Monday, April 20, 2009

Trying to hold your breath to work underwater

I saw a vision of what it is like for many Christians who try to venture out into the world without the prophetic destiny and anointing released in their lives. It is a disaster. It's like a diver who takes a deep breath and dives into deep water attempting to do some work near the bottom and holding their breath while they work. They can go for a little while. They can even look good. But unless they get a fresh breath of oxygen they will have to retreat to breath and go back to work again.

They are intermittent, they are occasional, they can't stay in the fight.

It's too hard.

But, there is a way they can breath underwater, a way they can have a steady flow of Oxygen to keep them in the fight longer and stronger than before. It is by My Spirit says the Lord.

Once you know your purpose and destiny, once you have received the anointing to do what you have been called to do, once you have the life giving flow of the prophetic you will stay on the front much longer.

The Prophetic is the oxygen to give you a fresh blood flow of strength for the journey.


Steve said...

Destiny and anointing are what they are - a gift from God through the Holy Spirit. I'm not sure if I agree with these must come from the Prophetic or a prophet. That's like saying only a prophet can release to the predestined journey God had planned for you all along. What if there wasn't a prophet around? Would nobody ever have been "sent" or "anointed" for service? There are however many cases to show what I mean.

In the Old Testament, the prophet Samuel anointed David, as King of Israel, in obedience to God.

The prophet poured (usually expensive) oil over the "chosen one of God" this is a type of baptism, only more.

It is symbolic in that it "stains" that person for a purpose. Oil sticks to the skin better than water (used in baptism) and is therefore a symbol of permanence, as the oil, in a sense, absorbs INTO the select one.

Aaron was also anointed (oil ran down Aaron's beard) There is no reference to anointing in the New Testament insofar as the followers of Christ - however, Mary came unto Jesus (remember Martha, bothered about so many things?) and poured precious ointment over Jesus' feet - in essence, washing them... Jesus said that she was preparing Him for his death (sacrifice).

It was also a type of anointing.

The anointing of the Holy Spirit is something picked up by most Charismatic churches, where the leader or prophet will either feel impressed by the Holy Spirit to anoint someone for a specific purpose in the Lord, or a general anointing with common (usually olive) oil - for a more general purpose like Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

There is a division within charismatic churches concerning the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of 1 Cor 12...

Some believe that the evidence of the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues and the receiver must speak in tongues to receive.

Some still, believe that the "spirit of the prophet is subject to the prophet" and the individual has complete control of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Other denominations have many different views concerning this phenomenon, as the scriptures are not clear on it.

Transliterally, to be anointed with the Holy Spirit, means to be active in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. It is an active participation with the Holy Spirit, where a follower is required to (as Jesus Himself said)...

Raise the dead, heal the sick, speak with new tongues, prophecy, be immune to poison...

This is almost always referenced along with some miracle.

Remember, Jesus said, "Greater things than I do - ye shall do..."

He was talking to those who were going to be baptized in the Holy Spirit.

So, the Christianity that Jesus espoused and gave example of is one that is full of miracles... Not just coincidences, but bonafide miracles that would stun any witness to them. Greater ones than Jesus did, such as walking on water, raising the dead, turning water into wine, etc...

This is what Jesus expected of His followers.

Gene said...

Actually, Steve, You might be surprised to know, we are in agreement. I won't go point by point but this much is sure. You can discover and move in your destiny without a prophet speaking it over you and you can receive the anointing (Unction?) without having hands laid on you. All that's true. It is just so much better if a person who doesn't know anything about you, who you believe hears from God, with no information at all about you speaks to you directly about something you are wondering about, gives you a release directly from the Holy Spirit. That will release destiny faster and more completely than anything else can.

It becomes your call, and your call is your anchor when headwinds come.

As far as all the other things you talked about, they are better experienced than explained. What you have described is pretty external.

I have been in Charismatic (I like the word Pentecostal better, as in like Pentecost) churches steady for thirty years and understand what happens there pretty well.

There has been a lot of bad teaching regarding all things pentecostal by non charismatic churches for a long time. I have smiled and sometimes railed against it. The last most egregious was some teaching by David Jeremiah.

Very Scholarly, but it was like someone teaching about Africa from textbooks and testimony without having ever been there.

Experience trumps theology every time.

I hope someday the Scott family will avail themselves a good deep rich pentecostal church. Just like not all Calvinist or reformed churches are good, not all pentecostal churches are good. Some are better than others. I think if you were to experience one you would find it fresh and refreshing.

I posted this because yesterday I ministered prophetically to a couple dozen people. Many I had never seen or met before. I just laid hands on them and God gave me what to say. The destinies, the confidence, the call's on their lives by the holy spirit was amazing even to me.

