Clothed and Rubbed

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“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
to grant to those who mourn in Zion –
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:1-3 ESV)

Isaiah, the prophet, heard these words in his spirit about 700 years before they were quoted by Jesus (in Luke 4):

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. ”

And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:18-21 ESV)

“Today this Scripture is fulfilled…”

The Spirit of the Lord God, as referred to by Isaiah and Jesus, is the power of God to change lives. Also called “The Anointing”, the Spirit of God opens spiritual eyes and ears to understand the good news; the good news of God’s availability to mankind through the finished work of his Son, Jesus Christ. The work of his Son includes mending broken hearts, deliverance from demonic spirits and influences, physical healing, forgiveness, and the hope of eternity with him.

God desires to “anoint” his people today with the power of the Spirit of God. He speaks of being “anointed” by the Spirit like one would talk of putting on clothes.

“And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49 ESV)

Also, to “anoint” is to rub, or rub into (kind of like rubbing Ben Gay into a sore muscle).

I’ve met people who seem to think “the Anointing” is for everyone who asks. Do I agree?

Uh, well, yes and no.

No one can earn the anointing, that’s for sure. And God DOES want to fill everyone, and clothe everyone with his “power from on High”. But their is at least 2 requirements to living an anointed, God-filled life.

Requirements?

The first is rather simple. An easy “hoop” to jump through. Actually, Jesus did the jumping for us. Receiving Jesus as our Lord and Master is our first requirement.

The second one is where a lot of potential candidates seem to drop off. If you’ll look back over Isaiah’s account, you’ll read in verse three, “that he may be glorified”. So the second requirement has to do with our motive, our focus, our character.

Why does HE want us clothed with power? So HE will be glorified. And HE receives glory, or is glorified, when righteousness and justice prevail in and through a life.

When the spirit of generosity drives out the spirit of selfishness, God is glorified. As hearts are mended of emotional hurts and scars, God is glorified. When the hopeless begin to understand their life isn’t over, and their dead hopes and dreams can be resurrected, God is glorified.

The writer of Hebrews quoted a psalm in verses 8 and 9 of Hebrews, chapter one.

But of the Son he says,
“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,
the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.” (Hebrews 1:8-9 ESV)

“You have loved…and hated…” Motive, focus, character.

The words you and I say, the songs we sing, the prayers we pray, and the hands we use to lay on others; they’re either clothed in power, or caked in our selfish desires. We’re either desiring his “kingdom come”, his “will be done”, or we have some other motive.

If we don’t love what he loves, and hate what he hates, how can we truly say we want him to receive all the glory and honor?

How can he be glorified when we’re really the one living in the spotlight?

“…Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!” (Numbers 11:29 ESV)

Well, what are YOU clothed in? Are you being “rubbed” by the Spirit of God?

Did I just rub you the wrong way?

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