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November Night

“He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters;

He makes the clouds His chariot; He walks upon the wings of the wind;

He makes the winds His messengers, Flaming fire His ministers.

He established the earth upon its foundations,

So that it will not totter forever and ever.”

Psalm 104:3-5

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The Holy Spirit’s Anointing

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To be “anointed” in simple, general terms means to be chosen for a specific divine purpose. That is what the word “Messiah” means, and comes from the Hebrew word “Yeshua Ha Mashiach”, Jesus the Messiah. Our Greek word “Christ” means The Anointed One, or the chosen one. So when we say “Jesus Christ” we are honoring His name and His title, His office of the one Savior and Lord of humankind – “Jesus the Anointed One”.

When the woman anointed His feet with expensive ointment as He reclined at the Pharisee’s table at dinner, and Judas whined (!), He said, “Leave her alone, for she has anointed me for My burial.” (See the full account around Mark 14:7-9) That is yet another sort of anointing.

During Jesus’ last supper with His disciples, right before His arrest and crucifixion, He tells them (Jn 16:7-15) “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.”

This is an amazing truth. He’s saying that if He did not die, rise up again from the dead, and ascend into heaven, that His Holy Spirit could not be poured forth – because in Him all the fulness of the godhead dwells! God’s intention was to pour out essentially Himself upon human beings, to make Himself one with us through the Holy Spirit! In Joel 2:28,29 – the prophet says, “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.” One does well to study that entire book and chapter to understand the context. Peter then states at the 1st Pentecost (Acts 2) that this event – the outpouring of the Holy Spirit – was the

beginning of the fulfillment of the prophecy from Joel 2, and the onset of the age of the church – the body of Christ.

Colossians 2:8-10, Paul says, “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, which are based on human tradition and the spiritual forces of the world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity dwells in bodily form. And you have been made complete in Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.” This involves the mystery of the Trinity – God is One, but God is also Three in One – Father, Son (Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit. So you might say, He could not pour out His fulness upon those chosen for the “mission” of the church. This is why the church is the very “body” of Christ on earth – made up of those called to it and anointed, or chosen.

“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples made by human hands. Nor is He served by human hands, as if He needed anything, because He Himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.” (Acts 7:24, 25) And 1 Corinthians 6:19,20 – “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body”.

God made us to indwell us, to be one with us. When we fell, He redeemed us with the Blood of Jesus. Then He “sanctifies” us – sets us apart as He comes to indwell us by the Holy Spirit. He wishes to make His home within us, and He asks us to abide in His love. We cannot take it for granted, but must nurture this bond with a life of prayer, and the study of His word – where He reveals Himself and teaches us. It is the most amazing life!

Jesus invites. “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:9-13) (The sense of the “ask, seek, and knock” means keep on asking, keep on seeking, keep on knocking… persist!) It is a life of continual surrender to the love God wants to pour into us – His very own presence, so that we may, in essence, be the parts of Christ’s Body here on Earth.

Praying in Christ’s Victory

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When it comes to the very real dangers in our world today, it involves more than “keeping on the sunny side” with a positive attitude or a stiff upper lip. Christians have become the target of entrenched diabolical forces which know that their strangle hold over this world is being divinely pried from their clutches. This is very much like a confrontation with a cornered animal; it may get out its strongest most cunning survival tactics as a last effort. We need to realize first of all that the “animal” is supernaturally cornered, although it would have us perceive that it grows stronger with every snap of the jaw and swipe of the claw!

That’s the “bad news” in a nutshell. Eschatologically, however, this view gives us a higher perspective of events in progress, which is something greatly needed first of all, appearances to the contrary. So, what’s the “good news”?

What’s clear is that we need to know how to move through the bad news in a transcendent way, to learn to navigate through this tempest. Who am I? Where am I? How do I get though this? These answers are available for the continual asking, seeking, and knocking – within the context of the full counsel of Scripture.