This post was from a recent experience in God.

I don't know if you had a chance to watch the video of the service I preached at in March. That is a full on Pentecostal service of a Church I love. If you watch the whole thing you will see how destiny is released. We all want to do the will of God. This is that.

Gene said...

I Tim 4:14-15
"Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all."

Gene said...

Have you been here??

I don't know this church, but I respect the movement.

Anonymous said...

Those whom God calls into His ministry, He anoints to accomplish His will. But, what is this anointing? It is simply the power of the Holy Spirit, flowing through an individual, to empower them to accomplish God's will.
Without the anointing, we have to rely upon our own strength and ability. But, with the anointing, we are literally agents of God's divine power. What is impossible in one's own strength and ability becomes possible, and even easy, when it is done under the anointing.

The prophet Isaiah tells us that the purpose of the anointing in to break the yoke, and set people free (Is 10:27). Since, "the Son sets free" (Jn 8:36) I think it is logical to conclude that everything done in the ministry should in some way or another, help set people free. Not put them in more bondage, but help them to realize the true liberty from sin that the Lord has provided for them.

Just because "God's gifts and callings are without repentance" (Rom 11:29), doesn't mean that one can't lose the anointing that God has given them. Throughout history, many have lost the anointing that God has placed upon their lives. While the gifts and callings are permanent, the anointing is very dependent upon our actions and our holiness.
Let me define something here. One loses the anointing by losing touch with God, be getting into a position where we aren't connected with His Holy Spirit. It isn't so much that God says, "no more" as that we lose the way to get more. Sin always separates us from God. If there is enough sin in our lives, we are separated to the point where God's power can't flow through us.

An electric light only functions when it is connected to the source of power. It can't pretend to be connected; it can't get close to being connected; it has to be connected. Anything less, and the electricity can't flow through the bulb, producing light.
It's the same with us. We can't pretend to be connected to the Holy Spirit; we can't be almost connected; we have to be connected. If we aren't, His anointing can't flow through us, touching those around us.
Let me say clarify something else as well. There are many false manifestations, and people who pretend to have the anointing. they know how to act like they have the anointing. They know how to talk like they have the anointing. They know how to put on a good show. But, it's all in the flesh, and not in the Spirit.
Part of this probably comes from not understanding the anointing. Another part probably comes from an honest attempt to make something happen. Then there are those who do it, because they don't have the anointing, but want people to think they do. In whatever case, those people have not spent the time necessary to form the relationship with the Holy Spirit necessary to insure that the true anointing is flowing through their lives.

King Saul is a perfect example of someone who lost the anointing. Even through David himself referred to him as "the Lord's anointed" (1 Sam 24:6; 26:9), we see that the anointing of the Lord left him, and rested upon David. But the question remains, why did the anointing leave him?

There were probably a number of factors which had something to do with the anointing leaving him, not just one thing. Saul made a number of errors in his life, which ultimately caused him to lose the anointing. We can also see that there were a few things which pre-disposed him to lose the anointing. Let's look at those first.

The first thing that pre-disposed Saul for failure is that he became king because the people wanted a king, not because God wanted them to have a king. In fact, they rejected God as their king, in order to have a human king, like other nations. This, of course, displeased God, but He complied with their desires and gave them Saul for their king.

The anointing is a gift from God. As such, it isn't something that we can demand from Him, or even take from Him. It is something that He gives as He chooses. By demanding that God give them a king, the people of Israel were essentially demanding that He anoint that king as well. Remember, anointing comes out of an intimate relationship with the Lord, not from demanding that He provide it.

The second thing that worked against Saul was that he was selected as a leader because he looked like a leader, not because he was a leader. Leadership requires character, not just good looks. Even though Saul was "a head taller than the other people" (1 Sam 9:2) we will see that he wasn't a head taller in his obedience, or integrity.

Some leaders look like leaders, and some don't. If leaders are selected for their looks, their stature, or their socio-economic position, they are selected for the wrong reasons. Leaders should be selected for their vision, their character, and their servant's heart.

Finally, we see that Saul wasn't ready, or willing to accept God's call on His life. After Samuel anointed him (1 Sam 10:1), he didn't say a word to anyone (1 Sam 10:16). Okay, let's give him the benefit of the doubt on this, we can say that he was being humble. But, just a little farther on, we see that when he was pointed out in the congregation of the people to be king, they couldn't find him, because he was hiding with the baggage (1 Sam 10:19-22).
Even after Saul was discovered, and presented to the people as their king, he didn't jump to fulfill his duties. It wasn't until there was a crisis that he stepped forth to take his leadership role, and protect his people.

