“Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us – Eternal Life. These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.” (1 Jn. 2:24-27)
Allowing the knowledge of God to abide in you, is more than just theology or Church Doctrine being understood. Our minds are incredible in so many ways. God has given us the capacity to process facts, but spiritual truth requires spiritual discernment… an anointing of the Holy Spirit. The anointing is an abiding Presence of the Holy Spirit that offers influence (Exousia or authority) and power (dunamis or dynamic impact). Those benefits go beyond the natural realities of our five senses. We have by way of the anointing, a supernatural ability to see, hear and move in the spiritual realm. The Apostle John is trying to help us understand the value of this anointing, as we process Eternal Life.
1st) We need to Experience Eternal Life…
The Anointing within us is designed to turn spiritual knowledge into fellowship with the Father and the Son. This is fellowship in the Glory of God at its best! When we are saved, we are transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light; whereby our lives are no longer held by the power of sin, but the anointing of the Holy Spirit. It is a process, recognizing the influence of our new abiding “Helper” (Holy Spirit); but it is also, an awesome and powerful freedom that allows Eternal Life to be released into all of our decisions. Its by the anointing that we know spiritual truth and have power to overcome the enemies of our soul (Isa. 10:27)(1 Jn. 2:20 & 27). If you desire to see deliverance and breakthrough in your life, then you must value the anointing! Even Jesus was aware of the impact the anointing carried upon His life and ministry. He said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, for He has anointed Me…” (Lk. 4:18).
2nd) We must Hold On to Eternal Life…
The Apostle John warns us that many are trying to deceive and lie about the truth of God. They are jealous or intimidated by the life they see in the Believer and aim to discredit the Child of God, because they walk in rebellion to a Biblical world view. There are so many hostile environments in our world, that it requires us to value the anointing above any other influence in life. We must have a fresh anointing abiding within us to build ourselves up and carry a bold testimony of God’s goodness and power in our lives. Without question, trouble is always knocking at our door and we cannot give in or make room for the enemy’s lies or perversions. We give no place to the Devil… by standing firm against his schemes (Eph. 6:11-13), his approaches (Jms. 4:7) and his accusations (Rev. 12:10-11). It is the anointing that destroys the demonic strongholds and offers freedom in the midst of spiritual battles (2 Cor 10:3-6)(Acts 10:38). We must value the anointing if we want to continue to receive the blessings of Eternal Life… in ourselves and for those within our reach.
3rd) We are called to Advance Eternal Life…
Believer’s are called to become Ambassadors for the Message of Eternal Life. We are like the mouthpiece of God, flesh and bone, but anointed with the Word of Hope. Our declaration is that God has set His love upon the world and lifted up His own Son in the place of the sinful. We cry out with trembling voices, “Be reconciled to God!” Because He made Him, who knew no sin; to become sin for us, so that we might become His righteousness, by the pure blood shed at the cross (2 Cor 5:19-21). We must value the anointing of the Holy Spirit, because it is not about the eloquence of our preaching or the depth of our experience. It’s all about the One who abides in us, speaks through us and empowers the message… so that it is “good news”. As Kingdom Agents we advance Eternal Life with the anointing, through the anointing and by the anointing. Jesus said, “All authority, and all power has been given unto Me, therefore go… preach, teach and disciple the nations of the Earth… and I will be with you!” (Mt. 28:18-20 -my paraphrase).
That is the anointing defined… “I will be with you – I will be upon you – I will abide in you and live through you!” Why would you have no need of a teacher? “For He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world.” (1 Jn. 4:4)
Elijah is a powerful example of a man who knew… “Its time to pray”. I want to suggest that the reason he got answers to his prayers was not because of his eloquence, but his awareness. Elijah knew that prayer comes before the Highest Court of the Universe… God’s Heart. The prayers of a righteous man are effective prayers. This means they are heard and answered by God, because they pull upon His “fathering” nature. In fact, James tells us that Elijah was an average kind of guy, with similar passions to any of us.
“Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed and the heavens gave rain and the earth produced its crops.” (James 5:17-18)
Knowing is a Vital Key:
Do we know that we must pray to God in order to get the will of God activated in our lives? Knowing is not head knowledge, its experience in the doing of something. Knowing is the motivating factor that gets us invested, we know in order to stay in sync with reality… physical or spiritual. Elijah was a man full of conviction. His thought was not “if” prayer works, but when prayer works, get ready. How quickly do you run so you won’t get wet.
Talk with God:
Its that simple… just talk with God. The people who had lived through the drought at the Prophet’s request were unconvinced that Yahweh was indeed the only God who answers prayer; but when they saw fire fall from Heaven, there was little question who brought the goods. It was the one who prayed to the right God. These folks were out of touch with God, because they were not praying to God.
Prayer is Connection:
Prayer is as individual as we are, but it offers the connections we need to engage in relationship to the Living and Speaking God (Heb 1:1-4). We will be heard loud and clear, if we will just show up and participate. If we draw near to God in prayer, He will draw near to us with answers (James 4:8).
This is what the Lord says- Your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to My commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea.” (Isa. 48:17-18)
“If Only… you had paid attention to My Commands!”
