The Ananias Anointing

The Scripture indicates that in the middle of his High Priest sanctioned rampage against the early Church, Saul of Tarsus had a supernatural encounter with the resurrected Jesus (Acts 9).  Falling down from the overwhelming force of God’s glory, Saul exclaimed, “Who are you, Lord?” The Lord replied, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” Saul, now blind and infirmed, was taken into the city of Damascus to receive care.

The Lord then came to a man named Ananias in a vision and commanded him to go to Saul of Tarsus and lay hands on him that he might be healed and be filled with the Holy Spirit.  Despite the threats Saul had made and his notorious track record of persecuting, arresting, and even affirming the execution of Christians, Ananias, whose name means “to be gracious and to show favor,” honored the call of God and went to Saul because the Lord had great plans for Saul of Tarsus. Jesus called him his chosen instrument to preach to the gentiles and to their kings.

The Ananias type of believer, or the Ananias anointing, is desperately needed in the day we live.  Like Ananias with Saul, they help to restore to God what was previously lost, allow God to use them to bring healing to those that are afflicted, help God’s people get filled with the Holy Spirit, and help raise people up for God’s service and glory. We need more individuals in the body of Christ who, like Ananias, will be dispensers of God’s grace and favor, refusing to pay attention to the anti-supernaturalist and cessationist who deny the present day ministry of the Holy Spirit.

How can you become an Ananias in this critical hour in Church history? First, you must yourself be born again and filled with the Spirit. You cannot impart what you do not possess. Second, you must be tuned in to the realm of the spirit so that you can pick up on the signals of the Holy Spirit’s direction.  Notice Ananias was told to go specifically to the house of Judas in Damascus on Straight Street where he would find a praying Saul who had a vision Ananias would come to him. Third, you must be fearless in the face of the ominous threat and intimidation so prevalent in the world today against Christians.  It’s not that Ananias didn’t feel afraid. He simply refused to be ruled by that emotion. Fourth, you must be obedient and simply go.  It’s amazing how often Jesus uses that simple command.  Finally, you must be deliberate to carry out the details of your assignment, including the who, the what, and the where.

When Ananias placed his hands on Saul he was filled with the Holy Spirit, healed of his blindness, received water baptism, and began to eat and regain his strength. The Lord is in need of bold believers just like Ananias to share the resurrected Jesus with the lost, confused, religious, bound up, and hurting of our world.  He has sovereignly chosen to use people to lead people to salvation, Spirit baptism, deliverance, and healing.  Ask the Lord Jesus to send you, and don’t be surprised when he says, “Go!”

The Dream Killer

“After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them–to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates–all the Hittite country–to the Great Sea on the west. No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:1-9, NIV).

I believe the Lord has a purpose and plan for every person. Jeremiah 29:11 (some of the most powerful words in the Bible) says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future). The first key for tapping into that divine flow and guidance is to experience the new birth. Jesus said to Nicodemus, “you must be born again” (John 3:7). We know from Ephesians 2:10 that we are created from the foundation of the world unto good works that expand the Kingdom of God in the earth. It is, however, impossible to discern and walk in God’s will until we become alive spiritually. We simply do not have the spiritual hardware to hear God’s voice and follow His direction.

Once we are saved, the Lord begins to move us in the direction of the best life possible for us. We now have the eyes to see and the ears to hear, and we have the added ability to receive a dream or vision from God into our hearts. That dream now becomes an internal guidance system taking us in easy stages down a path that will bring about the fulfillment of God’s will and dream for our lives. The dream says, “I can make a difference.” The dream declares, “I can become everything God has created me to be.” The dream boldly proclaims, “I will impact lives through the gospel of Jesus Christ.” The dream is ultimately what connects believers to God’s future and hope for their lives.

The problem is that we do not live in a spiritual vacuum or bubble insulated from the operation of the enemy to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). It would be nice if we had that kind of utopian existence where everyone was pulling for us and there was no opposition to the dream in our hearts. But that would be fantasy, not faith. The reality is that the enemy will do everything he can, use anyone he can, and employ any and every tactic he can to stop us all from living lives of spiritual significance in the earth. One of his most effective and consistent weapons is the weapon of fear. The same dream of God that inspires us to action and directs our course is also a bullseye for the enemy and his devices. But we are not ignorant of his schemes and possessing that knowledge we do not have to allow him to compromise the dream of God in our hearts (2 Corinthians 2:11).