If someone is going to be successful for the Lord, they need to be called, anointed, given a vision and sent out. But, they also need to accept the calling, anointing, and commission to be sent. Some people have tried to go without the calling, and have only worked in their own strength. Others have tried to manufacture the anointing, instead of receiving it from the Holy Spirit. Still others who have been called and anointed lacked a vision; so they ran around in circles not accomplishing anything. All of these categories ultimately fail to accomplish all that God had planned for them. But, the greatest failures are those who refuse to accept God's calling. They don't accomplish anything.
All right, so now we've seen what pre-disposed Saul to failure. But, that wasn't enough to make him lose the anointing; he had to have an active part in the process. So, what did he do to make him lose the anointing?

And, behold, Saul came after the herd out of the field; and Saul said, What aileth the people that they weep? And they told him the tidings of the men of Jabesh. 1 Sam 11:5

The first thing Saul did to lose the anointing is associated with the last thing I mentioned that pre-disposed him to lose the anointing. That is, to sit around, instead of seeking after God's anointing. Even though he had been called, Saul was still out working with the herds in the field, instead of spending time with the Lord. Even if he didn't start out right away to serve God in the capacity which he was called to, he should have spent his time preparing, especially in seeking God's presence, and receiving the anointing to do God's work.

The anointing doesn't come to those who sit around waiting for it. Sitting on the sofa, watching anointed ministers on television won't give anyone the anointing. Nor does the anointing come from fifteen minutes of prayer a day. The anointing comes from intimate relationship with the Lord.

There is a great difference between Saul and David in this regard. Both before, and after David was anointed as king, we see in scripture that he was a worshipper. He spent much of his time writing and singing psalms of praise to the Lord. He was so well known as a psalmist, that king Saul's counselors knew of him, and had him come to the palace to sing for King Saul. Of course, that didn't give Saul the anointing either.

Every great minister of the last century, who have been used by God in a mighty way have been people of prayer. Some of them prayed as much as eight hours before a service! They understood the necessity of spending time in the Lord's presence to receive the anointing.

And he tarried seven days, according to the set time that Samuel had appointed: but Samuel came not to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him. 9 And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering. 10 And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might salute him. 11 And Samuel said, What hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash; 12 Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the LORD: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering. 1 Sam 13:8-12

God has a perfect time for everything. It is the time which He has ordained for something to be accomplished. Quite often it isn't the same timing that we would have for that thing, but that's okay. He's God, and He knows better than us when that perfect time is.

If we want the anointing of God to flow through our lives and ministry, we must be sensitive to His plans, His purposes, His will, His desire, and His timing. I have said many times, "More ministries fail because of going ahead of God's timing, than any other reason." When we move ahead of God's timing, we move in our own strength, not His. We must wait for the timing which God has established, so that the fullness of His power, provision, and anointing can flow.

Saul didn't know how to wait for God's timing. Even though he had a sure word from the prophet to wait seven days, he failed. Literally moments before Samuel arrived to make the sacrifice, Saul took it upon himself to do it. He failed to wait that little bit of extra time necessary to insure success.
The closer we get to the perfect timing of God, the more reasons we can come up with to step out. We think we're ready. We think that it's the last possible minute. We think we'll lose the opportunity. We think we'll lose the people. But, by moving early, we lose the most important things, God's blessing, and His anointing.
One of the things that happens when we move ahead of God's timing, is that we lose the presence of the Holy Spirit.

It is He, the Holy Spirit, who gives us the anointing. But, as I've already said, that anointing can only come out of an intimate relationship with the Lord.
When we move ahead of God's timing, there is a tendency to replace worship, faith, the presence, and the power of God with a religious act. In the same section of scripture we read above, Saul set out to make the sacrifices himself. That in itself wasn't bad. What was bad was that he did it as a religious act, seeking God's favor; not as an act of worship.

God was never really interested in all the thousands, or even millions of offerings the Jews brought before Him. He was interested in the worship that accompanied those offerings. Likewise, when we bring an offering before Him, it needs to be accompanied by worship. If not, it won't move His heart.

When King David brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, the Bible tells us that he stopped every six paces to build an altar, make a sacrifice, and worship. Without the worship, those thousands of sacrifices wouldn't have meant anything.

Saul didn't understand the importance of worshipping from the heart. He thought that the religious act was enough. By acting this way, he proved to God that he wasn't the "man after God's own heart" which God the Father was seeking. This guaranteed his ultimate failure.
The anointing, in and of itself, isn't natural, it's supernatural. If we are going to receive of it, we must make a decision to set aside natural things, and depend upon the supernatural. It doesn't work to be double minded. Nor does it work to try and mix the natural and supernatural. Trying to bring natural means into a supernatural spiritual work will ensure that the supernatural part is lost.

