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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Anointing pt2

Dear beloved: The anointing to do the Lord's will and work in your life comes from being obedient to the Lord. The prophet Elijah was a man appointed by God, and he was obedient to the commands of the Lord. 1Kings 17:2 And the word of the Lord came to him(Elijah) saying, v3 "Go away from here and turn eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. v4 And it shall be that you shall drink of the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to provide for you there." v5 And so he went and did according to the word of the Lord, for he went and lived by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. v6 And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he would drink from the brook.

And so you see that Elijah was obedient; not many would go out to the wilderness and live off the food that ravens bring, and drink from the brook of the stream. It takes great faith to step out and obey the Lord when the provision cannot be seen, but that is where God wants us to go, to a place of great faith. And yet Elijah was willing to go and not question, this is the place of obedience that God wants us to be in. Three years ago when a fire wiped out two businesses on the block next to my store, Pure Prairie Natural Foods, I was sitting across the street the day after the fire and was looking at the whole scene of devastation, with the smoke still coming up out of the rubble. I asked the Lord why He left my store still standing, and He said to me, " Because you are My son and I want to bless you." It was difficult for me to see the blessing at that point, because even though we were still standing, we had significant smoke and water damage, which eventually came to a bill of about $70,000 to get everything fixed up and back in shape. So I decided, when the Lord said He wanted to bless me that we would start over, clean up and fix up, a monumental task that took several months and great faith that the building would look nice and not smell. Much to my surprise, when the insurance check came in for the work done, I had received so much volunteer help from friends and church brothers and sisters that I was able to pay off a $20,000 note from out of the insurance money. For the first time in 15 years the store was debt free!

Eventually the brook Cherith dried up as we read in verse 7, And it happened after awhile, that the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land. v8 Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, v9 "Arise, go to Zeraphath, which belongs to Sidon, and stay there; behold, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you," v10 So he arose and went to Zeraphath, and when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks and he called to her and said, "Please get me little water in a jar, that I may drink." And so again we see Elijah in complete obedience, moving across Israel to Sidon at the request of the Lord. Often the Lord dries up our provision in one area only to bless it in another; when that time comes, be willing to listen and move with the Lord's commands. Another example in my own ministry, I had been a Sunday school teacher for many years and was taken out of that role in a way that was quite painful and I did not understand; but immediately after that the Lord opened up the door for prison ministry and for the first time I was able to really preach and minister in my own church under the direction and power of the Holy Spirit. And so what appeared to be a drying up of ministry turned into an explosion of ministry, and the anointing on me increased substantially as I stepped out in faith.

As we look back at Elijah again with the widow from Zeraphath, she was preparing to die when he shows up on the scene. v12 But she said, "As the Lord your God lives, I have no bread, only a handful of flour in a bowl and a little oil in the jar; and behold, I am gathering a few sticks that I may go in and prepare for me and my son, that we may eat it and die." We see then that Elijah ministered words of life to her, and her flour and her oil was not exhausted, according to the word of the Lord which he spoke through Elijah. The anointing is for ministry, to speak and bring life into those who are lost, sick, in bondage, and are hurting. The great irony of it is, just as the widow prepared a bread cake for Elijah first and gave it to him, when we give the anointing away, then it is replenished. In giving it is increased. Give yours away today, beloved, go and bless someone in the name of the Lord! in Christ, Jim

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