Support us on Paypal
Contact Us
Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Mark Batterson » Mark Batterson - The Bezalel Anointing

Mark Batterson - The Bezalel Anointing

Mark Batterson - The Bezalel Anointing
TOPICS: Anointing

Last Sunday, I had the joy of preaching at one of our network churches, Hopeville in Baltimore. Pastor Joshua Symonette was a campus pastor here for eight years. And I told him I have a, like Michael Jordan, the love of the game clause in my contract, that when I speak at a network church, I will not accept in honorarium. It's for the love of the the game. And so I showed up, and they gave me a pair of Jordans. And Pastor Joshua said it wasn't an honorarium, it was a a wear-ararium, so I accepted. Shout out to Hopeville and Pastor Joshua. We love our network churches, yeah? Well, after preaching at Hopeville, I hopped a flight to Minneapolis.

I've done chapel for the Minnesota Vikings, each of the last 14 seasons. And I knew they were playing the 49ers on Monday night football, and they were significant underdogs. And so I figured I better pray and fast, and bring my best message. And so I decided to preach on the anointing. Now I better offer a disclaimer right here. I think one of the great mysteries of life is how God processes the prayers of fans of opposing football teams. I really don't know how that works. That might be past my pay grade. And I will say this, the two quarterbacks, Kirk Cousins Brock Purdy, are fully devoted followers of Jesus. And it's not about winning or losing.

Now, I'm just gonna keep it real. When you're doing chapel, you feel a certain level of responsibility. And so, I thought, what we've been talking about for the last many weeks, I'm just gonna go there. The anointing is for everybody on that football field. It's for everybody. And so Kirk Cousins did play one of his best games as a professional. And I cannot confirm nor deny whether the NFC Defensive Player of the Week, Cam Bynum, was in chapel or not. But he was. And I am not saying that I am responsible for the Vikings' victory, but I'm not saying I'm not. Now, I'm having a little bit of fun. And by the way, Brian Flores, defensive coordinator was there too. And that was quite the plan, a friend of JD.

So, here's the deal. Here's what I believe. The anointing is for all y'all. Is that enough emphasis? If you are a coach, the Holy Spirit wants to help you game plan. If you're a teacher, the Holy Spirit wants to help you lesson plan. If you're a restaurateur, the Holy Spirit wants to help you menu plan. And if you're an entrepreneur, the Holy Spirit wants to help you business plan. Okay, the Holy Spirit anointed Noah as a shipbuilder, anointed Joseph as an agronomist, anointed, wow, take your pick, right? Anointed Samson is a bodybuilder. Anointed Solomon as a polymath, David as a harpist. Esther as a negotiator, Daniel as a diplomat. Phoebe as a business woman. We could keep going. I don't know what you do, but God wants to help you do it beyond your ability. And the anointing is the key.

"The anointing", 1 John 2:27, "you receive from God remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things," what things? "All things, and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit, just as it has taught you". And by the way, this is the key. The key to anointing is intimacy. "Abide in him". Well, welcome to National Community Church. We're in a series called X. The anointing is the X factor, the it factor. It's the multiplier that turns us into an outlier. It somehow intensifies and amplifies our gifts and passions. I think it's the difference between action and unction. It is the difference between the best we can do and the best God can do. And so we are believing God for a new anointing, for a new season.

I want you to grab your Bible. You can meet me in the wilderness somewhere between Egypt and Israel. The Israelites have been freed from 400 years of captivity. And so they've been delivered out of Egypt, but they have not entered the promised land. Now, in political science, there's this concept called interregnum. And it's the discontinuity between two administrations, but it's true on lots of different levels. Hermann Hesse said, "There are times when a whole generation gets caught between two eras, two styles of life, that nothing comes naturally to it since it is lost all sense of morality, security, and innocence".

