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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Allen Jackson » Allen Jackson - Anointing And Blessing - Part 1

Allen Jackson - Anointing And Blessing - Part 1

Allen Jackson - Anointing And Blessing - Part 1
TOPICS: Anointing, Blessing

And we're walking through a series that actually started in my heart the weekend that we had, Chad Robichaux and Kevin and Aziz were here. As I listened to them talk it was so clear to me, for many of you I'm sure you already knew it but there's a whole set of things that... tactics and life strategies that I don't know anything about. When I heard Chad talking about being trapped in an open field by a group of well-armed and angry Taliban, and he said he'd been trained on what to do. I've been trained on what to do there too, drop and pray. But he actually had a tactic for escaping that circumstance. And it reminded me that the church has not been as effective as we might've been and when I say church, I don't just mean this congregation, but we live in a time of tremendous sifting and shaking and cultural upheaval.

And the church's assignment is to be light and salt. And if people are stumbling in the darkness it's because the light is too dim and we have forfeited some strategy, and tactics, some training that we need. And so I've picked it up for a few weeks I don't know how long we will work through this, but I'm not finished with it yet there's a spiritual realm and we need to know how to flourish in that. There is an enemy that is far more threatening to us than the Taliban. I assure you, the spirits that are stalking you and your family are not your imagination and they don't tend to just hamper your spiritual formation or discourage you or diminish your faith response, their objective is your destruction, the complete obliteration of your children.

Now that's the truth. And if you don't have a strategy and the tactics that you need to overcome all the attacks of the enemy, you're making yourself, your family, and your children unnecessarily vulnerable. Now, for far too long the church is focused on the conversion experience. I believe in that, I believe in the new birth being born again, saved, whatever label you prefer for that initiation into the kingdom of God, but that's the entry point and the beginning. It's not the conclusion, it's not the epitaph. "I was born again on May, whatever, whenever, whenever".

That's your entry point so that you can begin to assimilate the equipment and the understanding and the knowledge so that you can take your place in the unfolding purposes of God in our generation. And I believe God is raising up a church. He said "He's coming back for a glorious church". Well, we've got some work to do to get into the glorious category. We're still in that cracked pot category but that's okay. Jesus said "He recruited from that group". He said "he chose those who weren't so wise, that weren't noble, that the world had discounted," and most of us in our brokenness are turning to the Lord. So if you're broken, you're the perfect candidate. The church is not a hall of fame, it's a triage unit. We have to help one another, encourage one another, strengthen one another, we have to learn together. We've got to be willing to say, "I don't know" that we're a learner.

Yes, we've been around church for a while and we may know the hymns or the choruses and we may understand the social nature of church, but we need to understand the spiritual nature of church. As men, as fathers, as husbands, as women and wives and mothers, as couples, as young people, and not so young people. Every life stage comes complete with its challenges and we have to help one another. If you have gray hair you need to help with the younger people and those of you that are younger you need to help with the people with some grey hair. We need the humility to say, "We will stand together, we're gonna hang separately".

If the current trend continues we're not far from them coming for us. They're hunting Christian children in Nashville and they won't release the documents around it. This isn't something that's going to happen it has happened. And we still wanna sing our choruses and pretend like we don't notice. It's like complaining about the hors d'oeuvres on the deck of the Titanic. It's just slightly off-putting. But I wanna start with these two words that are a part of the vocabulary of churched people but we don't really attach much meaning to them. In fact, we almost use them as empty words, they're the verbal equivalent of empty calories. They make noise and our lips are moving but we don't really attach any meaning to them and we do that to our own discredit and we forfeit a great deal anointing and blessing.

In Mark chapter 10, it's Jesus and it says, "He took the children in his arms, he put his hands on them and he blessed them". Now, we had a little micro demonstration of that in this service and we'll do it again tomorrow and we do it with some regularity, but that's something you can do in the course of your life. Bless your children, bless your children's friends. Be that person. I bet if you're a big UT fan, you've taught 'em Rocky Top before they could say it plainly and you weren't embarrassed about that you wanted everybody that knew you and knew them to know they knew the song, okay. I'm not handing out shame cards but it would be tragic to teach them that and to not invite the blessing of God upon their lives.

