Posts Tagged ‘Jesus of Nazareth’

Anointing and Increase

“Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.’” (Luke 4:14-19)

“…God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38)

Jesus was anointed by God… indeed “God was with Him” in increasing measures by a lifestyle of prayer and fasting. His example is designed to be our model of spiritual discipline. It was Jesus’ experience even as a youth to increase in His favor with God and man (Lk 2:52). Yet even in the transition of Jesus into His Earthly ministry, we can see a direct connection between a lifestyle of prayer and fasting and His increasing anointing (Lk 5:12-13)(Lk 6:12)(Mk 9:29). This reality is both inspiring and instructional.

Notice how God moves Jesus into His public ministry:

  • He is baptized in the river Jordan, where He is filled with the Holy Spirit and hears the voice of His Father from heaven (Lk 3:21-22).
  • Immediately (it would appear to me) Jesus establishes a posture of prayer and fasting as He is led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil (Mt 4:1-2).
  • While in the wilderness, Jesus feels the challenges of the Devil, the hunger in His body and the threat of wild beasts. He becomes aware of the ministry of angels as well as the strength given by the Words that proceeded from the mouth of God (Mk 1:12-13).
  • He experiences increase in the anointing and breaks through the challenge victorious, because the Devil left Him until a more opportune time (Lk 4:13).
  • Jesus would return to Galilee in the increased anointing and power of the Holy Spirit bearing evidence with signs following, because people give Him glory and praise for His teaching ministry (Lk 4:14-15).
  • Now that the temptation was over His ministry would begin with a journey to Nazareth and an announcement of how He was anointed by the Holy Spirit to preach, heal, bring deliverance and freedom to the captive heart (Lk 4:16-19).

Defining the Anointing:

The anointing is God being “with us” or God’s Glory manifest upon our lives. Glory is defined best as God’s “Weighty” Presence or abiding spiritual power made known through our fellowship with the Holy Spirit. I have often said the anointing is God’s hand of favor upon our lives for the advancing of His activity in the world around us. We see this in how Jesus carried the anointing. He went about the Judean countryside advancing the Kingdom of God, because the anointing was on His life. God was with Him, empowering and leading Him, breaking the grip of the Devil and advancing the activity of His Father’s heart.

Why Prayer and Fasting:

Prayer and fasting increases our ability to know and sense the supernatural Presence of God, by awakening our spiritual senses and diminishing our emphasis on flesh desires. His power and His Glory begin to increase as we meet with God and experience fellowship in an unhindered way. God’s will and His ways become more recognizable when we are sensitive to His heart. I would describe the anointing as an actual physical experience whereby we feel the internal warmth of His Presence upon our body. That is why it increases as we pray and fast. By yielding our hearts in greater measure to the Holy Spirit’s activity we can welcome and value the anointing and make room for increase in our lives. It is like a signal that God sends to us saying that He is with us. He is showing Himself to us and approves of what we are saying or doing (Jn 14:21)(2 Cor 1:21).

There is nothing so important to our Christian walk than our faith in God (Heb 11:6)! It pleases Him when we step out in ways that give Him greater opportunity to reach the world through us. It is my desire to encourage prayer and fasting so that we may increase in the anointing of God and be more effective as Kingdom Agents in the world around us.

We are ambassadors for Christ {The Anointed One} as though God were pleading through us… Be reconciled to God! (2 Cor 5:18-21).

Desperation

“Then they came to Jericho. And as He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging.  And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” (Mark 10:46-47)

Bartimaeus was a desperate, blind, beggar in Jericho. He could not see on many levels. Everyday he went to the same location and sat on the same corner begging and calling out to the same people, hoping for someone to give him something. No doubt everyone knew him. He had a reputation. He was called “Blind Bartimaeus”.