I would suggest that Israel was in an interregnum. Oh, but that's when God begins to anoint his people. That's when God anoints the priest to step up and step in. And then he anoints a created named Bezalel. This is when and where God does what he does. And it's Bezalel who will design the tent of meeting, craft the Ark of the Covenant, and create all of those fit and finishes. Exodus 31, verses one and two. "Then the Lord said to Moses, 'See, I have called by name, called by name, I have called by name Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah.'" Now, we read right over verses like this, but text without context is pretext. The original writer, Moses, is giving us etymological and genealogical cues and clues in a world that dehumanizes in 100 different ways. Are you living in the same world I am? In a world that dehumanizes in 100 different ways, there is something that is so humanizing about this simple little statement. I have called you by name Bezel. God knows your name.

Isaiah 49:16 says that God has written your name on the palm of his Almighty hand. He must have a big hand, 'cause all of our names are written on it. And God doesn't just inscribe our names on the palm of his hand. There is, Revelation 2:17, a name that God has for you. It's written on a white stone. And someday when we cross the space time continuum, God will reveal your true name, not the place name that your parents gave you. He will reveal who you really are, and it will be this moment of absolute intimacy and certainty and destiny. Now I know who I am! In the meantime, God calls us by name, knows the number of hairs on your head, rejoices over you with singing, and your tears are so precious to God that he collects them in his bottle. You are seen, heard and loved by the almighty creator of the universe.

The Jewish philosopher, Martin Buber, noted that when Hitler took power in Germany, the Nazis stopped calling his granddaughters by their names, which is a curious thing. They would refer to them as, "you there". And this translated to the concentration camps where if you've read "Man's Search for Meeting" by Viktor Frankl, you know that he was not only stripped of his personal belongings, like wedding rings, to kind of strip them of their identity, but his name was taken away from him and he became number 119,104. Can I tell you today that every number has a name, every name has a story, and every story matters to God? We will not number people. Each one made in the image of God. We have a theology of dignity.

The image of God in me greets the image of God in you. In a world that is dehumanizing, please hear me. You are the image of God, the apple of God's eye, fearfully and wonderfully made, and you are God's workmanship. All of that to say this. I think creativity is a function of intimacy with God. And so let's go down a level or two. I wanna talk about genealogy and etymology. Bezalel comes from quite the family tree. This is a fascinating genogram. He's part of the tribe of Judah, just like Jesus. And he is the son of Uri and the grandson of Hur. So if you're taking notes, just jot this down. Everybody is born into somebody else's story.

Now, Hur should ring a bell, because it was Aaron and Hur that held up the arms of Moses during the Battle of Refidim. And Hur is not some stranger to Moses. According to one tradition, Hur is the son of Miriam, the sister of Moses, which would make Bezalel his grandnephew. Now, this is rabbinic tradition, so it's not in scripture. And so I want to be careful here, but Hur disappears from the Exodus story suddenly. And there is a rabbinic tradition that when the people went to build the golden calf, it was Hur who resisted the people of Israel and said, don't do it and they executed him. Again, it's tradition, I don't know. But that tradition states that one reason why God called his grandson was a tip of the cap to a grandfather who had faithfully served him.

What I do know for sure is this, we drink from wells we didn't dig. We are the beneficiaries of blessings we did nothing to deserve. We are the answers to prayers we know nothing about. God is writing a bigger story. God is writing a better story. And so I have no doubt today God wants to anoint each and every one of us. But let's also understand the larger story that God is writing. By the way, 1 Chronicles 4:4 says that Hur was also the father of Bethlehem. So he's the founding father of the city where the Messiah is born. We think right here, right now, God is thinking nations and generations. We think that what God does for us is for us, but it's never just for us. It's always about that third and fourth generation. The risks you take, the sacrifices you make, they're gonna have a domino effect to the third and fourth generation.