A brief review of great leaders of the Bible reveals that every one of them had to deal with the fear issue. Moses was certainly intimidated to stand before Pharaoh and demand the release of the people of God. The Lord countered that spirit of fear by reminding Moses in Exodus 33 that He would personally go with Moses. Joshua must have certainly felt all alone and afraid as he realized that his leader, mentor and friend Moses was now with the Lord. Immediately in Joshua 1 the Lord spoke to remind Joshua to be courageous and to stay out of fear. God told him that He would be with him like He was with Moses. The Lord also gave Joshua the antidote to fear – meditating on and speaking the Word without ceasing. In doing this he would literally make his own way successful or prosperous. Jeremiah, when called by God as a prophet, hesitated reminding the Lord that he was only a child. The Lord promised that He would watch over His Word to perform it and challenged Jeremiah to not be afraid of the people but stand up and proclaim what he is told to say. In the New Testament Paul admonished Timothy to not be afraid to stand up and witness. He was told directly that he has not been given the spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

The people of God today are exposed to the same kind of fear mongering by the enemy. Every believer that receives a dream from God and wants to do something great for God will be challenged by fear. Some are afraid of a lack of resources. Some are afraid of the opinions of people. Others are afraid that they will be rejected if they take a stand for the Lord in these challenging days. Still others are afraid of failure. I have found that the enemy will always use some kind of manifestation of fear to try to stop the dream in the heart of the believer. Fear, being a form of perverted faith, will bend our lives away from God’s best, compromise the dream, and imprison us in a jail of uncertainly, confusion, and inactivity. Our only other option is to stay in faith by focusing on the dream and staying in Word like Joshua was commanded. Whatever we give our attention to the most will determine whether we walk in faith or fear. Faith will cause the dream to come to pass. Fear will cause the dream to die. Why? Because fear causes us to question the dream and fail to act in the direction of the dream. Unless we add action to our dream (faith in picture form), we will never see the fulfillment of it.

I want to encourage you to treasure the dream in your heart and protect it. Guard your heart with all diligence (Proverbs 4) and when you notice even the slightest tinge of fear trying to move in regarding your dream open up your mouth and say, “I reject this fear in Jesus name and choose to maintain the spirit of faith regarding the dream of God for my life.” The moment you open your mouth your mind and emotions will stop to listen to what your mouth is saying. Don’t allow even a smidgen of fear to reside in your heart because like mold in a dark, damp place, fear tends to grow and expand. Be diligent to feed on the Word of God because faith grows as the Word is received into the human heart. Focus also on the development of your love walk because perfect love (mature, developed) casts out all fear (1 John 4:18). The prevalence of fear in our lives, even regarding our dream, is an indication that we are not walking in love as we should. The season where the dream is cultivated until it becomes reality is a prime time for the enemy to try to introduce fear into your life through some situation, setback, or even some person. We need to make sure at this time that we are living free of unforgiveness, bitterness, jealousy, envy, or hatred. Quite frankly, what someone did to you or said about you is not worth losing the dream, destiny, or blessing.


“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance” (Psalm 33:12, NIV)

Today marks the historic signing of the landmark healthcare bill touted by some as the salvation of the nation and regarded by others as the final decent in to Armageddon. I don’t like the bill (and I’ll tell you why later), but I don’t think that any one piece of legislation is as good or bad as the voices in our land are portraying it. What concerns me more is the fear permeating every aspect of this process by everyone, every party, every media voice, and many of our citizens. We can take action, forge legislation, and make changes without throwing out common sense and faith and succumbing to fear. The fear surrounding this debate has given the enemy an opportunity to deceive, divide, and denigrate our people and our nation and this is why this healthcare initiative deserves the title, Mediscare, because it is proposed and opposed out of fear and fear always de-evolves into rancor, irrationality, and personal attacks by and upon all sides of the debate.

