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!”

Faith for Miracles

It is quite faith building and encouraging to know and understand that there is no heavenly timer on miracles. There is no day that miracles just ceased in the earth because the miraculous power of God is a reflection of His very nature and heart and not just a tool for proving divinity. There is no “day” of miracles, but there is a God of miracles, and He is very much alive and active in the earth today.

Galatians 3:3-5 teaches us that we receive the Spirit and see miracles among us because of faith. Romans 5:2 says plainly that we access the favor of God through faith. Hebrews 11:6 declares that anyone coming to the Lord must believe that He is (that He exists) and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. Further, it is clear from Mark 6:5 and Matthew 13:58 that the presence of or lack of faith is ultimately the determining factor whether the miraculous power of God is released in our midst or not.

In dealing with the spirit of familiarity, contempt, and offense in his hometown, Jesus did not say that he was lacking supernatural power to get the job done. He did not say that the day of miracles was over or that it simply was not God’s will to do miracles. He did say that the thing stopping up the flow of miraculous power was their lack of faith. Because of this plain Biblical truth, we need to learn to stir up our precious and holy faith if we want to see more of God’s power at work among us. Again, this is not about proposing some formula for miracles, but providing a faith-filled and expectant atmosphere where miracles are more likely to happen. Our job is to charge the air with faith and dispel any doubt, fear, and unbelief from the environment. From the story of the paralytic brought to Jesus for spiritual restoration and physical healing in Mark, I want to share about the kind of faith that receives a miracle.

First, the faith that receives a miracle is a UNIFIED faith. The men who carried the paralytic had to be in one mind and one heart to get the job done. To be unified means to become a single unit. The paralytic together with each of these individuals had to be in agreement about what they were doing and why. Psalm 133 powerfully points out the impact of unity among the people of God. When we are in unity the anointing of God (God on flesh doing what flesh can’t do), fruitfulness, the blessing, and life are the results. So, get into agreement with other believers!

Second, the faith that receives a miracle is a TENACIOUS faith. These men faced many obstacles along the way including the journey to get to the house where Jesus was ministering. When they arrived there was no way to get into the house so, undaunted, the men went up to the roof carrying the paralytic, ripped open the roof and lowered the man into the presence of Jesus. A tenacious faith is a persistent, stubborn and obstinate faith that absolutely refuses to be denied and that no set back or challenge can quench. There will always be obstacles to receiving but we must continue busting through every barrier until we reach destination miracle. So, do not give up no matter what you face!

Finally, the faith that receives a miracle is a VISIBLE faith. James 2:18 indicates that faith should be so real and obvious that it is something shown through corresponding actions. To be visible means that it can be seen, that it is perceptible to the eye, apparent, obvious, and conspicuous. When faith is fully released it is observable. That’s why the Bible says in Mark 2 that Jesus literally saw their faith. This is nothing unique to this story. The Bible is filled with examples where the faith of individuals spilled over into visible action. Blind Bartimaeus, filled with faith, threw is cloak aside, went to Jesus, and his sight was restored (Mark 10:50). The man with the withered hand stretched out his hand and was healed (Luke 6:10). The lepers went to show themselves to the priests and were healed along the way (Luke 17:14). The woman with the issue of blood touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and was made whole (Mark 5:27-18). So, step out boldly and act on your faith!

Remember that our God is great and He does miracles. Remember also that He responds to the confidence, trust, and faith we place in Him. Make up your mind today to walk in a unified, tenacious, and visible faith and expect the Lord to move in your situation. For our God performs miracles and displays His power among the peoples (Psalm 77:14).

The God of Miracles

“You are the God who performs miracles, you display your power among the peoples” (Psalm 77:14, NIV).

Growing up with a healthy dose of popular theology from television, my concept of miracles was that they just erratically showed up from place to place for the lucky or if individuals could just beg long enough and hard enough, God just might feel sorry for them and come through for them big time in the clutch. True to that interpretation, many today think that miracles just seem to happen for no apparent reason or that they are for the few, special people who are mysteriously awarded some of God’s power and favor in their lives.

But the Word of God reveals a totally different concept and theology of miracles. Our great God who works miracles (Psalm 86:10) is actually internally motivated and predisposed to show up and perform miracles because miracles are manifestations of His goodness and mercy. Miracles, the divine breaking into the earth by God to display His will, Word, covenant, and love on behalf of His people (including the suspension of natural laws and overt authority over all the earth’s forces), are actually the result of a powerful mixture of elements that when present provide an atmosphere conducive for the releasing of supernatural power. Although this should never be misconstrued to imply that there is some formula for obtaining a miracle, these elements do provide an atmosphere or surrounding or pervading mood, environment, influence, spirit, or climate where miracles are much more likely.

The atmosphere that is the breeding ground for miracles is the atmosphere of faith. I can almost hear Smith Wigglesworth, as he was reported to have said in a church meeting, “Stop charging the air with unbelief.” Smith was terribly grieved to hear the avalanche of doubt, fear, and unbelief coming from the preacher’s lips during a sermon. He then took over the meeting, preached faith, charged the air with faith, and seeded a powerful atmosphere spawning a great move of God in that service. The Scripture clearly teaches this principle stating that, “And he (Jesus) did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith” (Matthew 13:58, NIV). This is a powerful principle that we must come to terms with if we want to see God’s miraculous power flowing in our day.

It is telling that Jesus did not say that there was no power available for miracles that day. He did not say that doing miracles that day was not his will. He did not lack love or compassion for those that may have needed to receive a miracle that day. He did not confirm the ivory tower theologian who insists that miracles have passed away. No, Jesus made it plain that the reason for the drought of miracles was (and is today) the lack of faith among the people. To put it plainly, there is no “day” of miracles, but a God of miracles and He is very much alive and active in the earth today wherever He finds a prevailing atmosphere of faith within which to manifest His power, glory, and goodness.

One of my absolute favorite passages of Scripture (I know I say that a lot) is Mark 2:1-12 and the story of the house meeting where the four friends carried a paralyzed friend to Jesus for healing and restoration. There are so many powerful truths that can be drawn from this text, but I want to focus on the elements in this story that helped to produce this amazing atmosphere for miracles. I encourage you to meditate on the concepts and endeavor to put them into practice in your life, your family, your work place, and your church.

1.  Miracles break out where Jesus is tangibly present (so let’s praise and worship Him until he shows up).

2.  Miracles break out where the Word is honored (so let’s take the Word at face value and believe it).

3.  Miracles break out where salvation is emphasized (so let’s trumpet the message of forgiveness and grace).

4.  Miracles break out where there is strong opposition (so let’s bind the voice that would hinder miracles).

5.  Miracles break out where the Spirit has liberty (so let’s be extra sensitive to the urgings of the Holy Spirit).

6.  Miracles break out where faith is demonstrated (so let’s activate our faith with corresponding actions).

7.  Miracles break out where expectancy is high (so let’s expect God to show up and show out).