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This is a continuation of the answer to last week's question. Let me include the question and a brief summary of my answer as a reminder:
Dear TeresaHow can I get a greater level of anointing on my prophetic words?- Wanting More
Dear Wanting MoreWe all have some level of anointing that we minister at, but the goal is that this level should always be increasing as we grow in our relationship with the Lord. Steadily growing in His anointing should be a normal part of our walk with God.
We cannot have anointing apart from intimacy with God because because the presence of the Lord is what releases the anointing. I like to think of anointing as a synonym for the tangible presence of God. It is the degree to which we are able to sense His nearness and empowerment on what we are doing as we follow His directions in ministry. The Anointing is not a "thing" to be obtained, it is a degree of personal relationship with God Himself; it is our ability to enter into His presence, then to carry His presence with us as we minister for Him.
The level of anointing we move in should always be increasing at a regular and steady pace as we get to know Him better. But in addition to that steady growth rate, there are also times when God invites us to jump rapidly into a new/higher level of His anointing. This usually happens when we don't feel adequate for the task, or when we feel weak and spent, because it forces us to rely more on God and less on our own ability. Then He releases a higher level of anointing, allowing us to taste it--in hopes that we will begin pursuing Him to be able to move regularly with Him at that higher level on an ongoing basis.
Let me give you an example of what this "invitation" feels like from my recent trip to Singapore. We had evening prophetic meetings on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday. Thursday's meeting had about 300 people in attendance and it was so-so in terms of anointing. I was actually expecting a stronger anointing than I got, and I was a bit disappointed. But those who attended the meeting really liked it. I guess the anointing (which seemed weak to me) was stronger than they are used to. Friday night was much better and also had more people--about 350 or them. There was a real and tangible sense of the Lord's presence and touch in the meeting. It felt like a "strong" anointing to me, but was still in the realms of what I was used to experiencing.
There was a problem on Saturday. I had somehow gotten a case of diarrhea and I felt awful. If I was not the main speaker at the meeting, I might have considered staying home from it, because I felt so sick. But I had to go to it. I felt too weak to stand during worship, concerned that I needed to conserve my energy for when I had to preach, or I would not make it through the sermon. About ten minutes into the worship time, I became aware of a problem that the ushers were trying to solve. The building we were using seated 400, but we had more people in attendance than we had seats. The ushers were really scurrying to make sure that every seat was filled and we still had people standing in the back.
I thought to myself, "Oh Lord, this isn't fair! Why do You have to bring the sellout crowd on the one night when I am too sick to do a good job preaching and ministering? Why couldn't You bring them on a night when I was feeling better?"
Then I remembered what Rolland Baker always says, 'It's not my problem, it's God's problem.' So I told God, "Ok, God, this is Your problem. What will You do to make sure all these people don't go home disappointed?"
I did not get an answer right away, so I decided not to worry about it, because it was God's problem, not mine. I focused my attention back on the worship. As I did, I became more and more aware of God's tangible presence in the meeting. I knew I had to respond to Him in some way, I needed to show Him more respect than just sitting there in my chair. I was still feeling weak and I was still concerned that if I stood up for worship, I might not have the energy to finish the meeting. So I decided kneel (which still honored Him but took less energy than standing).
As I knelt down, I felt the ground shaking. It felt just like it feels when we have a minor earthquake in California. My first thought was, "Do they have earthquakes in Singapore?" Then I noticed wind rushing past me. It fest the same way it feels when I am standing on a BART (subway) platform and the train arrives. I asked the Lord what was happening and He opened my eyes to catch a glimpse of a fiery chariot rushing past me. It was gold and had flames shooting out of it. It was drawn by two while horses. It looked as if their manes and tails were blowing in the wind, but instead of being made out of hair, they were made out of fire. I only saw this for a second or two and then it was totally past me and out sight.
I began to ask the Lord what that meant. It seemed obvious that this was His answer for my lack of physical endurance for this meeting, and it was also direction for how He wanted the meeting to go. But what did it mean? I trust my hearing a bit less when I am feeling under the weather and I did not want to change the direction of the meeting if I was not sure I understood what God wanted. So I asked Him about it.
I was immediately reminded of the passage where Elijah and Elisha were separated by a chariot and then Elijah was caught up into Heaven in a whirlwind, and his mantle was released to Elisha. Was that what God wanted to do? Did He want to release mantles in the meeting for revival in Asia? I asked Him, "Lord, please give me a confirmation that is really Your will before I change the direction of the service." Just as I asked the Lord that question, the worship leader began signing "These are the days of Elijah..." and I took that to be a confirmation.