Desperation & Hearing:

Now it happened on a certain day that a large crowd entered Jericho. Blind Bartimaeus could hear it, a commotion along the road and excitement in the air, there was a spiritual shift in the atmosphere. It was Jesus passing through town… and the road was going to bring him right by where he sat. He had heard about Jesus. The stories of people being healed. Lame men walking. Deaf ears hearing. Mouths that never knew how to talk, speaking the praises of God. Lepers made clean. And He was passing this way!

Desperation & Hope:

I believe it was at that moment that hope arose in the heart of Bartimaeus. He was quick to make up his mind that He was not going to let Jesus pass without touching him. Hope is like that, its the platform for which faith is birthed (Heb. 11:1). The desperate move quickly, because they have an unusual sensitivity to hope. In a desperate cry this blind, beggar began to call out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Desperation & Our Voice:

Blindness is no reason for shame. He was not ashamed. Desperate people will do desperate things, but only if shame is dealt with first. Shame silences the desperate, but hope opens the mouth! Hear the words of Bartimaeus, “Have mercy on me” and then ask yourself - how often is this your plea? Nothing was going to stop him from getting the Lord’s attention. How often are we too ashamed to speak up? Jesus was passing through and there was no way that Bartimaeus was going to let Him pass without making his need known.

Those who are truly desperate find their voice!

Pursue the Anointing

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Ps. 23:5-6)

“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38)

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Lk. 4:18-19)

The anointing of God flows from the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is symbolically represented by several ideas in Scripture… oil, water, fire, wind, wine or a dove. When anointing begins to manifest, it can take the form of any of these symbols mentioned.

  1. Anointing can manifest as oil and offer unity and peace among worshipers of God (Ps. 133). When the anointing manifests itself as oil, it is to smooth out or lubricate your progress. When the anointing comes upon you, it will take you to the next level… into your promotion. David was anointed with oil by the Prophet Samuel and as a result, an ordinary shepherd boy became a king (1 Sam. 15:11-13).
  2. Anointing can manifest as fire and destroy yokes (Isa. 10: 27), release healing (Jms. 5:14-15) and break strongholds of idolatry (1 Ki. 18:36-40).
  3. Anointing can manifest as water to satisfy thirst (Jn. 7:37-39). The Holy Spirit can satisfy any form of thirst in your life.
  4. Anointing can manifest as a mighty rushing wind (Acts 2:1-4). When anointing manifest as a mighty rushing wind, it is to open new doors and to make a way where there seems to be no way. The anointing can also manifest as a cool refreshing breeze bringing life with it (Gen. 2:7). After God made man, He breathed the breath of life into him and that represents the Spirit of God upon man. The anointing can turn ordinary mud and clay into a living soul.
  5. Anointing can manifest as wine. The Holy Spirit is the heavenly wine! When people saw those who had been baptized in the Holy Spirit, they said they were drunk on new wine (Acts 2:12-13). Its the anointing that brings joy, excitement and wonderful experiences often attributed to wine. That is why one of the names of strong wine is ‘spirits’.
  6. Anointing can come as a symbolic gesture as a dove upon Jesus, that John the Baptist testified of seeing (Jn. 1:32) or a sudden light from heaven like the Apostle Paul experienced (Acts 9:3). These realities are wonderful signs that point to the essential messages God is speaking to individuals or groups of people at a given moment. We call these manifestations of anointing, miracles, and signs and wonders (Mk. 16:16-18)(Acts 5:12 & 19:11-12)(Rom. 15:19)(2 Cor. 12:12).

Empowerment:

Anointing enables you to fulfill God’s purpose for your life (Jn. 14:12) and do supernatural things (1 Sam. 17:34-37)! One main purpose of the anointing is to win souls (Jn. 15:16). The Bible says, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). After we receive the anointing, power is available to be an effective witness and overcome life’s greatest battles.

For All Who are Thirsty: (Ps. 42:1-3 & 63:1-2)(Mt. 5:6)

Another wonderful thing about the anointing is that it does not discriminate. Whether we be male or female, rich or poor, young or old, the anointing of God can come upon you (Joel 2:28-30). Listen to these words; “…I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon My servants and upon My handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.”