Saul couldn't make up his mind if he was going to depend upon the Lord, or depend upon the natural. One of his stated reasons for making the offerings himself, instead of waiting for Samuel was that "the people were scattering from him."

Now, if we just think about this for a minute, we can see how illogical Saul's concern was. First of all, the enemy's army was bigger than his. If he was dependent upon the size of his army, he was in trouble. Secondly, his army didn't have proper military arms. Farther on, in chapter 13, we find out that the only swords in Israel's army were the ones that Saul, and his son, Jonathan had (1 Sam 13:19-22). The army of Israel was fighting with farmer's implements!

If somebody's going to rely on the natural, it seems to me they'd better have something worthwhile to rely upon. If they don't, it makes a lot more sense to depend totally upon God, and let Him take care of the problem.

If one is going to rely on natural means, they'd better do the best job of it they can. But, even in that, Saul failed. In addition to not having a big enough, or well equipped enough army, Saul ignored wisdom, and weakened the army he had. He made an oath, binding the army to not eat anything, until they had won the victory. The only problem, was that in his rush to gain the victory, he reduced his chance to do so. Obviously, the army was hungry, even his son Jonathan was. Since Jonathan hadn't heard the oath, he went ahead and ate some honey he found, and was refreshed (1 Sam 14:27).
Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass… 8 And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. 9 But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly… 13 And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD. 14 And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? 15 And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed… 19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD? 1 Sam 15:3, 8-9, 13, 15, 19

The anointing comes from the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Since the Holy Spirit is part of the trinity, that's the same as saying that the anointing comes form God's presence in our lives. However, God will not stay where sin is. So, when we are in disobedience, which is a sin, we essentially kick God out of our lives. When He goes, so does His anointing.

Of all the possibilities, lack of obedience is probably the greatest anointing killer there is. God doesn't give his anointing so that people can show off, get attention, look spiritual, or impress others; He gives it so that we can accomplish His will. To do that requires total obedience. Anything less destroys our ability to receive the anointing.

When God gives directions, He is specific. I don't think He could have been any more specific that what He told Saul in the first verse of the extract above: destroy everything. But, Saul didn't do that. He did what He thought was right, instead of what God said was right. That never works.

Many people, just like Saul, think that they are doing what God has told them; but they have really changed what God told them to do. Look at what Saul said to Samuel in verse thirteen: "Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD" Even though God had been specific about destroying everyone and everything, Saul "interpreted" God's command to mean only destroy those things that he wanted to. He brought the best of what the Amalakites had, and their king, back with him. When Samuel asked him about that, he called it "an offering to the Lord."

Lack of obedience, even partial lack of obedience, is rebellion. God will not tolerate rebellion. In fact, He gave Samuel a prophetic word to King Saul about his rebellion:
And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. 1 Sam 15:22-23

Nobody can remain in rebellion to God, and expect God to bless, prosper, and anoint them. Just as Saul lost his kingship, they too will lose whatever God called them to do, along with the grace, anointing, and gifts that make that possible.

Everything that Saul did wrong led up to his lack of obedience, which ultimately led to his losing his kingship and anointing. But, he could have still regained everything had he been quick to repent. Saul's lack of repentance was the seal on his disobedience, and assured that he would not regain God's favor.

In both chapter 13, and chapter 15, Samuel confronted Saul for his disobedience. In both cases, we see that Saul didn't accept responsibility for his actions and was quick to offer excuses. Not only that, he didn't change his course and correct his errors. It appears that Saul thought his excuses should be enough for God, and he could continue in the path he had chosen.

In both cases, Saul blamed the people for his actions. In chapter 13, he said, "I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed" (1 Sam 13:11), blaming both "the people" and the prophet, Samuel for his actions. In chapter 15, he said, "for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God" (1 Sam 15:15). I thought Saul was supposed to be the king, the leader, where is his leadership in these actions?

As I said, Saul didn't change his actions, even after the reproof of the prophet. He had spared Agag, king of the Amalekites from death, even though God had clearly directed his death. Samuel had to kill Agag, because Saul wouldn't (1 Sam 15:33).

This is probably the greatest difference between King Saul, and King David. While Saul was quick to offer excuses, David was quick to repent, when he was confronted by Nathan the prophet, with his sin (2 Sam 12:7-13).

Everyone sins (Rom 3:23), even those in the ministry. But, not everyone repents. Many times, the only difference between one who succeeds in God's calling and one who doesn't is their ability to repent. God always accepts repentance. Although the consequences for the sin may not be removed, God's grace, calling, and anointing will always be restored.