And I wanna state for the record, when and where you are born is no accident, not according to Acts 17. God determines the when and the where. And so can I just put this in perspective? You are here for such a time as this, and you are here for such a place as this, and I'm gonna push the envelope a little bit. You are a creative. And this is where some of us check out because we didn't invite you like Chris to paint. But I will say this, you don't see me painting either. I can't even draw a stick figure. I mean it. I have zero artistic ability. But you are a creative. I've never met anybody who wasn't creative at making excuses. We just need God to sanctify the creativity and use it for his purposes. Now, that's some genealogy. Let me talk about etymology. The name Bezalel means in the shadow of the Almighty. And I think this is when and where and how creativity happens.

Now, there are six instances in scripture where God overshadows. In the garden of Eden, God overshadows Adam, takes a rib and creates Eve. In the wilderness wanderings, God is a cloud by day that overshadows and provides shade from the desert heat. An angel appears to Mary and explains the immaculate conception this way. The power of the most high will overshadow you. On the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter, James, and John are overshadowed by the presence of God. Acts, this is crazy. People are laying people in the streets because somehow, some way, everywhere Peter's shadow hits, people are healed. There's this overshadowing.

And then the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12 says, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my powers made perfect in weakness". And that's always where we stop. But he says, "I will boast about my weakness so that the power of Christ would overshadow me". Come on. Is that not exciting to anybody else? "That my weakness is opportunity for God to overshadow and show his power"? But the six instances right here with Bezalel, there is something about the overshadowing, the presence of God that intensifies and amplifies creativity, that our creativity is a function of that intimacy with God. So I know some of you're still saying, yeah, I'm good at the creative excuses, but nothing else. Okay, back up the bus, because studies on divergent thinking, which is code for creativity, has found that 98% of kids between the ages of three and five score in the genius category. So 98% of us when we were three to five years old, the divergent thinking, the creativity was innate to us.

Many years ago, I read a book with unique title, "Orbiting the Giant Hairball". It was by Gorden MacKenzie who worked for Hallmark, the cards, not the movies. Love his title. His title was creative paradox, and his portfolio was challenging corporate normalcy. I had a side hustle. He would do creativity workshops for kids, elementary age kids. He would open by asking the question, how many artists are in the room? And he said the answers never varied. That in the first grade, every hand went up, waving their hands in the air like they didn't care, right? Then by the second grade, half the hands went up. It got down to a third in the third grade. And by the sixth grade, he said one or two kids would very self-consciously kind of raise their hand and self-identify as an artist. MacKenzie said, "Every school I visited was participating in the suppression of creative genius".

Now, it wasn't intentional, and this is not an indictment on teachers, let's be honest, the church does the same thing. We try to tame people in the name of Christ. We try to remove the risk, mitigate the danger. We think we're discipling, but what we're really doing is domesticating. And that's a whole different deal. Maturity doesn't equal conformity. That's legalism. True maturity is a celebration of diversity. Never has been, never will be anyone like you. Not a testament to you, a testament to the God who created you. Significance of that is this, no one else can worship God like you or for you. Uniqueness is God's gift to us. What we do with it is in our gift back to God.

By the way, unique eye print, fingerprint, voice print. I may have mentioned this before, but I geek out on this stuff. You have a unique sweat print. The 373 chemicals that comprise sweat combine in a way that is absolutely unique to you. Now, we can't tell, but our dogs can. According to tradition, Bezalel was 13 years old. What? I am not sure that that is who we appoint or anoint. Why? Because we put age limits on things. But the anointing does something different. The anointing defies age. The anointing will help you operate beyond your ability, and I might add, outside your personality. The anointing empowers us and enables us in a way that's pretty crazy. And so I find myself more and more and more praying for NCC kids and NCC youth. Oh God, anoint our teens and tweens and our kids.

MacKenzie said, "Genius is the innocent casualty in society's efforts to train children away from their natural born foolishness". From the cradle to the grave, the pressure is on, be normal. Normal is overrated. Normal is boring. "There was a time", said MacKenzie, "perhaps when you were very young, when you had at least a fleeting notion of your own genius, and you were just waiting for some authority figure to come along and validate it for you. But none ever came". And that's where I would say, enter Jesus. He came to set captives free. And don't tell me that's just free from our sin. He came to free the inner child in you.