Father – Revive Us Again!

Supernatural Impact

Scripture: Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:14-19)

Thought for Today: “Increasing in the Anointing”

Jesus was anointed by God and increased in that anointing by a lifestyle of prayer and fasting. His example is designed to be our model of spiritual discipline. It was Jesus’ experience even as a youth to increase in His favor with God and man (Lk 2:52) but prior to His ministry we can see a direct connection between His lifestyle of prayer and fasting and His increasing anointing (Lk 5:12-13)(Lk 6:12)(Mk 9:29).

Notice how God moves Jesus into His public ministry:

  • He is baptized in the river Jordan, where He is filled with the Holy Spirit and hears the voice of His Father from heaven (Lk 3:21-22).
  • Immediately (it would appear to me) Jesus establishes a posture of prayer and fasting as He is led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil (Mt 4:1-2).
  • While in the wilderness, Jesus feels the challenges of the Devil, the hunger in His body and the threat of wild beasts. He becomes aware of the ministry of angels as well as the strength given by the Words that proceeded from the mouth of God (Mk 1:12-13).
  • He experiences increase in the anointing and breaks through the challenge victorious, because the Devil left Him until a more opportune time (Lk 4:13).
  • Jesus would return to Galilee in the increased anointing and power of the Holy Spirit bearing evidence with signs following, because people give Him glory and praise for His teaching ministry (Lk 4:14-15).
  • Now that the temptation was over His ministry would begin with a journey to Nazareth and an announcement of how He was anointed by the Holy Spirit to preach, heal, bring deliverance and freedom to the captive heart (Lk 4:16-19).

“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38)

Defining the Anointing:

The anointing is God being “with us” or God’s Glory manifest upon our lives. Glory is defined best as God’s “Weighty” Presence or abiding spiritual power made known through our fellowship with the Holy Spirit. I have often said the anointing is God’s hand of favor upon our lives for the advancing of His activity in the world around us. We see this in how Jesus carried the anointing. He went about the Judean countryside advancing the Kingdom of God, because the anointing was on His life. God was with Him, empowering and leading Him, breaking the grip of the Devil and advancing the activity of His Father’s heart.

Why Prayer and Fasting:

Prayer and fasting increases our ability to know and sense the supernatural Presence of God, by awakening our spiritual senses and diminishing our emphasis on flesh desires. His power and His Glory begin to increase as we meet with God and experience fellowship in an unhindered way. God’s will and His ways become more recognizable when we are sensitive to His heart. I would describe the anointing as an actual physical experience whereby we feel the internal warmth of His Presence upon our body. That is why it increases as we pray and fast. By yielding our hearts in greater measure to the Holy Spirit’s activity we can welcome and value the anointing and make room for increase in our lives. It is like a signal that God sends to us saying that He is with us. He is showing Himself to us and approves of what we are saying or doing (Jn 14:21)(2 Cor 1:21).

There is nothing so important to our Christian walk than our faith in Christ… a faith that believes that God responds and rewards the diligent heart (Heb 11:6). It pleases Him when we step out in ways that give Him greater opportunity to reach the world around us. It is my desire to encourage prayer and fasting in all believers, so that they may find increase in the anointing of God and be more effective as Kingdom Agents in the world around them. We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us… we speak a supernatural word and we minister to others by way of a supernatural power from God! (2 Cor 5:18-21).

Let your impact become… supernatural!

