Archive for August, 2016

Fresh Anointing

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

…And the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.

Isaiah 10:27 KJV

This word used in Hebrew for “the anointing” is “sheh-men,” and it is the precise word God used when He instructed Moses regarding anointing a king or a priest (see Exodus 29, for instance). This was a sacred oil reserved for those set apart by God for special purposes and callings, and it symbolized and promised His presence and power upon the life of the one called to minister.

And without that anointing, they could not serve, regardless of their calling. No one – not even Moses’ brother Aaron or King David – was allowed by God to serve in their calling until they had been anointed with holy oil.  

Why am I writing about this? Well I’m so very glad you asked!

YOU (yes, YOU) have a sacred calling from God

“ME? I’m just a churchgoer… right?” WRONG! God calls YOU a “royal priest” in His Kingdom (1 Peter 2:9); in fact, a “KING AND PRIEST” (check out Revelation 1:6, 5:10) unto Him! WHO KNEW?

Therefore YOU, my friend, Need a sacred anointing from God

(And He wants to give it to you!)  🙂

Memory lane time… When I was a young worship leader (late 80’s – early 90’s), people in the “worship movement” of that day spoke much about “anointing”… in fact, probably much TOO much. Many a worship leader sought “an anointing from God” instead of seeking God Himself, just for who He is. In desiring to minister under God’s power, our proverbial pendulum had swung out of balance to the point where some were seeking God’s power in ministry as an idol or for personal validation. 🙁

HAVING SAID THAT… at least back then we were aware that we needed an anointing from God to minister effectively! In the years since, I’ve witnessed the American Church’s pendulum go waaaaaaaay out of whack in the other direction – we’ve had an ocean of man-made, man-centered, man-powered programs, sermons, and songs that have neither sought nor relied upon a genuine anointing of God’s Holy Spirit.

IN FACT, I fear that a generation of young Christians have arisen who aren’t even aware that true ministry requires an anointing of God’s Spirit – that multi-colored stage lights and smoke machines are NOT a substitute for God’s genuine, manifest presence! (Truthfully: the largest market for stage lighting and smoke machines in America is no longer theaters and stages; it is churches.)

AHHHHH but I digress… My point is simply this: just like Israel’s priests of old, YOU and I have a special and holy calling from God to minister unto Him – and this calling absolutely necessitates His Spirit’s anointing!

“Anointing… Isn’t that just for ‘Charismatics’ or ‘Pentecostals’?”

British minister Charles Hadden Spurgeon (1834-1892) is to this day widely considered the “Prince of Preachers,” having written the most-read sermons outside of the Bible itself. And he was a devout Baptist (not a Pentecostal by a longshot). Listen to what Spurgeon had to say about our need for a fresh anointing from God:

The Holy Spirit, who anoints us for all holy service, is indispensable to us if we would serve the Lord acceptably. Without His aid our religious services are but a vain oblation, and our inward experience is a dead thing. Whenever our ministry is without unction, what miserable stuff it becomes… To go before the Lord without anointing is as though some common Levite had thrust himself into the priest’s office–his ministrations would rather have been sins than services. May we never venture upon hallowed exercises without sacred anointings… It is not to be imitated. It comes alone from God, and it is freely given, through Jesus Christ, to every waiting soul. Let us seek it, for we may have it, may have it this very evening. O Lord, anoint Thy servants.

May the Lord anoint you with His Spirit’s power, refresh you with His presence, and fill you to overflow with His love and goodness as you seek Him this week…

Pastor Matthew (Casey) Langston

© Springs of Life Ministries, 2016

Never Give Up!

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

One day Jesus told His disciples a story to show that they should

always pray

and

never give up.

Luke 18:1 NLT

Ever felt like giving up? Like the person or need you’re praying for is hopeless, and there’s no use continuing to ask?

Last week I received a letter from an inmate at a federal prison in California who had just read The Return: an End Time Epistle to the Church in America (a book I wrote some years back). He shared how his drug addictions led him into a life of crime, and that he’s been in and out of prison many times over the years. In fact, he’s currently serving his eighth prison sentence – and he has one more sentence to serve after this one is done.

EIGHT? Can you imagine serving EIGHT prison sentences (with #9 on the horizon?)

Can you imagine being the friend or relative who’s praying for this man – you ask God for a miraculous change, you think that at some point he’ll get tired of going back to prison, you hope for the best… but the only thing that changes is the prison address where you send him letters. Year after heartbreaking year, one disappointment after another…

Hopeless, right? Too many years of addiction, too much chemical and psychological dependency, too many demonic strongholds to be broken down…

But God…

 This inmate writes:

“This is my 8th time in prison, but this is the first time I ever picked up the Bible while incarcerated. I read it once while I was 17 (I’m 47 now), but never studied it until now; and now, not a day goes by that I don’t dive into it and meditate on His Word… I was truly devoted to my addictions – my selfish spirit has caused a lot of pain, but now (by God’s grace) I am just as devoted to Him; and am forever grateful!”

Beauty for ashes… A wasted life redeemed by the undefeatable love of our awesome Redeemer… Deeply entrenched strongholds broken by the Word of God under the power of the Holy Spirit… A new beginning at age 47, when all seemed lost.

Someone was praying for that man… Perhaps a grandparent long since gone, but whose prayers still weighed in the balance for his soul… Perhaps a neighbor from childhood who recognized danger and asked God for mercy… Perhaps a fellow addict who found Jesus and interceded for his old buddy in crime…

Whoever it was, make no mistake: those prayers mattered. Someone wouldn’t give up… someone prayed through… and Jesus won the war being waged for this man’s soul. He’s now our brother in Christ, his name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

ISN’T THAT AWESOME?

So how about YOU? What’s YOUR hopeless-looking need? Lost cause? Beyond-help situation? God is listening… So pray in faith! And never give up! Your prayers are being heard, they weigh mightily in the balance, and there is yet hope.

May the Lord refresh, strengthen, and encourage you this week as you pray,

Pastor Matthew (Casey) Langston

© Springs of Life Ministries, 2016

Let us not become weary in doing good,

for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Galatians 6:9 NIV