Showing posts with label Five Ways of Contending for the Fullness of the Prophetic Anointing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Five Ways of Contending for the Fullness of the Prophetic Anointing. Show all posts

Five Ways of Contending for the Fullness of the Prophetic Anointing

Five Ways of Contending for the

Fullness of the Prophetic Anointing

While the power dimension of the faith that Jude describes includes much
more than just prophecy, let’s focus in on the five ways of how we can contend
to walk in the fullness of the prophetic anointing.
1. Have a clear vision for the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
We contend for the fullness of the prophetic anointing by maintaining
a clear vision for it. I find many in the body of Christ who do not have a
vision for this. They have a vision for a “little bit more,” but they do not want
to contend for the quality of the prophetic anointing that the early apostles
walked in. We must fight to have a vision to walk in everything that God
will give the human spirit in this generation with a holy pain concerning our
powerlessness and spiritual barrenness (Matt. 5:4).
Jesus tells us in Mark 4:24 to “take heed what you hear. With the same
measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more willbe given.” In other words, we must be careful with what we hear or in what
we believe is God’s measure of fullness for our lives. We must be careful in
determining what we will contend for in our experience in God, as most of
us are too easily satisfied with bigger churches or better worship music or a
few personal prophecies sprinkled throughout our services when the Lord
desires to release so much more.
I believe the Lord has such a radically different vision for the fullness of
the prophetic anointing than what we call the prophetic anointing in the
church today. We must align our vision with His vision for the prophetic
anointing instead of trying to manipulate Him into our meetings and values.
I remember when one pastor was really frustrated and confused by this. He
talked to me afterward and said, “I don’t get this. I just don’t understand
what you’re trying to say. It’s as if you’re expecting something dramatic
to happen.” I responded, “No. You do get it. You are listening. I really am
expecting something dramatic to happen.” He thought my response was
weird, but I believe it was the biblical response.
The type of approach that God is looking for is to burn our boats, burn
our bridges, and have the mentality that refuses to retreat under any circumstances.
We must determine in our hearts to press in until we die and meetthe Lord or until the Lord visits us with power and prophetic anointing.
2. Cultivate a spirit of gratefulness and faithfulness in smallness.
We contend for the fullness of the prophetic anointing by cultivating
a spirit of gratefulness and faithfulness for all that the Lord has already
released to us, no matter how small it may seem. While we must have a clear
vision for the fullness, we must not despise the day of small beginnings. (See
Zechariah 4:10.) We must contend for more because we see what we lack, yet
we must give thanks for what we do have, no matter how little or insignificant
it may feel. As we are faithful in the little, God will release more and
more of the prophetic anointing on our lives (Luke 19:17).
3. Live a life of fasting and prayer.
We contend for the fullness of the prophetic anointing by pressing in
with a lifestyle of fasting and prayer. We must determine to give ourselvesin prayer and fasting in such a way that we refuse to back down in any
way. We must press into God through prayer and fasting and settle theissue, “Why not me?” If you won’t do it, who will? If it won’t happen in our
lifetime, then when?
Right now, the Lord is orchestrating a worldwide movement of prayer
and fasting mingled with worship. Now, prayer and fasting do not earn us
more blessings, but prayer and fasting position our hearts in such a way to
more fully cooperate with Him in releasing His blessings to us and our cities.
I believe that the Lord is calling us right now to shift out of the common
mode of Christian ministry into a spiritually violent lifestyle of fasting and
prayer (Matt. 11:12). To many in the church today, a lifestyle of prayer and
fasting seems counterproductive to seeing the kingdom of God break into
our cities. However, Scripture is clear that we enter into greater realms of
prophetic anointing by the simple weakness of prayer, fasting, serving, and
bearing up under persecution (2 Cor. 11–12).
The message of voluntary weakness through prayer and fasting is an
offensive message to the church. The problem is that when we begin to walk
down the path of weakness, the power does not always break out immediately.
The Lord tests our faith with a divine time delay. After a while of
praying and fasting, but not seeing the immediate fruit of our prayers and
fasting, we often want to draw back. At that point, we often give into the lie
that the pathway to God is not really prayer and fasting and that we can skip
that step and do it our own way.
Most ministries end up believing the lie that there is more power found by
bypassing the weakness of prayer and fasting and engaging in frenetic activity
rather than taking the road less traveled and pouring our time through
prayer and fasting into the presence of God. Too often, they measure in the
hear and now, but in the big picture of church history, it is clear that when
people have persistently chosen to pray and fast, God has always proved true
by releasing a greater dimension of His power. It may take years, sometimes
even entire lifetimes, but it happens without exception.
What do I mean by the “weakness” of prayer and fasting? Think of it this way. When you
invest yourtime and energy in prayer, you are “forfeiting” valuable hours and energy you could
be using to build your ministry, your business, or your lifestyle in some way. When you fast, you
are giving away your physical strength4. Seek to fully obey God without compromise.
We contend for the fullness of the prophetic anointing by seeking to fully
obey God without compromise. We must choose to walk out lives that reflect
the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5–7), living free of any compromise by
declaring war against all known sin in our lives.
Many times, people who desire to be free from all compromise grow
discouraged because there are one or two or a few issues in their life that
they do not feel they can get free from. The issue is not whether or not you
still struggle with sin in your life, but that you are actively warring against it
and seeking to be set free. I have never met a single person who is completely
free from all the hidden sins and issues in his or her life, but I believe that if
we seek to be free from compromise, we will find freedom in time.
I know of many people who jump into the prayer and worship movement
and wear it as a badge of honor, thinking that they have joined some elite
group that does not struggle with sin and compromise. They go to prayer
meetings thinking they are free from compromise because they attend the
prayer meetings, but their private lives do not correspond with what they
are saying in the prayer meetings. Prayer and fasting can never serve as a
substitute for a lifestyle of obedience in all the other areas of life. In order to
receive the fullness of the prophetic anointing, it is imperative that we war
against sin in order to live lives free of compromise and full of integrity.5. Bear the reproach and stigma of the anointing.
Last but not least, we contend for the fullness of the prophetic anointing
by bearing the reproach that comes with God’s power. This is no small thing.
Over the years, the Lord has allowed me to witness and even be a small part
of a God-orchestrated stigma and reproach that accompanies the prophetic
anointing. We have this false idea that when God releases the prophetic
anointing and power, we will have dignity and honor and look “cool” in
everyone’s eyes. However, what I have noticed over the years is that when
God releases His prophetic anointing on His vessels, they also become targets
for both demons and men, sometimes even from good and godly men. This
is not necessarily a judgment of God against them, but His mercy to keep
them humble as He releases greater measures of His unusual supernatural
manifestation of power.
Even the apostle Paul bore the stigma of the prophetic anointing. He madethis clear in 2 Corinthians 12:7 by writing, “Lest I should be exalted above
measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given
to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted.” This stigma can
serve to keep us from pride and arrogance as God protects us by hedging us
in with such reproach.
We must learn to take a stand and bear the approach before and after God
releases His prophetic anointing. God will allow us to look foolish for our
own sakes, so we must not wait around until it becomes popular to seek God
with spiritual violence. Join in with those who are taking a stand, or be the
first to stand now.
There are many scriptural promises of God releasing His prophetic anointing
to the generation in which the Lord will return. I believe that we are living
in that generation. We do not contend for the fullness of the prophetic
anointing because it merely adds excitement to our meetings, but because
the Lord promises that He will release His Spirit and we desire to cooperate
and partner with Him in His purpose for this generation.