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"Are you taking the steps to walk under God's anointing?"

Lee Ezell's father was a raving alcoholic who physically abused his entire family. When she was 17, Lee convinced her mother to take herself and her sisters and to leave home.

They had just got themselves established in a new town when Lee was raped and became pregnant as a result of the rape. She was unable to tell her mother of the rape. She only got as far as telling her mother that she was pregnant, when her mother, unable to cope with any further pressure, ordered her out.There she was, just gone 17, homeless, penniless and pregnant as a result of rape. Shortly before this, she had started doing some Bible study. The verse they were studying was, "Commit your cause to the Lord, trust in Him and He will act on your behalf." Ps 37:5

Lee decided to stake her life on that verse. In her horrific situation, she decided that she would trust that Jesus would find a way forward for her. Thus began one of the most beautiful Christian adventure stories ever told.

The key moment was when she decided to "commit her cause to the Lord and trust in Him."Committing one's cause to the Lord also involves a decision to seek to do things His way. One hasn't committed one's cause to the Lord if one is prepared to lie, cheat, bully or pull fast ones to get one's own way. You cannot bring about the Lord's plan by the devil's means. That is the mistake that most of us at first make. We ask the Lord to bless our project, then we seek to give Him a helping hand by compromising in some way. This is a very human thing to do - like the student who makes novenas asking God to help him pass the exam, and then slips a book into the exam hall and copies from it. Which of us hasn't at some stage combined prayer with compromise:- asked for God's help, then cheated in some way, or asked for God's help in a dispute and then argued like a pagan?

In the early stages of the spiritual life, God understands this. He may even protect us from the consequences of our own actions, if He knows that one day we will repent and learn to walk with Him. Last month I wrote of the amazing protection that surrounded a former IRA explosives expert who now walks with the Lord - protecting both himself and others. His protection was assisted by the fact that he was being steeped in prayer (and miraculous medals) by his mother. Protection however only last for a period. If God sees that we are not going to respond, or are too slow in responding, it may be withdrawn at any time, and then we may suffer affliction.

God does understand this tendency to ask His help and then compromise, but He also wants us to stop compromising, and the sooner we stop compromising, the further we will go in the spiritual life. We may come under protection while still compromising, but we will not come under anointing. Protection merely protects us from some of the consequences of our compromising - and it will only last for a limited period. Anointing is where God begins to bless us in our personal lives and in our work or ministry. Without anointing we can still be successful, even do great things for God, using human means and resources. Such work however will not have eternal significance. St. Paul warns us that if our work is not "laid upon the foundation ... which is Jesus Christ" then it will be burned up, "because ... the fire will test what sort of work each one has done." (See 1 Cor 3:10-15). Our work for God will only have eternal value if done under God's anointing. Setting ourselves to walk under His anointing, involves a decision to commit one's cause to Him, to enter on a life of walking with Him, and to trust Him enough to do things His way.

This also involves learning to listen to the Lord, and seeking to be guided by Him in all things. This doesn't mean that we will always get it right. Sometimes, while genuinely seeking to be guided by God, our human emotions or our other inner voices, will lead to us getting it wrong. God understands that too, but desires that we take the appropriate steps to be able to distinguish His voice from other voices.

At other times we will start out with good intentions, but when faced with a particular situation, we give in to temptation, and act or speak in a way that is unworthy of the Lord. A good rule of thumb is:- if you couldn't tell your confessor what you plan to do, then don't do it.What is of the Lord can be brought out into the light. When a genuine Christian is tempted to do something that is not of the Lord, he or she will likely do it secretly. Of course, those who have never given their hearts to Jesus often have no difficulty doing shameful things quite publicly. But the person who has given his/her heart to Jesus will be tempted to cheat, or lie, or enter on an inappropriate relationship, or whatever under the cover of secrecy. If one gives into this temptation, one steps from under the Lord's anointing - though sometimes, the Lord's protection may continue to surround you for a period.

Walking under anointing also involves seeking to live a life of deep union with Jesus. It involves seeking to reject everything that is not of God, and desiring total inner transformation.

Walking under anointing requires taking responsibility for one's past mistakes, making reparation where possible, and interceding for anyone we have hurt spiritually or morally - including those we have indirectly hurt by neglect or bad example, and those who got hurt because we hurt someone else (including those we hurt by bad example etc.) who then hurt them.

Walking under anointing requires learning to spend real time with Jesus, and growing in our love for Him and things spiritual.

Walking under anointing requires working in harmony with Jesus' plan for his Church, and in obedience to the authority structure established by Jesus. (See across re role of Peter.) It also involves distancing ourselves from those not walking in such obedience.

Walking under anointing requires making a decision that one is going to trust Jesus in all things, for all things and with all things.

Walking under anointing
requires learning to listen to the voice of God, as spoken through the Bible, the Church and the inner voice.

Walking under anointing requires seeking to become open to all the graces that Jesus offers us each day.

Walking under anointing requires seeking such inner union with Jesus that one becomes the living presence of Jesus in the world.

But Jesus is so good, that even while we still have a long distance to travel to fulfil these requirements, we will often experience glimpses of anointing upon our work, for He anoints not just on the basis of what we are, but on the basis of what we are destined to become.

So set yourself the aim of walking at all times under God's anointing, then trust that He will enable you to do so.

 

 



 
 
 
 

 

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