I NEED THE ANOINTING

I will put my spirit within you—Ezekiel 36:27

 

I recently watched the movie Sampson. The movie was entertaining but did take some liberties with the scripture text. The one thing that the movie really brought out was the importance of the anointing. Sampson was obviously indecisive and a very flawed human (aren’t we all) but was turned into another man when the anointing came upon him. Seeing the incredible exploits of Sampson made me think about the role of the anointing throughout the scriptures. Men of God were just men until the Spirit of God came upon them. Think about it, what would have become of David without the anointing? There would have been no Psalms and he never would have gotten past the giant Goliath. And of course there was Peter. Peter turned from a coward into a lion of God preaching like he was from another world on the day of Pentecost. Then there was Phillip translated by the Spirit, Steven being martyred while under the anointing, John in the Spirit writing the book of Revelation, and Paul’s writings inspired by the Holy Spirit. How much more do we need the anointing today? We need him in our day to day activities. Here is how A.B. Simpson describes it.

“Would you not find that a blessed rest when you are worn out from struggling in your own strength? Do you not feel the need of an invincible man to conquer the strong man of self and sin? Do you want a leader? Do you want God Himself to be with you, to be within you? Do you want rest? Are you conscious of this need?

Are you weary of this sense of being beaten back, of longing, wanting but not accomplishing? That is what He comes to do. Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you (Acts 1:8). Better than that, “Ye shall receive the power of the Holy Spirit coming upon you…. You shall not receive power yourself, so that people will say, “How much power that man has!” You shall not have any power whatever, but you shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you.

The anointing is available to all of us today. We desperately need His power in this wacky age that we live in, trying to live in our own strength will never be enough.

CAN WE ACTUALLY CHANGE ?

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my

decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

Ezek 36:25–27

There are some many dangerous teachings more accessible than ever to Christians in today’s social media dominated world. I often say that social media is the judgement of God on all of us. What do I mean by that? That whatever is in our hearts and heads just comes spilling out on Facebook or whatever. Everyone has a pulpit in social media and few have any accountability. Today’s verse points us to the new power found in the Christian faith established by the Lord through the blood of His Son. The New Covenant cleanses all of the filthy stains from our lives but it doesn’t stop there. The New Covenant also gives us a new heart where our actual behavior is changed. This new heart is connected to the indwelling presence of Christ in us, Christ in us is a total game changer. Here is how Andrew Murray describes this blessing.

“In contrast to the Old Covenant, the God-given power that enables the people to stay within His law is the distinctive feature of the New Covenant. But why does the truth of the New Covenant so seldom become a reality in the life of a believer? The answer is quite simple: It is not preached or believed, and the fulfillment of it is not felt in the believer’s life. Paul is an example of the fulfilling of the New Covenant in a believer’s life. The same anxious person who cries out that the power of sin holds him captive, shortly thereafter thanks God that he has, in Jesus Christ, through the Spirit that gives him life, been set free….God links His promises to our faith—however difficult the truth may be for the human mind to fathom. His promises become operative when we believe.”

We must preach this powerful message. Jesus started it with “repent, the kingdom of God is upon you”. Peter continued it by preaching “repent and receive the Holy Spirit”. It is the Spirit that gives us the ability to actually change. This is the power of the New Covenant, the power to live different kinds of lives.

A NEW KIND OF LIFE

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my
decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

Ezek. 36:25–27

One of the most frustrating experiences we can have is to know to do right but always end up doing wrong. All of us have been there, part of us wants to change but we find ourselves falling back down that slippery slope time and time again. Arrrggghhh!!! That was the basic problem of the law in the Old Testament or any religious system that is ultimately based on human will power to follow them. The Old Testament law as well as any other version of works or principles is doomed to failure. It’s not that the law was flawed, we are. We don’t have the capacity in our fallen human state to do the good even when we really want to change. The solution, the new birth and the power of the Spirit. This new work of God goes to the very depths of our being, our heart. This is what is changed in the New Testament, we now have the power and the desire to live a different kind of life. Here is how Andrew Murray describes it.
“In contrast to the Old Covenant, the God-given power that enables the people to stay within His law is the distinctive feature of the New Covenant. But why does the truth of the New Covenant so seldom become a reality in the life of a believer? The answer is quite simple: It is not preached or believed, and the fulfillment of it is not felt in the believer’s life. Paul is an example of the fulfilling of the New Covenant in a believer’s life. The same anxious person who cries out that the power of sin holds him captive, shortly thereafter thanks God that he has, in Jesus Christ, through the Spirit that gives him life, been set free. Why is it that so few people can testify to the truth of this? God links His promises to our faith—however difficult the truth may be for the human mind to fathom. His promises become operative when we believe.”
How does this change take root in us? If you are born again the work has begun. Your cooperation comes through saturation in God’s written word and learning to draw near to Him by faith in His blood. This becomes our way of life. Suddenly we see the change in us, we find ourselves saying, “I delight to do your will Oh God!!!”.

FROM ONE TONGUE TO MANY TONGUES Pt 2

FROM ONE TONGUE TO MANY TONGUES
Part 2
The Transition from One Tongue to Many Tongues

Ezekiel prophesies in chapter 36:22-29, that God would one day take His law and write it upon the hearts of His people. He would also give us a new heart and a new spirit. He would do this for the express purposed that we would be able to keep His laws and obey Him.

