Christianity 201

March 30, 2015

Free from the Struggle

Filed under: Uncategorized — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:36 pm
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We feature a variety of doctrinal perspectives here at Christianity 201, and for today’s reading, we have something more Pentecostal/Charismatic in the form of a book excerpt from R. T. Kendall. This is an author who has a small but loyal group of followers where I live. The link is to Charisma Magazine, where this appeared recently. The book is 40 Days With the Holy Spirit.

Do You Want God to Use You in Mighty Ways?

Do you want God to use you in mighty ways? How great is your desire to be His anointed instrument in setting captives free, healing and bringing Him glory?

I have said many times that I would rather have a greater anointing than anything. I suppose that is a God-honoring request, but I am not so sure. I want it so much that I cannot tell whether this desire is natural or spiritual. The anointing is the power of the Holy Spirit that makes our gift function with ease. When I live within my anointing, my gift works without effort, but the moment I go outside my anointing, I find myself struggling.

God does not want us to struggle. He wants us to cast our anxiety on Him (1 Pet. 5:7). But at least twice in his life Moses struggled. First, he was overwhelmed by people coming to him in droves to get his verdict on civil matters among the children of Israel. His wise father-in-law, Jethro, saw all that Moses was doing for the people and said to him,

“What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why are you sitting by yourself while all the people stand around you from morning until evening? … What you are doing is not good. 18 You will surely wear yourself out, both you, and these people who are with you, for this thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it by yourself” (Ex. 18:14, 17-18).

Jethro then advised Moses to designate authority to others—appointing capable men as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens—letting them handle the simple cases and Moses the more difficult (vv. 19-26).

The second occasion was when the people complained about the food—pining for what they ate in Egypt and complaining that they now “never see anything but this manna!” Moses brought this to the Lord and told him he could not bear the burden of their constant complaining. Moses was then instructed to choose 70 elders.

God assured Moses that he would lighten his load:

“I will take of the Spirit which is on you and will put it on them, and they will bear the burden of the people with you, and you will not bear it by yourself” (Num. 11:17).

After that the Lord came down in a cloud and spoke with Moses. God “took of the Spirit that was on him, and gave it to the seventy elders, and when the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but did not do it again” (v. 25). However, two of them who had remained in the camp prophesied, and Joshua was upset. “My lord Moses, forbid them,” he said to Moses. “Are you jealous for my sake?” he asked Joshua. “Oh, that all the people of the Lord were prophets, and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!” (vv. 28-29).

Why would Moses want everybody to prophesy and all to have the Spirit on them? Because when one person is in leadership and sees people struggle with their maladies, he realizes he needs all the help he can get! Joshua had not yet inherited Moses’ mantle and wrongly assumed that Moses wanted to be the head and center of everything. How wrong Joshua was. The transfer of anointing to others lightens the load of the one with whom the buck stops. When all the people have the Spirit on them, it will mean that the work of God functions with ease—and with no rival spirit in control.

We learn from this how God can take from our anointing and pass it on to others. We are not told that Moses laid hands on the 70 elders. The impression is given that God merely did it by Himself—taking from Moses’ anointing and passing it on without Moses losing any measure of the Spirit in the process. This is the wonderful thing about Christian ministry; what we give away we keep.

Nothing would be more thrilling than God taking from one’s ministry and passing it on to others. I have longed for the day that not only would my anointing change lives and increase their measure of the Holy Spirit but also even heal people’s bodies under my preaching. But if we want to keep the Holy Spirit to ourselves, it is unlikely that God will use us much.

We also learn from this account that God does not want us to bear a heavy load. He knows how much we can bear and will step in—never too late, never too early, but always on time.

Ask the Lord today to give you an ever increasing anointing to operate under, and then for it to be transferred to many people for His honor and glory.

Adapted from 40 Days With the Holy Spirit by R.T. Kendall, copyright 2014, published by Charisma House.

 

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