Oppressed by Demons

“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38)

Demons work hard to deceive and bring all kinds of oppression into our lives. Satan acts like a roaring lion (1 Pet. 5:8), because he knows the impact of a fully equipped Child of God (Jn. 10:9-10)(Eph. 6:10-12). Remind yourself that life is a wrestling match and there is power available in Christ to overcome him… the oppressor! Contemplate some of the following ways in which you have found yourself in the midst of battle…

  • Accusation: To be plagued with unworthiness and guilty feelings
  • Affliction: To inflict something hard to endure
  • Fearful Expectations: To consistently assume the worse outcomes
  • Harassment: To annoy or wear us out by frequent attacks
  • Influence: To exercise power over us to affect our mood
  • Opposition: To resist or hinder seemingly simple tasks
  • Torment: To cause severe suffering of body or mind
  • Torture: To punish or coerce by inflicting excruciating pain
  • Unbelief: To create deceptive and unreasonable doubts
  • Worry: To disturb or destroy our peace by persistent torment

How Does Satan Oppress:

The question arises whether or not demons know our thoughts. Are demons able to read our minds? The answer seems to be that if the demons are “inside” a person that they can, but they cannot if they are on the “outside”. For most of us, we fight the battles of his oppressing, tormenting or accusing lies and threats. It seems obvious that demons do find ways to plant thoughts in our minds, so they must know what we are thinking by observing our behavior! They study us and attack our weakness, confusion and failures.

I believe the first goal demons have, is to prevent us from receiving forgiveness and salvation in Christ. If that fails, they work at preventing Christian maturity. They try to shut us down and make us ineffective. Their chief strategy is to try to get people to turn away from God. They do this through many forms of oppression such as temptation, shame and isolation. Any way they can challenge God and His Word, they will fight for control over our hope and faith. Demons lie to us and work hard to get us lying to ourselves! Remember the devil is a thief, looking for easy access to unguarded treasures!

Another form of harassment is accusation and criticism. Demons will interject condemning thoughts into the minds of anyone who is willing to listen. They particularly like to stir up the past with thoughts of, “You really should have…” or “If only you had done… (whatever) differently”. Demons are on a “seek and destroy” mission. They can “gang up” on us to undermine our sense of reality and control our behaviors. They take advantage of our “blind spots”, and they love it when we are physically or emotionally weary… it makes us vulnerable to defeat. They attempt to affect every area of life: spirit, soul, and body. They don’t play fair, in fact they don’t play at all! They will kill us if we allow it!

But Jesus Heals… The Oppressed!

“Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw.” (Mt. 12:22)

And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed“. But He answered her not a word… Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs”. And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table”. Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire”. And her daughter was healed from that very hour. (Mt. 15:22-28)

Healing & Deliverance:

The word healed means to be made whole or cured of something. When Jesus healed those with unclean spirits, He was making them whole and restoring them by removing those unclean spirits. By “casting out” the unclean spirit deliverance was achieved and freedom allowed the person to regain their sense of balance and reason! What Jesus was dealing with was spiritual blindness caused by a demonic stronghold in the mind. The Biblical idea of an “unclean” spirit is simply to identify what that spirit does to the human soul… it pollutes and defiles the thinking process so that the person looses control of their ability to reason. When a person is oppressed by the devil, they will often be confused and disoriented… “blind” to the realities right in front of them. Jesus would heal the oppression, by casting out the unclean spirit and speaking the Truth of His Father’s love (Jn. 15:9)! He would say things like, “The Father loves Me, and in the very same way the Father loves Me, I have loved you… therefore, abide in My love.”

Jesus was the Truth in human flesh and He carried the authority that challenged every lie that stood in opposition to reality from God’s perspective. Notice that Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit and went about healing the oppressed. The beauty of His ministry was that He brought the Kingdom message… with Kingdom power and authority. The Good News is that no power on Earth or demons of hell can stand against the revelation of Truth as anointed by the Holy Spirit. Today, it is not normal to be unable to process your thoughts. Its not God’s will for anyone to feel confused and oppressed by the devil! But for healing and deliverance to bring freedom… we must allow the Truth to break in, anointed by the Holy Spirit; and set our minds free from spiritual blindness!

Jesus’ words: “These things I have spoken to you (and over you) while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (Jn. 14:25-26)

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