In God’s wisdom and understanding He knew that it was impossible for His people, try as they would, to be able to obey Him. This internal change of a “New Heart” and a “New Spirit” would be the only way for fallen man to live a life of obedience.

The prophet Joel also speaks of a time when the Spirit of God would be poured out upon all flesh. Joel 2:28

Now after 1500 Pentecosts, the Messiah, the Lord Jesus comes on the scene.

He tells his disciples that in the near future a new Comforter, One Who would walk alongside of them (John 14:16) would be sent from Heaven.

In John 16:7-11 Jesus speaks again about the Helper, the Holy Spirit, who was going to come to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. How would the world be convicted? By the Tongues of Many! All of His people would be filled with His Spirit and speaking His Word and testifying to His Grace and Glory!

Before His ascension into Heaven in Acts 1:8, He declares again that the believers would receive power and be His witnesses in the world.

And on the Day of Pentecost in Acts, chapter 2, we have the account of a sound of a rushing mighty wind that comes from Heaven, fills the room and cloven tongues of fire sit on each of their heads.

The Spirit of the Lord is given and distributed to many. As the Apostle Peter would preach that the Spirit of the Lord is poured upon all flesh and this historical event is a fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy.

The Church is born in power.

The First Pentecost in Exodus is all about the One Tongue of God speaking to His servant Moses, who in turn preaches His words to the congregation

Now the scene changes and with the birth of the church, the One Tongue is distributed to Many! For the promise is unto you, your children, to all who are afar off; even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

God is pleased to distribute to all of His people His Spirit. His anointing power. Power to live, power to die, power to be His people.

From One Tongue that spoke from Mount Sinai, to Mount Zion, the city of God. The place where we are invited to drawer near unto Him. We come to the place of MANY TONGUES giving praise to Him in our daily lives of victory and joy of knowing Him and testifying of His goodness to the children of men.

Let us keep the feast, not with the leaven of ritual and ceremony; but rather in a personal experience with God. For it is God the Father, Who draws us by His Spirit. It is God the Son, Who gives Himself a ransom for us and Who baptizes us with His Spirit and Fire, so that our tongues become the vessels of His glory and grace.

FEED THE MULTITUDES 2009

I am excited about our 20th annual Feed the Multitudes taking place Saturday, July 4. This year the event will take place at the UNO Lakefront Arena and promises to be the best Feed the Multitudes yet. As usual, we will serve barbeque chicken, jambalaya, red beans and rice, hot dogs, watermelons, and an assortment of other dishes, deserts, drinks, snowballs, etc. We will also have our music tent with the Rachel Womble and company, Louis Baldo and friends, plus Amanda Shaw. The music will be the best and the atmosphere will be incredible.

As always there is water events for the kids, spa tent for anyone, medical tent, community needs tent, plus groceries for thousands of people to take home. Come out for a great day of food, fellowship and fun and also come out to serve.

Feed the Multitudes is a very important part of the legacy of Victory Fellowship and was birthed in a time of financial need for our church.

In the Spring of 1990, our church was struggling, we had a financial crisis on our hands. Our people were discouraged, we needed divine intervention! The Lord answered our prayer for help, but not the answer we were looking for. We thought He would provide a financial break through an unexpected monetary gift, that was not His plan. He told us to throw a giant free music and food festival and target the needy people of our city. That was so unusual. At the same time, many friends were encouraging me to reach out to the wealthy and minister to them. That was the way to get out of debt. Instead, the Lord said go to the poor.

So we did. That first year, we served hundreds of poor people at our first Feed the Multitudes. We were surprised at the crowd, surprised at the provision, but most of all we were surprised at what came next. As our congregation began to serve the poor in the midst of their dilemma, God gave us the miracle. It could not be seen with human eyes, but it was very real. The miracle was a heart change. The Lord gave us a new heart of compassion.

Ezekiel 36:26 I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

Out of this first Feed the Multitudes, we received a heart transplant in our church. It was the beginning of a spiritual awakening in us. Only a soft heart can give and only a soft heart can receive. The Lord was leading us into both of these spiritual experiences.

There are many spiritual lessons we can learn from Jesus’ miracle of feeding the 5000.

The first one that comes to mind is that Jesus was ministering to the crowd in His time of need. John the Baptist, his cousin and forerunner, had just been killed and Jesus wanted to return to the wilderness for some rest. As the crowds followed Him into the wilderness, He began to minister to them. He preached, taught and healed the sick. After three days, He ministered to them in their hunger, multiplying a boy’s lunch to feed the crowd of people.

Out of this miracle we can see several spiritual truths:

1. Man shall not live by bread alone. Jesus is the true food that comes down from heaven.
2. That this bread was a picture of His body which would be broken for us.
3. That God is glorified by man’s dependency. The lunch was horribly insufficient, but Christ was more than enough to meet the incredible need.
4. That man can be satisfied only by eating spiritual food. Man is looking for satisfaction in life and looks for it in natural means. Only Christ can satisfy our hungry hearts. They all ate until they were satisfied.
5. We discover our call in life. After we come and eat our fill, we distribute the “bread and fish” to the hurting people in this world. Only when we find our place of service can we be completely satisfied in life.