These six actions are what caused King Saul to lose his anointing. They aren't all he did wrong, but they are the key events that led to his demise. Let me take a moment, before I end to mention a few things that people commonly do after losing the anointing:
Even though God clearly stated through the prophet Samuel that Saul had lost his kingship, Saul continued as king over Israel for many years afterwards. Although his authority originally came from God, he continued in his own authority even after losing God's.
This makes me think of a few instances I know of where ministers tried to continue in the ministry after they had fallen into sin. Instead of counting on God to be with them, they counted on the people to be. They continued because of their name and their fame.

Really, everything else that these people who have lost the anointing do is an effort to maintain their position, their popularity, their ministry, or their ego. It is all based upon pride, forgetting that God truly raises up the humble.
In today's manifestation oriented church, where people are looking for a good show, many have tried to manufacture manifestations to show that the anointing of God was still with them. They do those things that they did before, which look like a manifestation of God, but do it in the flesh, instead of by the Spirit of God. By manufacturing manifestations, they keep the people coming to see them, and the offerings coming into their pocket.

Sadly, some of these people are so blind, that they think that the false manifestations are the real thing. The first person they deceive is themselves, then they go on to deceive others. This is an insult to God, and to His Holy Spirit.

To maintain their ministry and popularity, ministers who lose the anointing focus on the people, instead of God. They look to see what it is the people want, and give it to them. They create new revelation, instead of receiving it from the Holy Spirit. They have bigger events, to show how their ministry is growing. They "tickle the ears" of the people, instead of telling them what they need to hear.

This type of action may maintain an appearance of God's blessing upon the ministry, but it is a hollow shell. Those who are coming to receive of that minister aren't receiving anything of the Spirit, only of the flesh.

When Saul couldn't get an answer from God, he went seeking spiritual power in the wrong places. He was so desperate for an answer that he told his advisors to "seek a woman with a familiar spirit, that he could inquire of her" (1 Sam 28:7). When they found the witch of Endor for him, he asked her to bring Samuel up from the spirit realm so that he could inquire of Samuel. But, when Samuel appeared, he repeated what he had already told Saul, that the anointing had left him.

I don't know if this was truly Samuel's spirit, or was another. It really doesn't matter, because even if it was a evil spirit, God could cause that spirit to say what He wanted it to say. The point is that Saul turned even farther away from God, in order to encounter spiritual power. He encountered it all right, but it only pushed him farther away from God.

I can't say that I personally know of any ministers who have turned so far away from God that they have sought the enemy's power, but it wouldn't surprise me if it has happened. I do know that some have turned to Masonry, which is a false religion, in order to "help their ministry grow." That's not too far from seeking the witch of Endor.

We've already seen that when Samuel rebuked Saul for not destroying the Amalakites, and their animals, he didn't repent. But, he still wanted to look good before the people.

He asked Samuel:Then he said, I have sinned: yet honour me now, I pray thee, before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD thy God. 1 Sam 15:30

Wait a minute! He didn't repent, but wanted honor for himself? That sounds like he's trying to use God. Why? So that he can be honored.

There are a lot of people out there, both in the ministry, and in the church, who are trying to use God to honor themselves, instead of giving the glory to God. They are robbing God's glory; essentially saying, "look at me, look at me" instead of saying, "let me help you focus upon God."

If we are not serving God, any honor we receive is as filthy rags, not worth anything. But, if we are truly serving Him, He will give us the honor that we are due.
We know very clearly from scripture that after Saul lost the anointing, it rested upon David. Even though David didn't take his place as king for many more years, he was anointed as king. Starting in chapter eighteen, and lasting till the end of his life, King Saul sought to kill David. On more than one occasion, he set out with his army for the express purpose of killing David, yet in all, God protected David.

How many times has someone in the ministry, who has lost the anointing, set out to destroy others who still had it? How many times have they spoken lies and gossip about others who were serving God? How many times have they fought for the army of Satan, instead of fighting the good fight of faith, for the army of God?
Little children will often tattle on each other to make themselves look better. They apparently think that if they can make their brother, or sister look bad, then the parents will think more highly of them. Unfortunately, some people never outgrow this bad habit. Even as adults they "tattle" about others, in order that they might look better in people's eyes. I think that this is a true sign of one who has lost the anointing.

The anointing is precious, valuable, and irreplaceable. Protect it, nurture it, seek it, and use it. Stay in the fullness of the perfect will of God, so that His anointing power may flow through you. Let God be God, and be what you are called to be, a servant of Him.

(back in a while...
or until we meet again)