Just a real quick definition for that word, "Anointed," it carries so many shades of meaning and we've seen it used in so many disruptive ways and bizarre ways that some of us just kinda stepped away and go, "You know, I don't know if I wanna deal with that". Yes, we do. To anoint simply means to consecrate, to make holy, to dedicate to God. "Consecrates" kind of a fancy religious word, it means to set yourself apart, to be set apart for the purposes of God that's the idea of an anointing. And throughout Scripture it is frequently attached to the use of oil. Oil is frequently used as a type or a representation of the Holy Spirit. So when we anointed these children with oil tonight, there's nothing special about the little tin of oil we use, we're gonna give you one in a few minutes. But the imagery of that is we wanna invite the presence of God more fully into their lives. God began to prepare Samuel before his birth.

One of the most significant figures in all the Hebrew Bible. Taught him to begin to recognize the voice of the Lord when he was still very much a boy. I have expectations for the children in this place, we're not doing childcare or babysitting. We're not just here to entertain the children, we're here to do everything we can to partner with the parents, to stand with the parents. It's your responsibility but we'll come alongside you and do all we can to add momentum to your desire to see those children honor the Lord. If you don't desire that we can't overcome it. If you're more interested in them playing ball than you are in them knowing the Lord, we can't overcome that.

But we are delighted to come alongside you and help in any way we know how to encourage strength and to provide a community of people with a similar desire, and objective, and goal, to put them in gatherings of children, peers amongst them who have a faith orientation to encourage them so honoring the Lord and using God honoring language is not unusual to them, it's normal for them. It's important. I hear people say, "I don't have to come to church to be a Christian". Stop it. No kidding. People say that like they have discovered some great deep truth. For real stop that. You don't have to come to church to be a Christian but you have to be in a community of believers to grow up in the Lord. Now that's the truth, that's the biblical truth. And our children desperately need that. Because their peers are an enormous impact upon them and to put them in groups of young people who are willing to honor the Lord and talk about it is a powerful thing.

The whole idea of anointing acknowledges the power beyond ourselves. That we use the oil as a type of symbol of the Holy Spirit. "God, we need your help as parents, as people. We're gonna face challenges and obstacles and hurdles that we will not have the ability, the strength, the wisdom or the resources to resolve and we wanna cultivate the habit of trusting you. We wanna be familiar with inviting you into our lives and we want you to be familiar with who we are". It's not something reserved for a Sunday morning or a special occasion. In Leviticus 8 and verse 12, it's describing the anointing of the priest. Says that "Moses poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron's head and anointed him to consecrate him".

Again, the idea of the oil, it's a prayer, it's a public demonstration of separation of your life for the purposes of God. They used the same idea for kings in 1 Samuel 16, "Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him, David, in the presence of his brothers". Don't you know that was a fun little moment? Whole room full of boys. Can you imagine the energy zipping around that room? The prophet's come. He said, "I've come, one of your boys is gonna be king". Think there might've been any posturing, boys being boys? And they started with the oldest where the expectations would've been in that culture. And they moved through the first seven and going, "No, that's not it". And they said, "Well guys, is there anybody left"? "Well, we got one, but he's the runt of the litter and he's with the sheep".

And when David came in, Samuel says, "This is the one," then he pours oil on his head, anoints him in the presence of his brothers and from that day on, the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power. I don't know what you're praying for these families this weekend, my prayer is that the Spirit of the Lord comes on those children in power. Absolutely. We have to have greater aspirations for their spiritual lives than we do their social lives, or their academic lives, or their athletic lives. All those things are okay, they're even necessary and important, but they're secondary. And it says of Jesus in Acts 10, "God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and power".

Jesus needed anointed with the Spirit. His public ministry didn't begin until the Spirit descended upon him. It's just nonsense to think you can complete your life that you can maintain your relationship with the Lord without the help of the Holy Spirit. That is unscriptural position to hold. In Acts chapter 9 there's a statement about Saul who becomes the Apostle Paul. God is asking Ananias to go pray for Saul. When Jesus appeared to him on the Damascus road, he was left blind, Saul. And now he's sending Ananias to pray for him and Ananias is a reluctant witness. He knows that this all is an angry, violent, murderous person. But this was the message, "The Lord said to Ananias, 'This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel.'"