These words echo in the heart of those who live with regrets. We have all found ourselves off track to some degree… with strange perceptions, bad choices and wasted opportunities. Many times in our self-absorbed lifestyles, we think that we are doing the right thing or going in the right direction only to find out that we have been wrong. We hit the wall or reach the end of the rope and cannot find our way out. Some have so damaged their future that recovery would require a miracle. Life is not something we should guess at or rush into, but problems are often the high price we pay for trying to please everyone around us. Perhaps you have felt the shame and embarrassment that follows these words… “if only I had paid attention” to God.
God has given us all that we need for life and godliness in His Word and by the guidance of the Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:2-4). He knows what is best for us and He desires to teach us those things, because He loves us. Unfortunately we sometimes refuse what God teaches us and insist on doing our own thing. When we do this, we eventually find that we have lost our peace and our life gets full of unnecessary problems and difficulties.
God is Gracious:
God will not leave us in our confusion if we are willing to return and recover what has been lost. His arms are always open for us and He is always waiting for our return. Although we hear within our soulish man, “If only you had listened”, God does not leave us in defeat if we will come to Him in faith. We often beat ourselves up with the “if only’s”. If only we had not done this or if only we had done that instead. But in spite of what we have done, there is hope in God!
God holds out a wealth of righteousness… His Mercy, invites us into a fresh peace that flows like a river and washes over us like the waves of the sea.
Shifting the Focus:
We cannot change the past, but we can shift the focus and live beyond the regrets of the past. Jesus tells us, “YOU ARE FORGIVEN!”. This changes everything inside of us, when we know we are free of the past, free of the guilt and free of the entanglements. The chains that have held us fall lifelessly to the floor, so we can begin anew. We can begin today with the right choices and listen to God’s instructions for Kingdom life. We can begin now with fresh perspective and limitless possibilities. In return God will cause us to walk in the righteousness, peace and joy of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17).
Life to the Fullest:
Have you gotten off track and done your own thing only to find that you have lost your peace and brought unnecessary problems into your life? Take ownership of your future and shift the focus… living beyond your regrets is a matter of choosing who gets to speak into your heart. God’s invitation is not to control you, but to free you to enjoy life to the fullest.
The key is to hear His heart: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you.”
God still speaks today. He said, I AM the Lord your God, I change not! Faith is so important to us, because it gives us that greater capacity to hear the voice of God. Faith is the most potent force in the entire universe. According to the Bible; taking God seriously by believing His Promises, provides everything for an abundant life… and the godliness we need to achieve it (2 Pet. 1:3-4): “power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, and blessing” (Rev. 5:12). Faith offers supernatural grace and possibility to human frailty. Jesus looked at our weakness and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible!” (Mt. 19:26).
God’s voice carries weight. From thunder and lightning (2 Sam. 22:14) to the sound of His whisper (1 Ki. 19:12), God’s voice is mighty. It makes the wilderness shake, breaks the cedars and calls the chaotic into order. God speaks and things are created, re-created, mobilized or stilled. It was His Word that He sent to heal the sick (Ps. 107:20), His voice that made the deer give birth (Ps. 29:9) and the recognition of his name that raised Lazarus from the dead (Jn. 11:43). We must realize that everytime God’s voice is heard something shifts in the atmosphere of both heaven and earth; purpose flows forth and power is released. Its as significant as when God commanded the Sun to stand still for Joshua (Josh. 10:12-13), decreed a healing for a Centurion’s servant (Mt. 8:8) or compelled a storm to become calm with just one word – “Peace” (Mk. 4:39). What makes His voice carry such weight is His Authority! He rules the universe at the sound of His voice and holds all things together; from the grandest mountain range to the smallest molecule, by the word of His power.
How does God Speak to Us Today?
- He speaks directly – As He spoke with Abram! (Gen. 12:1-3); “Come out of your father’s house, to a land that I will show you”
- He speaks through His Word - As He spoke to Isaiah! (Isa. 34:16) “Search from the Book of the Lord and read…”
- He speaks through His Spirit – As He spoke to the waiting Disciples! (Acts 2:4) “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance”.
Jesus assures us; that as the Holy Spirit had spoken to Him, so also the Holy Spirit would speak the will and purposes of God to us, if we would be willing to listen: “He will speak; and He will tell you things to come” (Jn. 16:12-15).
“All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.”
The Apostle Paul understood focus… perhaps more than anyone in the Early Church, because he had lived without focus, without clarity and without Christ. In fact, he said he was living as an enemy of God by persecuting the earliest believers the way he was in Acts 8. He was feared by those who were followers of Christ and questioned often, as he became a supporting part of the Church he once fought against.
Blindness is a focus problem:
Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Cor 4:1-6)
3 Keys to Focus:
- Its not you!
- Its all about Jesus!
- We are Bondservants for His Sake!
The True – The Noble – The Right – The Pure – The Lovely – The Admirable
If its excellent and praise-worthy… think on these things!
What I also find amazing about the Apostle Paul is that he was given a thorn in the flesh, because of the enormous impact the weighty revelation of God was having upon his thought-life and his character in prison (2 Cor. 12:7). Here is a man who learned how to focus! Notice that the thorn in the flesh was a messenger of Satan and not sent from God… but worked to keep him focused on Christ not on himself, so that he would not be exalted above measure. His cry for grace was never ignored and grace came from the Father of Light… a grace that sustained him and brought him into a platform of seeing. Indeed focus will release revelation and refine revelation, because it calls us to the highest platform of seeing. Seeing Jesus… abiding in His light and settling for nothing but the renewed mind!
Jesus said “I only do, what I see the Father doing!” (Jn. 5:19)