Posts Tagged ‘mouth of God’

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).

Develop Hearing

“Go and lie down, and if He calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.’” (1 Sam. 3:9)

The story of how young Samuel first heard God’s voice, and how his prophetic ministry was launched; provides some important keys for us. Three times the young boy Samuel heard a voice calling his name and each time he ran to the Priest Eli in response. Don’t fret we all start somewhere. Finally Eli realized that it was God calling the boy. He gave Samuel some simple instructions: 1st Go lie down… 2nd Be willing to hear… 3rd Let what God says – sink in! Hearing is really all about our posture… mentally and spiritually!

Develop Your Awareness: God is Speaking …and wants to talk with You!

When God first began speaking to Samuel, the boy did not know that God was the source of the voice. We need to awaken our hearts! God is speaking… and in order to hear from Him, we must be expecting to hear from Him. We read, “In those days the word of the Lord was rare” (1 Sam. 3:1). Very few people were getting anything from God… revelation was weak because their faith and characters were weak. That is not the case today. You have the Holy Spirit within you, leading, convicting and communicating what is on the Father’s heart. God delights in sharing His thoughts and intentions with you. Perhaps God is communicating more than you have previously been aware of. What is He saying? Only you will know, as He speaks to all of His Children individually and uniquely. Listening is what will stir up faith to receive more! Remember what the Apostle Paul said, “faith comes from hearing… hearing the word (or voice) of God” (Rom. 10:17).

Wrap your mind around this picture…

“How precious (or amazing) to me are your thoughts (concerning me), God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.” (Ps. 139:17-18)

The picture is one of a constant stream of personal thoughts toward you… from God. God is consistently thinking about you! David seems convinced that all of those thoughts were good, encouraging and countless… and he was hearing them! David was hearing some of the most wonderful things about himself from the very mouth of God! It could be likened to ‘live streaming’ on the Internet… a constant flow of communication. Many people have a mindset that believes God is silent… that He is done speaking to us and has nothing more to say. Its not the truth – but when it comes to hearing God’s voice, we must set our heart to hear. We must develop our hearing. You cannot develop your hearing without a belief that God is speaking to you and that He wants you to hear what He is saying.

Jesus understood that the Father speaks to us as sons and daughters for one key reason… because He loves us!

“For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all that He does.” (Jn. 5:20)

  • Jesus said “My sheep hear My voice!” (Jn. 10:27)

Getting Past Hungry

Scripture: “O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory. Because Your loving-kindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You. (Psalm 63:1-3)

Thought for Today: “Getting Rid of Kinda Hungry”

These are the times I find myself craving things like steak and baked potato, or chicken burritos. We’ve been in our fast long enough now that my stomach has resolved its issues, but my mind is beginning to feel a bit neglected. That’s when I know I’m getting to the heart of the prayer and fasting goal. I want to awaken my spiritual hungers for God and my deepest thirsts for the passion of His heart. What I want to see happen in me is that “my comforts” and “my passions” line up with the will of God. Its my desire that when I say I believe in Christ, I am not found betraying Him in my behavior.

The Psalmist says, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God” (Ps 42:1).

Hungering and thirsting after God is a practical reality that results in an unhindered chase. In other words, if I hunger and thirst after God and train my mind to find its comfort in His purposes, then my flesh will begin to find its delight in His passions. The question I must resolve is, “Do I crave the nourishment of a spiritual feast in His Presence more than the local smorgasbord?” I can proudly boast of a full belly, while I waste away with an empty heart… but today I am kinda hungry.

And God says, “Its about time!”

Fasting and prayer should be a time of discovery… exploring, and enjoying intimacy with God. It should be feasting in His Presence, identifying with His purpose, and denying the natural food in order to delight in the supernatural food that comes from the mouth of God.

Fast or Feast:

Jesus assumed His disciples would fast (Mt 6:16-17), but not until He was gone from them (Mk 2:19-20). While He was close, while He was with the disciples… it was the season of feasting and celebration in His abundance. This time in His Presence was the time for the dance and the joyful embrace of His Provision. He was their water brook, as the Psalmist has said.

Lead us to the Feast:

The time has come when fasting is to lead us to the feast. When our hunger and thirst for the food that truly satisfies, becomes our deepest search, then we can celebrate. His Words, His Presence, His voice in the morning, fills the heart with light (Isa 58:8-9). God help us to pray and fast until we uncover the feast. I want to be found running to Him… for Him.

Please Holy Spirit, become my water brook… abundant and refreshing.

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!

It is Written

Scripture: “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, ‘If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.’ But He answered and said, ‘It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you, and, in their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ Jesus said to him, ‘It is written again, You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, ‘All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Away with you, Satan! For it is written, you shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.” (Mt. 4:1-11)

Thought for Today: “When Tempters Come… It is Written!”

The tempter came to Jesus and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Mt 4:3-4)

In this passage we have a wonderful opportunity to see how Jesus dealt with the tempter in the wilderness. It is interesting to note that it is the Holy Spirit who leads Jesus into this situation where we find Him hungry and vulnerable to the tempter’s approach. Jesus has denied His physical body of food for 40 days so that He could focus upon the Words of God. This focus has brought Him into a place of testing that cannot be duplicated in any other environment. He is challenged about His identity, His authority and His loyalty. In every situation His response is the same – “It is Written!” The Word of God was His most valuable weapon… and in the end the Devil left Him discouraged and defeated.

The Wilderness Experience:

There are seasons where we need to remind our body where our true resource is found. Jesus pointed out to His disciples that He had food that they did not know about (Jn 4:32). Whether our appetite is for food, entertainment, or even other people; the wilderness experience reminds us that we were created for more than just flesh desires. Getting to the core values that we stand upon is essential when in the midst of temptation, testing and trials of our faith. If we have a shallow understanding of our faith in God, then we will find ourselves struggling when the tempter comes… and he will come.

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” (Jn. 10:10)

Focus on God’s Word:

I want to emphasize something we often overlook in those wilderness experiences… the one-two punch of quoting Scripture and fasting. Jesus is focusing on the Words of God within a fasting lifestyle, and that’s His greatest source of strength as the tempter comes to attack Him. Its true, the tempter will try to bring distraction and disruption to your spiritual journey; but recognize the security of knowing your resource is in the Word of God and prayer and fasting. There is just no threat when you live in the stronghold of God’s love and embrace. That is exactly what we have in the Words of God, a Stronghold of Truth that feeds our needy soul (Ps 119:161-168).

Jesus is the Word Made Flesh:

Later Jesus proclaims “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me will never go hungry, and he who believes in Me will never be thirsty” (Jn 6:35). God offers us something greater than bread, He offers us life in Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. He is our spiritual resource. When we focus upon Jesus, looking into His eyes by faith, we are renewed in strength and revived in spirit (2 Cor 4:6). Likewise, when we focus on the Words of God in Scripture there is a revelation of the provision of God in Christ Jesus, released by the Holy Spirit (Col 1:27). Strength and joy are made available to defeat all enemies and bring revival to our weary souls.

Take note as you live, “the Kingdom of God is not food or drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom 14:17).

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