Listen, Christ-likeness and child-likeness are synonymous. Jesus said, unless you become like little children, you'll never enter the kingdom of heaven. And part of it is just the willingness to look foolish, which is the definition of faith. Faith is a willingness. Are you kidding? You're in the middle of the Sea of Galilee, in the middle of the night, in the middle of a storm, and you're gonna get out of the boat? You look like a fool. No, no, no, that's faith. Now you better make sure Jesus said come. But if he did, don't stay in the boat. "There's a fool in each of us", said Gordon MacKenzie, "a rash, brash, hair-brained, audacious, imprudent, ill-suited, spontaneous, impolitic, daredevil fool, which in most of us was long ago, hogtied and locked in the basement".

I don't know how to say this, but there's something about the anointing that frees the inner child in us, that releases the creative, that releases the artist. And that's gonna find 100 different forms and functions. You know, as kids, we wanna stand out, don't we? Yeah? Until we don't. Some of you are in board meetings, you're afraid to voice your opinion because in the third grade, you attempted to answer a question, and you were wrong. And the other students in the classroom laughed. And you don't know it. But that is precisely why you are timid in the way that you just get more and more self-conscious. You get more and more hogtied in the basement until there's nothing left of you.

And I think God came to set us free. We sabotage ourselves. We give into the imposter syndrome. We believe what Alfred Adler called the life lie. It's a false belief about ourselves. It's false humility, failing to believe that I am who God says I am. You are God's workmanship. It's the Greek word poema. So literally speaking, you're God's poem. God expresses his creativity through you. How beautiful is that? The kind of wide angle, I think half of faith is learning what we don't know. And the other half is unlearning what we do know.

Now, the older you get, the more you've learned. And that's a tremendous asset. Arthur Brooks calls it crystallized knowledge. But that said, the older you get, the more you have to unlearn. And so in some ways, that becomes the disadvantage. But I'll flip the script. The younger you are, the less unlearning you have to do. Kids don't know what they can't do. On that note, this is one of my all time favorites. Mark Neville said, "Birds don't need ornithologists to fly". And God doesn't need theologians to do miracles. There's a phenomenon in teens and tweens. They have not learned the learned behavior of being afraid or self-conscious. "Whether you think you can or can't said", Henry Ford, "you're right".

Maybe that's why Isaiah said a child will lead them. And then Jesus pushes the envelope. Unless you become like a little child, you don't even get in the front door. Sir John Kirk, 19th century British naturalist once said that if he had his way, there would always be a child position in the heart of London, somewhere near Westminster Abbey or St. Paul's Cathedral. And Kirk said that no one should be allowed to become a candidate for public office, no one should be allowed to contest a seat in parliament until they had spent a full day with that child and passed an examination in that child's novel method of thought, feeling or expression.

Now, I don't think the United Kingdom has any kind of law in the books that states such, but the kingdom of God does. We better take this seriously unless we become like little children. Verse three, "I have filled Bezalel with the spirit of God", that this is the first in filling of the Holy Spirit recorded in scripture. And it's an artist named Bezalel. "With wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge in all manner of workmanship". See, here's the deal. God didn't just anoint Bezalel in all manners of workmanship. Bezalel is God's workmanship. Are you picking up what I'm throwing down? Creativity just becomes this expression of who we are, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood. He is a master at every craft. Crash course in creativity. I'm gonna try to do this fast. This is a history of creativity, a theology of creativity.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Bereshit, Elohim, Bara, the very first revelation of God. God is first and foremost creator. And God said, let there be light. Now, those four words still creating galaxies at the outer edge of the universe, the universe is God's way of saying, look at what I can do with four words. And by the way, every atom sings a unique song. It emits a unique frequency. And so when we gather and worship God and sing to God, we aren't really singing God. We're singing back to the God who sings to us.

