it is hard to walk the walk. How many will graduate from God’s elementary school to the upper grades? Well, the choice is completely ours. Can you really let go of your control, your thoughts, your plans, your ideas, your power, your ego? If you will really let go, the Holy Spirit will take you by the hand and gently guide you in the way. He will lead you into those green pastures. He will keep you from harm even when enemies approach from all sides and He will turn your problems into victory. Let go of your control and live and walk by the Spirit into all grace.