Do you know, God chooses people for purposes? God chooses people for purposes. Start to pray for your family that God will choose them for his purposes. That we'll prepare ourselves. Now, I wanna link that with something that goes right along with it in Scripture and that's the authority of a blessing. And spoiler alert so you know what's coming, you know, our physical world is modeled after the spiritual world. And one of the things you learn in physics class, is that for every action there's an equal and opposite? A bunch of physics majors. So it's only logical that if blessing is real, that a curse would be real. You go, "I don't know anything about that". We're gonna talk about it. But in this session I wanna stay focused on this notion of a blessing, the authority that it has in your life, why it's so important that you understand how to utilize it, that you not leave it unexplored as an unknown tool in your toolkit.

Folks, we have been an inert church long enough. Once we got through with the sinner's prayer we haven't known what to do, we just say things like, "Well, you know, I don't pray," or, "I don't know much about that," or "I, you know, wow, wow". So we have these big categories. We say, "Well, you know, God, just whatever you wanna do. God, just whatever your will might be". You understand you are forfeiting the field with that idea. You like standing in front of the grocery store. "God just, if you wanna feed me just whatever you wanna put in my car". I like summer vegetables in Middle Tennessee, I like the fresh tomatoes and the green beans and the new potatoes and the squa...I like the whole thing. Be like standing in your backyard and go, "God, just bless me. Whatever your will is for my garden let it happen".

I got an announcement for you. If you don't break the soil up, and plant some seeds, and water and spray the bugs, and pull the weeds, somebody else has gotta do all that and bring it to you. And we've been acting that way with, "Oh God, just whatever you want, I'm whatever you have God, I'm open to summer vegetables in my life, God". And God's looking like what? How about breaking up the ground? You all hardhearted rascal, we have left so many things unexplored because we say, "I just, I don't know if I know about that or not and I don't think I'm gonna go to heaven so let's go to the lake". The authority of a blessing, there's a priestly blessing. The ironic blessing. Aaron was the first expression of those priests. It's in Numbers 6, "The Lord said to Moses, 'Tell Aaron and his sons, "This is how you're gonna bless the Israelites".'"

God, it's important enough God gave them a scripted blessing for his covenant people. "'The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face towards you and give you peace.' So they'll put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them". A blessing God gave to the priestly role is to represent the people to God. And he said, "Give the priest this blessing so they can pronounce that blessing over these people, the sheep of my pasture". It says, "Jesus looked at the crowds with compassion". The leaders of his generation looked at the people as if they were opportunities for profit, for accumulating power, for a whole host of things. He said, "They'll tie up tremendous loads and put them on you and they themselves won't do anything to lift them". He said, "They're blind guides, don't follow them". Blessings.

In Genesis 12, the blessing God gave to Abram, "I'll make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I'll make your name great, and you'll be a blessing". He wasn't saying Abraham was going to do something, God said, "I will do this for you, I'll bless you, I'll make you into a nation". "I'll bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I'll curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you". Well, there we go. Imagine that if God said, "I will bless every human being through you". You think Abram told Sarah? How hard do you think she laughed? Oh, come on. It's Mother's Day, what if your husband rolled in and said, "The Lord said something to me". "Yeah, what'd he say"? "Everybody's gonna be blessed through me". I'll give you two or three things coming back at you. "Yeah, I've often thought that". Y'all are playing shy tonight, okay, we're at church, you don't know what I'm talking about. Isaac's in Genesis 25, Abraham's son, "After Abram's death, God blessed his son Isaac".