Leonard Bernstein said, "A better translation of said is sang". But whether he said it or sang it, let there be light, everything you see was once said. All of creation, is this an expression? And then God gets to the end of day one. He has created light, and I would suggest that is when and where he de-lights. Because at the end of that creation day, and God saw that it was good, it's the Hebrew word, Tov. And I would translate it not just good, but gooder than good. It's too good to be true, but it is. It's almost like an artist who steps back at the unveiling of what they've created. And they just like, it's almost like God steps back, and I think outdid myself, if that were possible. It's hard though to capture the emotional overtones and undertones. Just dial in right here. We talk a lot about original blessing and original sin. There is original doubt, which is by the way, doubting the goodness of God.

But I would suggest that Tov is original emotion. And I would liken it to the moment that Parker and I went as a rite of passage, when he was 13 to hike the Grand Canyon, rim to rim. I was not prepared. I was not prepared. I'll never forget we started on the North Rim 'cause we were gonna hike down North Kaibab and back up Bright Angel. And I'll never forget, we were walking through the hotel and there were these picture glass windows. And it is the most beautiful thing besides my wife, that I think I've ever beheld. I think we were there for 60 minutes and we didn't say a word. I was speechless. Because the sun was setting and it was painting the Canyon walls, these pinks and purples, I was mesmerized. There was this emotion that this has to feel like God felt when he stepped back day one.

Oh, this is good, this is good. I think God wants us to delight in his creation. And I think it models for us at the end of a creative day just to step back and delight, well then God creates us in the Imago Dei, and imagination is part of that image, and so creativity is built into us. And then it's part of the Missio Dei. It says, you will reign or subdue or take dominion, which it gets used and abused, but it's the Hebrew word kibosh. Sounds like a Batman fight word. Kapow, Kibosh. But it's this idea of planting and plowing a field. It wasn't fruitful before it was weeds, but now I'm kiboshing it. Can I suggest that what Chris is doing with all of these beautiful different colors is she is kiboshing a canvas. When I sit down and write a book, I am kiboshing with 26 letters of the English alphabet. Pastor Chris, when you write songs, you are kiboshing with 12 notes.

Now, fast forward to Genesis 4, and it's the original renaissance. There's this combustion of creativity, so stick with me, we'll go fast. Genesis 4:17, "Cain made love to his wife". If you've had children, you aren't just creative, you're procreative. I work hard on this stuff, come on now. There is no greater act creation than conception. You, if you're a mom or dad, you are a creative. Pretty unbelievable. "Made love to his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city". Whoa. Wait, hold, what, what? So Cain is the first architect and civil engineer. Cain is a city planner and an urban developer.

Verse 20, "Adah gave birth to Jabal, he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. His brother's name was Jubal, he was the father of all who play the harp and flute". So listen, make no mistake, the Grammys, the Country Music Awards, I don't care what we're talking about, all of them traces themselves back to Jubal. He played the first chord, he wrote the first lyrics. There is this musical creativity that starts happening in Genesis 4. And then, "Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who became an expert in forging tools of bronze and iron".

So he's an artist, an alchemist, an engineer. Do you see what's happening? Humankind starts to give expression to the Imago Dei and look at where we are now. Unbelievable. I mean, we landed a man on the moon! That took some creativity. Other species, the animal kingdom is not doing that. Ant colonies are amazing, right? But it's our creativity that allows us to co-create and co-commission with God. I just, I think my prayer this weekend is if there was a singular prayer, it would be like, Lord, just release that inner child in all of us. Remind us of who we are, who we were, who you're made us to be. And just a freedom, God set captives free, to step into. I wish we had time for Chris to share her story because you know what? It took some courage at some juncture in her journey to kind of sell out to art, and artists get it, right, because it can be a scary thing, but I'm talking about any and every kind of creativity.

