“The Spirit-filled life is not a special, deluxe edition of Christianity. It is part and parcel of the total plan of God for His people.” — A. W. Tozer
“Spiritual gifts are as optional as eyesight; you can walk without eyes, but you cannot see without them!” — Harold Horton
“You might as well try to see without eyes, hear without ears, or breathe without lungs, as to try to live the Christian life without the Holy Spirit.” — D. L. Moody
“The LORD is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed” (Ps. 28:8).
Samson received strength through his anointing and did exploits. The disciples performed miracles as they went from village to village. They were moving under a powerful anointing. Peter’s mighty anointing at Pentecost resulted in 3,000 souls being saved through a single sermon. Jesus’ anointing empowered Him to perform countless miracles. Unction and anointing bring imparted power to perform specific tasks. God’s power is required for God’s work.
But there is another aspect of anointing — an inner strengthening to stand firm in adversity. “The LORD is the strength of his anointed.” God gives victorious fortification to His anointed saints. Daniel stood firm under the pressure to compromise. His anointing carried him through unscathed. Paul was empowered, though severely tried, to minister the Gospel to the Gentiles. The unnamed saints in Hebrews 11 received power to glorify the Lord in their deaths as martyrs.
Tests and trials require extra grace. Paul received sufficient grace to deal with his “thorn.” Often God does not get you out of the trials, but He does get you through them. There is only one requirement for enabling grace, and that is humility. “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and he will lift you up” (James 4:6). You need more than willpower; you need God’s power. You need more than motivational slogans; you need empowerment. Maybe your ordeal has exhausted you, and your resources. You don’t need philosophy, theories, or explanations; you need Jesus’ touch!
Cancer came knocking on the door of our home. First it was me and then my wife. For most of us, the C-word brings a sense of fear, helplessness, and uncertainty. Suddenly life, which was once routine, is no longer normal. Questions arise as to whether the “old normal” will ever return. Personally, I entered a pit — a season of darkness, which lasted five years. One doctor told me that I had PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). He told me the symptoms of PTSD: inability to concentrate, insomnia, fatigue, and other specifics. The symptoms he mentioned were exactly what I was experiencing, and he went on to say that this was very common. Of course, I thought I was the only one who had ever felt this way. He then explained, “You’ve never had a bullet this close to your head before.” He was right. I had never been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness before. Getting his perspective really helped me. You need to know that losing your health can trigger a depressive episode. This is common to man. But whatever trial comes your way, your God will provide a way of escape (1 Cor. 10:13). Some trials resolve quickly, but others linger. The good news is that even the longest seasons of adversity are not permanent. After five years the cloud cover suddenly lifted and I emerged from the pit. There was a distinct change of outlook. Peace, purpose, passion, focus, and energy returned gradually. I cannot explain it, but I am thankful to God for restoration through the Holy Spirit.
Maybe you are in a season of difficulty. God delights to make His strength known in times of weakness. His is a life-giving and peace-restoring touch. Remember the sun has a sinking spell every night, but rises up every morning. You may be down, but you don’t have to stay down. You may have fallen, but you will rise again. “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again” (Prov. 24:16). Everybody stumbles, but God’s Spirit will lift you up. The anointing, the “upon-ness” of the Spirit, restores the battle-scarred saint.
- Are you humbly bowing to the will of God for your life?
- Are you seeking strength from the only true source of empowerment?
- No matter how many times you’ve fallen, are you rising up again?
Taken from “Extraordinary Strength in Adversity” by Harold Vaughan. CLICK HERE for more information on the book.