Last week I shared about the anointing in worship, entering His presence, giving of ourselves in worship.
That isn't to say I don't enjoy songs of thanks and praise, for I do. I love songs with lyrics of dedication and pouring my heart to the Father - but for me, I don't get a sense of His direction (anointing) until I stop singing about my heart and my desires and my neediness, and start focusing 100% on Him alone. THEN in that communion, in that exchange of thoughts and feelings, His presence is felt heaviest. In those moments, when we stop singing to Him about ourselves, He starts singing and speaking to us about His love for us. But to get there, you have to stop with 'self' and focus on Him.
Power of attorney
Everyone expected my grandfather to die before grandma, but that is not what happened. You know how they tell you before surgery there is a 1 in 27,000 chance you'll be allergic to the medicine? Grandma was that 1 out of 27,000 who had a bad reaction and never woke up.
My grandfather was devastated and his mental condition started deteriorating almost overnight as he gave up the will to live. Today we recognize Alzheimer's Disease, but back then it was 'senility'. He gave mom 'power of attorney' before it got too bad, and she retained power of attorney until his death a couple of years later.
'Power of attorney' is the authority to act for another person in legal or financial matters and is expected to be used in the same fashion as the person giving you that authority would wish. It isn't for personal gain, but rather always aware you are doing what that person would want. It is what the Father first gave to Jesus, and now has given to us so as Christ's body so that we have the authority to act on His behalf in the earth.
Faith, power, authority
This series started by talking about how when Jesus was teaching, 'the power was to heal', from Luke 5:17, showing the power is the Father, and Jesus is the authority to use that power.
Jesus said of Himself in John 5:19 and 30: "Truly, truly I tell you that the Son can do nothing of Himself, but only what He sees the Father doing; for whatever He does, that the Son does likewise. I can of myself do nothing; as I hear, I judge..."
In Acts 2:22, Peter, who had been with Jesus about 3 1/2 years, said this: "Jesus of Nazareth, attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs which God did through Him..."
In His closing prayer in John 17 before going to the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus said this to the Father: "I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work which you gave me to do. I have manifested your name to the men you gave me out of the world. I have given them the words which you gave me." (4, 6, 8,14)
The body of Christ
The Father was the power behind everything Jesus said and did, giving Jesus authority to act on His behalf, which is the power of attorney in modern speech.
Jesus said this before His ascension: "All authority is given to me in heaven and on earth. Therefore you go and make disciples in all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe and do whatsoever I've commanded you..." v19-20
All authority is given to Me...therefore you go...We have the authority to use the name of Jesus to cast out demons, to lay hands on the sick, to go boldly to the Father in prayer on behalf of others.
But I've clearly shown by chapter and verse the authority to use the name of Jesus MUST be in conjunction with the power of the Father - the anointing - else the name is spoken in vain with no power released at all.
What does this mean on a day to day basis?
If the anointing is the manifestation of the Father's presence and revelation of His will in a given situation, what does that mean for you and I?
We take our clue starting with the scripture I started this series with, Luke 5:17: "As Jesus was teaching the power was to heal..."
Notice - Jesus was doing something else when suddenly the Power was to go in another direction. That means our church thinking is all wrong. The anointing isn't something you feel in a service, it isn't something you have to 'go to' with others to get. The anointing or the power to do something happens in daily life when we are in the midst of something else.
When should we expect 'the anointing'?
Consider that Jesus said He only did what He saw the Father do, yet most of His miracles were interruptions to what He was doing, not something He planned. That means as He went about His daily routine He was constantly on the lookout for what the Father was doing and saying.
We really do have it all wrong don't we? We've been trained to go to church or a meeting with a special speaker and then we'll experience anointed teaching and anointed worship - meaning we felt the power of God or sensed Him moving in a particular way. Praise God for those times, but why are we trained to look ONLY there for 'the anointing', when the example in scripture is the anointing happened in daily life?
Consider John 2:1-11 where Jesus was merely a guest at a wedding, when because of someone's oversight, He graciously turned water into wine. Look at these other interruptions:
A leper came up to Jesus as He walked down a mountain, and was healed. Matthew 8:1-4
As He entered Capernaum a Roman Centurion stopped Him on behalf of a beloved servant. Mt 8:5-13
As He entered Peter's mother's house He discovered Peter's mother in law in bed with a fever, and healed her. Mt 8:14
As He was sleeping on a boat the disciples awakened Him because there was a storm and they were afraid of sinking, so He woke up, told the wind and waves to be quiet, and they did. Matthew 8:23-27
I could go on and on - as He left Jericho blind Bartimaeus called out to Him, interrupting His departure, but was healed. Mark 10:46-52
In Matthew 9:27-31 two blind men followed Him into someone's house where He was going to have dinner, but were healed.
In Mark 5:21-43 Jairus came to Him and got Him to follow Him to his house to lay hands on his daughter, for the first unplanned miracle, and while He was going a woman with a chronic hemorrhaging condition touched His clothes and got healed - it goes on and on like this through the gospels.
Maybe we could say that was just for Jesus, but in Acts 3:1-7 Peter and John are on their way to the temple when a lame beggar asked for money but ended up getting healed. And what about Philip minding his own business in Acts 8:26 when an angel tells him to take the desert highway down by Gaza, where he discovers an Ethiopian official who is about to be born again!
Then we have Peter hanging around on the roof waiting for lunch and seeing a vision in Acts 10, which led to going to the Roman Cornelius' house where he brought them Jesus and the baptism with the Holy Spirit. And I don't think Paul planned for Eutychus to fall asleep while he taught, but when the young man fell 3 floors to his death, Paul raised him from the dead, then went back upstairs and taught until dawn! Acts 20:6-12
Can you adjust?
So you see, Acts really is normal Christianity, and most all we see around us is abnormal Christianity. We've been trained to look for the anointing at church, even in our home churches, when the Bible actually demonstrates the anointing, that is the manifest power, presence, and revelation of the Father's will, happens during the course of life!
Can we adjust to that? I was in a store and saw out of the corner of my eye, a shorter woman struggling to get something from a high shelf. I would have just kept walking but felt impressed to stop and help her. Reversing direction, an interruption to what I was doing, I stopped to help her and ended up praying for her sore shoulder. She said it felt suddenly better, and thanked me, and I went on about my business.
I was approached in a parking lot by a young woman asking for just a cup of coffee, I would have turned her down as I had many beggars, but felt prompted to stop and talk to her. I ended up paying $20 to the local coffee shop that she could have credit for several coffees there, and all I did was encourage her to pray as that was about all she was open to at the time - and when I complained to the Father how I wished I could have led her in a prayer of salvation, He replied, "You did what I asked you to do, and that's all she could receive today."
Our power of attorney in Christ is just like the power of attorney in the natural world - it is meant to be exercised in daily life, not to be locked away in some auditorium once or twice a week.
Should not these exceptions to our schedules be the norm, rather than the exception? And why does this happen, why should we be looking for the anointing in our daily life not only when we 'go to meeting'? Because I John 2:27:
"As for you, the anointing you have received of Him remains in you, and you don't need anyone to teach you. (This isn't throwing away being taught, but rather emphasizing the Holy Spirit in us teaches us). His anointing teaches you all things and is the truth and not a lie, and just as it has taught you, remain in Him."
And we'll pick it up with that next week, blessings,