And so, oh man, it was probably two decades ago, I read Howard Gardner, Harvard professor, his theory of multiple intelligences. I'll just put this up, because you know, it's funny, what science does is essentially confirm what the writers of scripture said thousands of years ago. That we all have different kinds of gifts, that they manifest in different kinds of ways. But there's something about this that is just so helpful because for a long time, intelligence had one measure, it was IQ. What Gardner suggested, and it started with seven, it became eight. I think it's nine now that, you know what?

Some people are music smart or body smart, or people smart, word smart, logic smart, nature smart, sell smart, picture smart. I don't have time to delineate all of those. But I think what happens in a culture like ours is some of those are seen as intelligence and some of those are just seen as accidents. That, I just think that there are some giftings that God has given you. I mean the kinesthetic, the bodily. I think God anointed David as a sling shooter, that do you know how much bodily kinesthetic, like that's as hard as the hardest thing may be, according to scientists in the sports world, is hitting a fastball, because the amount of time it takes to register in the distance from the mound, the argument is that that is the hardest bodily kinesthetic kind of, but I would say a slingshot probably one ups that maybe.

So what I'm saying is, David was anointed in a way that like we think about the harp and singing worship, but I would suggest that no, no, no, it's all of these things. Let me close with this. On New Year's Day 2014, a British ballerina named Gillian Lynne was named Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. It's one of the highest honors bestowed upon a civilian for a non-combatant contribution to the United Kingdom. And me thinks ballet is non-combatant. On her 20th birthday, Gillian was cast as the soloist in the Royal Ballet's Sleeping Beauty. She parlayed her dancing career and became really the most distinguished choreographer. She choreographed Cats and Phantom of the Opera, and just all of these masterpieces. Her resume as a dancer and choreographer is unparalleled.

But there's an even better backstory. When Gillian was a school girl in the 1930s, teachers thought she had a learning disorder because she couldn't sit still. Now today, probably be, you know, diagnosed ADHD. But that wasn't a consideration back then. And so Gillian was taken to a specialist who listened as her mother kind of painfully detailed all of Gillian's issues, the greatest of which was fidgetiness.

Well, 20 minutes into the conversation, the doctor asked Gillian's mother, "Hey, can we have a word? Just come with me". And they walked out of the room. But on the way out, he turned on the radio some music, and he said to Gillian's, mom, "Watch". Gillian got up, just started moving to the music. The doctor said, "Mrs. Lynne, Gillian isn't sick. She's a dancer. Take her to dance school". And that's what her mom did. "I can't tell you how wonderful it was", said Gillian. "We walked in this room and it was full of people like me, people who couldn't sit still, people who had to move to think". "A musician must make music", said Abraham Maslow, "a builder must build, an artist must paint, a poet must write if she or he is to ultimately be at peace with himself. And a dancer must dance".

God is calling you by name. God is anointing that inner child. God is anointing you for a new season with a new anointing. In Jesus' name. Amen. I wanna invite you to stand. I wanna ask our prayer team to come and just be available if you want prayer today. And it might just be one of those, I need some anointing. I need a fresh anointing. There's a situation where you're gonna need God's anointing. Maybe you're in a interregnum, you're in one of those seasons in your life where you're kind of between things and trying to figure that out. But if you want prayer, our prayer team is available, you come and they'll pray with you. But if you would like to just spend a few moments at the altar, there's something about kneeling in an altar that releases the inner child in me.

This is just your pastor saying it very bluntly. I get so wound up in self-consciousness or what people think about me or all of those things like everybody else. I've gotta sanctify ego every single day like all of you. There are things that there's a fear factor, or I wonder if I can do it. And I don't know, sometimes I get hogtied in the basement like everybody else. But there's something about worship that begins to free me up. There's something about kneeling in an alter, there's something about prayer that begins to release me. Can I just exhort us as a church? Just as God said, let there be light, you are the light of the world. May God release that light, that gifting, that inner child in each of us. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Are you Human?:*