The first recorded sermon Jesus spoke originated from Isaiah 61, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor" (verse 1).
In subsequent verses Jesus articulates the other benefits of that anointing: healing for the brokenhearted, freedom for captives, an experiential "jail-break" for prisoners, the year of our being delightfully accepted by God based on His vengeance having been fully satisfied, comfort for all mourners, and the divine exchange: beauty for ashes, joy for the mourning ones, and the garment of praise for all who are depressed.
The recipients become oaks of righteousness as God's special planting that the great God might receive glory. The prophet Isaiah identified the ultimate goal of this anointing.
The newly anointed ones would be ones who "rebuild the old ruins", "raise up the former desolations", "repair the ruined cities", which were the "desolations of many generations".
Fathers name children at birth. Isaiah promised that those who were fully restored by the anointing became authorized to establish a brand new priesthood based on having received a new spiritual vitality characterized by a restoration that only true fathers of a new order possessed, namely "fathering" a new high order of priests!
Those people would create a new order of spirituality characterized by a "presence-based lifestyle". Jesus modeled "presence-based" life and declared it when He said, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me," – and so it would be for those who received the fullness of His ministry.
Those of us who see this truth, believe for it, and qualify become those who can establish a presence-based community of people who have the potential to restore whole cities.
We must set our sights higher than we have in the past. The anointing is not something we have to simply have great meetings or see people supernaturally healed and delivered. Its ultimate goal is to transform societies. We must not settle for less than that. If we do we have denigrated our spiritual currency.
There is an ongoing experience of "glory" and encountering God that has a much greater potential than we have ever imagined. Its purpose is to create a national awakening that transforms the United States. Perhaps we are not a post-Christian nation. We may, in fact, be a pre-Christian one. Don't settle for less. Our best days lie just ahead!
Senior Pastor, Queen City Church