I'm old enough to remember when microwave ovens were first sold in stores, and I remember the first time I saw one used. They were very expensive when they first came out, and the only people we knew who had this new technology were wealthy friends who became close after my dad left. They were so close we kids called them 'Uncle Del and Aunt Betsy'.
They had 5 children, roughly the same ages as we 4, the oldest was their son Trip, who was about my age and my good friend. Trip isn't his real name, but they gave him his grandfather's and dad's name, so he was the 3rd, thus 'triple', which became 'Trip'. If you knew his real name you'd understand why he prefers 'Trip'.
They had a big house with a stairway on each end of the house leading to the full basement which is where we usually played, with one stairway just off the kitchen. I'll never forget being there one day when Aunt Betsy decided to make BLT sandwiches for lunch (bacon, lettuce, tomato), microwaving the bacon. I excused my self from play several times to come up and down those stairs just to watch the process.
I couldn't believe she could put bacon on a paper plate, cover it with a paper napkin, press a button, and a couple minutes later have 'fried' bacon. She explained it over and over to me because I thought surely I am missing a step - it can't be THAT easy! I stood and watched several batches cook from start to finish just to be sure Aunt Betsy wasn't joking.
Prayer and Presence or formula?
To this day I don't know how microwave ovens work, but I use ours regularly. Barb doesn't because the rapid heating has been shown to destroy nutrients, so she thaws, warms and cooks on the stove or counter top toaster oven. But I'm a guy so what do I care about a few exploding vitamins!
If someone could time travel back to around 1910 and explain to a house wife that one day a small box would sit on kitchen counters, and people would press a button, then invisible rays would cook the food in mere seconds, she would think they'd come from Mars!
Mentally I know how they cook: Light in a wave length beyond our ability to see, microwaves, heats water molecules within the food. But really all I know is I press a button and 2 minutes later my popcorn is popped. It isn't important that I know how it works, just that it does.
It is generally the same with prayer. I don't always know the mechanics of how it works, but it does. Some people approach prayer like a technician trying to figure out that microwave, theologically taking prayer apart piece by piece trying to figure out how it works, thinking there must be a single part to discover that will make all the bad in life go away.
And if God the Father were a robot that might be the case, but in fact He is a living being and Judge of all, thus much of what He does and the reasoning behind it remains within Him alone. As Deuteronomy 29:29 says: The secret things belong to the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of His (this) law.
What is the anointing?
This series is not about you and I sitting down to take apart the microwave in a search of the key that makes it all work, but rather how to enjoy the presence of the microwave in our lives. It isn't about trying to figure out how God answers prayer, but rather understanding that in His presence there is no darkness, no fear, no lack, no frailty nor infirmity, so that if we can enter His presence He will figure out the mechanics required to answer that prayer and meet that need in our lives.
In His presence there is no lack, therefore His presence is our objective. (In life, and in our meetings)
Power and authority
In Luke 5:17 the religious leaders from all over the land came to hear Jesus teach, and the text says: "And the power of the Lord was [present] to heal them." (Amplified Version)
The reason the Amplified Version (and others) put 'present' in brackets and 'them' in italics is because these are implied in the Greek, not written. Literally the text says: "And the power of the Lord was to heal." The 'present' and 'them' were inserted to convey the thought, and aren't incorrect, just in my opinion, unnecessary.
They rather dilute the impact of the sentence as Luke wrote it: "The power of the Lord was to heal."
By stating 'the power of the Lord was to heal', Luke puts a personality behind the power, that the power had a will to heal. And that is exactly correct. The power is the Father, and Jesus is the authority to use that power. Another translation is this: "And the power of Jehovah was to heal."
Stop in the name of the law
The word 'power' here is 'dunamis'. It is often used in conjunction with authority, or 'exousia' in Greek. It is important to know the difference. 'Dynamite' is derived from 'dunamis', so we understand power.
The word authority or 'exousia' comes from 'exesti' which means "it is lawful", thus using the name of Jesus must be in a spiritually lawful way to have the power of the Father behind it. To use His name as a curse word has no power behind it. To name a boy in Spanish 'Jesus'' (hey-soos) has no power with it.
To use the name of Jesus in any way aside from the Father's intended use (the power), will net a zero result. Nothing will happen no matter how much we sputter and shout religious sounding prayers and commands - The name of Jesus must be used only in conjunction with the Father's power.
When a police officer holds up his or her hand at an intersection and traffic comes to a stop, it is exousia, authority, that stops those cars. If a car tried to run down that officer, ignoring the authority, the officer could pull his or her service weapon off their belt and fire shots at the car - the gun is the power, or dunamis.
Authority is of no use unless you have the power to back it up. A parent can exercise their authority to a child to tell them not to do something, but if that child disrespects parental authority mom and dad had better use power to back it up.
Jesus is the authority, but the Father is the power. This is why one of my favorite passages, Hebrews 1:1-3 says this:
"God (Father) in many times and in many ways spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, but now in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He (Father) appointed heir of all things and by whom He (Father) made the worlds;
Who, being the brightness of His (Father's) glory, and express image of His (Father's) person, and upholding all things by the Word of His (Father's) power, when He had purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high."
The power behind the authority
Jesus is the Word of the Power. This is why Jesus said in John 5:19 and 30 that He only did and spoke what He saw and heard from the Father. The Father is the power, Jesus is the authority, the Word of that power. The Father - the power - initiates all action, therefore His will must be determined before using the Name.
Many Christians think Jesus is the source of power, so they speak His name 50 times in a long and drawn out prayer, usually a prayer partly directed to God and partly directed to the devil, in which they speak the name of Jesus, bind the devil, plead the blood, command angels, and generally reveal they are like a blindfolded child swinging at a birthday piñata, not sure where the target is but knowing if they hit it they get the spiritual candy.
Don't make a move, don't say a word unless....
The name of Jesus is the most powerful name in the universe WHEN the power of the Father is used with it. If you speak the name, but the power of the Majesty on High isn't behind it, nothing happens. We have the authority to use the name, but as in Jesus' time and in Acts, the power and the name must be together for anything to happen.
So you can see where I'm going - the anointing is the manifested presence and therefore power of the Father. When His presence is manifest, that is felt, perceived, discerned, then using the name of Jesus releases the Father's power, resulting in the Father's desired result.
This is why (as I've said before) I don't care for 'prayer lines' - because I have to linger before each person, find where His power (will/anointing) is, and then do/pray accordingly. That takes time and concentration. It is much more efficient to teach people how to perceive the anointing - His presence and power - and receive on their own.
So that is why I'm not talking about taking the microwave apart piece by piece, but rather defining, explaining, and leading you into a how-to know 'the anointing', for once in that Presence, there is fullness of joy and every need is met.
Until next week then, blessings,