When the service was turned over to me, the first thing that I did was to share the vision and how God wanted to release His mantles for revival in the meeting. Then I told them that I wasn't going to minister that immediately, because I wanted to make them hungry for more from God. At first I was very weak, but the sermon God had given me for that night went along with God's mantle agenda very nicely with just a few minor tweaks. So I began to preach it, and as I did, I stopped noticing that I was sick and weak. God strengthened me and soon I was aware of nothing but His leading and His presence.
A friend of mine was in the congregation. I had lunch with him on Monday, and he said that when I first stood up to speak, I looked weak and tired and not at all myself. But as I proceeded with the sermon, my energy seemed to return and soon I was my usually dynamic self again. In short, what happened is that as I obeyed Him to peach His agenda, He empowered me to do so, and I was operating His strength instead of in my weakness.
God's anointing on the service was very thick. Before I got up to preach, I had told Him that I was inadequate to run this service and He needed to take it over--and He did. I do have some notes I follow (in a brief outline form) but I am used to launching into prophetic preaching as I follow these notes. The Lord and I did a lot of prophetic preaching that night, and the it went much better than it would go if I just preached from my own ability. I love working with God that way, so I was very happy about that.
The sermon talked about how God had given authority to man, but the devil stole it form us. Then Jesus won the authority back when He died for our sins and rose from the dead. He did not give the authority back to all of mankind, but only to His church. The reason He gave it to us was to be His witness, and the way that He empowers us is through His indwelling Holy Spirit. But when we begin to move with God in His power and His anointing to advance His kingdom, the devil resists us. I gave examples from the book of acts about how the devil resisted the early church with hardship and persecution. But the devil's plans never work and the persecution and scattering of the church resulted in the gospel being preached in more places and the church grew even more. I explained how moving with God in His mantle means increased warfare and increased difficulties, then I asked them if they really wanted the mantle now that they knew this...and they all said "Yes!" Then God had me share about the great revival that He desires to release in Asia; a revival that will break the very backbone of idolatry and win many to Him. I prophetically explained that the reason God was releasing mantles was to equip His Church in Singapore to carry that revival.
God had me start the ministry time by having people stand up and cry out to Him for a release of His mantle on them. As they cried out to God, His presence God even thicker in the meeting. He began to sovereignly meet and empower His people individually. Several had powerful encounters with God. From my viewpoint on the raised platform, I could see manifestations of God's breaking out all over the room. Then God opened my eyes to see in the spirit what He was doing. I could see angels ministering to people all over the room. I could see them depositing mantles and I could see them strengthening individuals. I also saw some gold-clad angels releasing a special missions anointing--preparing some of the people in the room to leave the comfort of modern Singapore and go into the depths of Asia to carry the gospel and the revival.
Then God told me to call them forward (the ones receiving this missions mantle) and to lay hands on them. I did that, turning the service back over to the worship team, and I began to go pray for people. God's power was very strong as I laid hands on these people--His chosen carriers of revival into Asia. I knew that God was empowering them for the work ahead. After I finished praying for these ones, then others began to come forward for prayer. They wanted an impartation of God's empowerment on their lives, and the Lord said to release it to them.
For the most part I would touch a persons forehead for a couple of seconds and pray 2 or three word prayers over them, such as "revival impartation" or "release of God's power" or "Fill!" The power of God would hit them and then I'd move on to the next person. I had a team of about a dozen catchers working with me, and they were all staying very busy. They would each lower the person safely to the floor and then quickly run to take a spot behind the next person they were to catch. They did not have to wait long for me to reach that person and God's power was flowing so strongly that most of the people who I prayed for were overwhelmed with His presence and were slain in the spirit. Many stayed down for a long time, shaking under His power. Some holy laughter also broke out.
The next thing I knew, two hours had passed and it was midnight. Most of the people had been prayed for and many of them were still lingering around. They did not want to go home because God's presence was still so strong on the meeting. God's power had been on me so strongly as I ministered. But when I stopped, I began to feel weak again--not sick this time, but just weak. That underscored to me how I had been moving in His strength and not my own.
I went back to my hotel and went to bed. I had hoped that God would come on me strongly in my hotel room, similar to how He had been coming on the people in the meeting. In fact I asked Him to do that. I had so enjoyed ministering with Him in His power and anointing. Now I wanted to receive His touch just like He'd touched the people in the meeting. But God had other plans. He caused His sweetness to come on me and spoke to me for a few minutes. He told me to get used to operating with Him at this level of anointing, because He wanted to take me there. Then He surrounded me in a loving hug and put me to sleep. I woke up in the morning feeling healthy and refreshed.
The reason shared this story with you was so that you could get an idea of what it feels like when God invites you to the next level of anointing. Most of the time, this does not come from a place of feeling strong and ready for whatever may come. It comes from when you feel weak and inadequate, from when you are forced to rely on Him because you know that you cannot do it in your own strength.
That actually makes perfect sense, because increased anointing is never from our own strength or our own anointing. It is always from Him and from becoming more dependent on Him.