Right up front I will plainly state that I do not like the legislation for a litany of reasons. First, I don’t appreciate the manner in which the legislation was drafted (despite Obama’s promise repeatedly to create and draft this sweeping legislation with everyone’s input and televised – not the token roadshow broadcast recently). Second, this concept has been tried in earnest in Massachusetts and failed miserably (that effort proposed by a Republican) and in part in Tennessee with the same results. Third, our European friends that have already wandered down this path with one voice have warned us not to follow them. Fourth, the American people overwhelmingly have said (important in a democratic society) that they do not want this approach but that they want the government to start all over working together to forge substantive change in a bipartisan way. Fifth, when you have to basically bribe senators and congressmen in smoky back rooms out of the public eye and scrutiny to secure their vote it does not instill confidence in the product or the process. Sixth, this bill relegates control of over one-sixth of our economy to a federal bureaucracy that has proven its amazing management skills with such government entities as the post office, Amtrak, the Veteran’s Administration, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid (need I say more). Seventh, as every nation that has adopted this direction in healthcare can tell you, healthcare quality and availability go down and the costs skyrocket. Eighth, our nation simply cannot afford a one trillion makeover when we already owe fourteen trillion in debt. The U.S. government apparently cannot seem to understand what every working family knows. If you can’t make the payments on your fifteen hundred square foot house, you don’t fix the problem by buying a ten thousand square foot house. If you can’t make the payment and insurance premiums on your clunker you don’t go out and buy a BMW. Ninth (wow), to mandate that individuals must purchase the privately sold product of healthcare insurance or face an IRS imposed, controlled, and collected fine (they call it a tax) is blatantly unconstitutional (and they know but don’t seem to care). Finally, I can’t stomach the expanded funding of abortion on demand with my tax dollars (you should know that no executive order trumps legislation). The right to life is the right that supersedes all other rights and should be protected at all costs and it is unconscionable to expect that pro-life believers should have to not only accept abortion, but fund it.

Despite these reservations, there is something troubling me more than the bill itself – the fear that has invaded every aspect of this debate and process. The debate should center around the merits (or lack thereof) of the legislation and not party affiliation, political philosophy or race. It grieves me and I know it hurts the heart of God for someone to oppose something on the basis of affiliation, philosophy or race. It is just as grievous to support something for the same reasons alone. But fear is like that. I mean when fear shows up sanity and critical thinking disappear and people default to what makes them feel secure (even if it is morally repugnant and biblically in error). It is racist to oppose legislation on the basis of the race, creed, or color of those that either initiate the proposal or benefit by the proposal but it is equally racist to say that because of a person’s race their views or proposals should not be criticized as if to say that because of their race their ideas will not survive scrutiny (that significantly devalues that individual).

I don’t lend my voice to politics or political parties (although I will vote and express my views on issues in light of the Word). My voice and allegiance are at the disposal of the Lord Jesus Christ and with that in mind I want to exhort people of faith from all parties, philosophies, and races (the Bible truly only teaches one race – the human race, but for understanding only do I use this term) to get back into faith concerning this initiative and any other initiative proposed by our government. Fear opens the door to all sorts of evil and believers have no business hooking back up to the enemy just because they have strong opinions on a civil matter. Our hope is the Lord, his Word, and his Kingdom. If we win or lose the argument or succeed or fail to pass the legislation we want, let’s remember that we are citizens of heaven first and we should never compromise our royal decorum as kings and priests together with him to feel, speak, and act like the world regardless of the importance of the issue. No debate is worth losing our witness and way as believers and no issue is worth losing the blessing on our lives, families, and churches.

So, have and express your opinion (I’ve expressed mine and I will vote in November accordingly because I too am a citizen of this nation), but if you have slipped into fear over this as evidenced by the venom in your heart or mouth for any party, philosophy, or background, knock it off, repent, and be the Christian you need to be in this messed up and confused world we live in. The fact is no political party truly represents the interests of the Kingdom of God so we are left with the task of evaluating political efforts and decisions in the light of the Word and not their platforms, websites, or press releases. Join me in believing God for legislation that is the product of faith rather than born out of fear or opposed out of fear because, “everything that does not come from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23, NIV).