Jacob and Esau, two brothers. God said he loved Jacob and he hated Esau. That's another day's lesson. Jacob is a twister, it's what his name means, twister. He was a mess. And God blessed him. And Jacob deceived his father with his mother's help, ran a rather elaborate scheme of manipulation to secure the blessing that should have gone to his brother. It's in your notes. "He went into him and kissed him. And Isaac caught the smell of his clothes," he smelled like his brother Esau, who was an outdoorsman. "And he blessed him and he said, 'The smell of my son is like the smell of a field that the Lord has blessed. May God give you of heaven's dew of the earth's richness, an abundance of grain and new wine. May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be Lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.'"

Wow, that's not like some generic polite little blessing, that's not like the Southern, "Bless your heart". If you're not from the South that's not a compliment. I'm just giving you a little insider information. If you're not from here and some southern looks at you goes, "Well, bless your heart". You wanna just smile and move away. Esau came in just on the heels of that blessing. "And when he heard his father words, he burst out with a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, 'Bless me too, my father!' And he said, 'Your brother came and deceitfully took your blessing.' And Esau said, 'Isn't he rightly named Jacob? He's deceived me these two times: He took my birthright, and now he's taken my blessing! Haven't you reserved any blessing for me?' And Isaac answered, 'I've made him Lord over you, and I've made all of his relatives, his servants.'" He didn't sign a legal paper. He released a blessing over his life.

See, we've treated this as if it's insignificant, if it doesn't matter all of that much. And the characters in this particular narrative understood it has shaped their future far more than a legal document. Is it possible that we've left something out of our spiritual awareness? Have we been a little ill informed, incomplete? You think? In Genesis 39 there's the blessing described upon Joseph's life. He finds himself a slave in Egypt working in the home of an Egyptian. It says, "From the time he put him in charge of his household and all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the Lord was on everything that Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field".

The blessing of God upon Joseph's life. Now this one's a little more challenging because Joseph doesn't have an easy life. Do you remember his story? His brothers sold him as a slave. How's that for blessed? I mean, I've got brothers, we've disagreed, we've locked one another, in stalls on the barn. We've thrown horse manure at one another. I mean all in a godly encouraging sort of a way, but it never occurred to us we could sell one another. I mean, this brothers were so talked up they sold him and went back and told his father he was dead. Joseph is taken to a foreign nation and the scriptural narrative, is he was so blessed.

See, one of the things we've got to do is come past our anger and resentment and bitterness and hurt and hate. We have a culture that is being too great of an extent being driven by hate merchants trying to make us angry, a divisive spirit, looking for offenses. Later in his life, Joseph, when he sees his brother, they're all adults. Circumstances have changed and he looks at his brothers and he said, "God sent me ahead of you here. You shouldn't carry any anxiety, God sent me here". Well, he may have but his brothers are the one that collected the cash payment and in the midst of that Joseph was blessed. Is it possible that in the midst of disappointment, and brokenness, and betrayal, and rejection, in a whole host of other very, very difficult things, is it possible that you could see the blessing of God?

You see, we have to be willing to follow the Lord's invitations in our lives and not simply demand that God do my bidding. I've walked far enough along this path to understand that God will lead us. He's the author and the completer of our story. But some of us are so determined to have our way, and our dreams fulfilled, that our plans come to fruition. That we spend way too much of our lives angry, and embittered, and hate-filled. Is it possible that you could be disappointed and blessed? Could you face discouragement and be blessed? Could you be betrayed and be blessed? I believe you could.

You know, for far too long, I think most of us imagined that God wanted to diminish our lives. That if we ever really relinquished control of our lives and said that we would follow the Lord with our whole hearts that he would take something away from us. Well, the whole counsel of Scripture screams just the opposite. That honoring the Lord means that God will bring good things to you. The biblical word for that is blessing and it has a tangible quality to it. So before we leave today, I wanna pray a blessing upon your life. It's an expression of God's mercy to you, his grace to you, his goodwill to you. God doesn't need anything that we have, we benefit from the relationship. Just bow with me in prayer:

Father, I thank you for your people. They are precious to you. They are of tremendous value in your sight. You sent your Son as a sacrifice that our lives might be transformed. And I ask now that your blessings would fill their lives. Lord, illuminate their path, bring your peace to their hearts, health to their bodies, and a hope to their future, in Jesus's name, amen.

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