Once understanding is given, we then need to learn to pray within it. Understanding comes from an enlightened consideration of scriptural truth, not vague begging, but knowing who and where we are in Christ, as well as why we are now here. Affirming and proclaiming what is becomes our testimony whereby the adversary is overcome. “What is” in Jesus is truth! Not what I will, but as Thou will, Lord.

The following (bold italicized) is an example which may be helpful. Emotions can trip us up when we feel down. So we pray by scriptural fact and faith! Feelings often change following the exercise of faithfully affirming our truth in Christ! It is good to pray like this thoughtfully and frequently.

Heavenly Father,
I thank You that You have given me all pardon and peace
through Jesus Christ.
You have granted to me all Your power and protection
over the evil one and the world;
You provide for all my need,
in the midst of all circumstances.

You grant me
full and unrestrained access
to Your infinite love and goodness at all times,
within You – omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient-
so that I may lead a godly life
full of Your joy unspeakable,
abundance, graciousness, and glory.

Please let ever increasing measures
of all blessings within this immeasurable greatness
be revealed, released, and restored to me.
Lord it is so, according to Your word,
that the triumph of Jesus Christ
over sin, death, and the devil
is Your desire
for all who believe in You.

Please let every blessing
with which You bless us in heavenly places
be manifest now,
according to Your promises,
and according to the working of Your great might,
Heavenly Father, which You worked
in Christ Jesus
when You raised Him from the dead
and seated Him at Your right hand, and us with Him!
(Ephesians 1:19,20; 2:6,7)

Come, Holy Spirit;
Please work within me and in my life
all that the Father has for me,
through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
in Whom I live, move, and have my being,
now and forever. Amen.

When we have access to divine power over all evil to this degree – for Christ has given us direct access to the Father – what shall we fear? If the Lord truly is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? (Psalm 27). Simple. In Christ

I fear nothing and no one!
And it is this I proclaim,
for the Blood of the Lamb has made it so.

The weapons of our warfare are not of mortal thought or design, nor are they of this world, but rather are mighty in God to the tearing down of adversarial strongholds, and casting down the vain imaginations of everything exalting itself against the Most High. (2 Corinthians 10:4,5)

Psalm 27 in itself is mighty prayer, especially when prayed aloud, contemplatively, and personally! This way we can acknowledge and invoke the protection and power of God.

Praying the Psalms aloud each night before going to sleep (5 at a time, allowing for one complete “Psalm cycle” per month, give or take a few) can be very efficacious. Many of these (but not all) were written and probably sung by King David, who was also a gifted musician.

Through these, David shows us how to pray and praise, never allowing defeat or depression to set in or overtake one’s mind. As a king, he reveals to us – through the powerful praying found in the Psalms – the divine dynamo behind the life he lived. His example reveals to us how we can reign, within the power of God, in the life He sent us here to live and to enjoy in His strength.

David may have had his setbacks, but he never settled for defeat. There is never anything short of victory, joy unspeakable, and full of glory written in this mighty collection of hymns and prayers. They are full of proclamations about how God’s love can be abundantly powerful in life!

Jesus also encourages us with His promise (John 16:33), saying, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

If ever we’ve needed the understanding of the truth about who we are and where we are “positioned” spiritually in Christ, that time is now. Praying the psalms and also reflecting on the life of King David can keep us mindful of what we need to understand and embrace: that we can be people of victory who “reign over giants” in life, even reducing them to nothing, by first being people who walk by truth and faith.

Revelation 22:17 Affirmation

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” (Revelation 21:7)

“And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” (Revelation 22:1)

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“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38)

Scripture passages, affirming their truth, and making art combined – used as a visual focal point – can be a profound yet relaxing mode of prayer and contemplation that helps build our faith. It is also helpful to play soothing, uplifting spiritual music while doing this, which creates a reverent and harmonious atmosphere, conducive to bringing us into a greater awareness of God’s Presence. A suggestion is to use instrumental background rather than vocal, if music is used. If it’s vocal music, the words can become distracting and pulling away attention from the work, since the focus is scriptural texts combined with affirmations based on them.

Another helpful part of this is to look up and study or consider other related cross references to round out the focused subject, such as the theme here of living water or the river of life.