“Quench not the Spirit.” (1 Thessalonians 5:19)
For the past month or so, the Holy Spirit kept bringing to my mind passages of scripture about the anointing of oil. As you may already know, oil represents God’s presence.
I’ve witnessed the anointing of oil for healing practiced in churches where I’ve been blessed to be fed. I’ve even seen this practice tainted and abused primarily by television evangelists.
Although my thoughts about anointing with oil was for healing, I finally realized what was really at stake was obedience—from me. Don’t get me wrong, although a specific healing was and is still desired, the Truth is that ALL healing comes from the mighty hand of God. So what I needed to do was to focus on what God was telling me to do. By not doing so, I was quenching His Holy Spirit. To quench God’s Spirit means to disobey Him! (1 Thessalonians 5:19) Been there?
Furthermore, the dedicated oil was never intended to accomplish anything alone. Prayer and faith were always required. So, you may be wondering as I did, “So, why include the oil; why isn’t prayer and faith enough? And why not fast?”
Before I answer the above question, perhaps you now understand why I was somewhat hesitant when the Holy Spirit started reminding me of what I already knew about the anointing of oil. In my case, prayer and faith wasn’t enough because God wasn’t just after a physical healing; he wanted submission from me. His directive was “Anoint.” And He didn’t provide an alternative, like fasting. Quite frankly, I believe because God knows that fasting would be extremely difficult and possibly devastating for me right now, He did not require this of me. (Everybody knows that additional energy is needed to be a caregiver!) God’s Spirit never leads us to do harm to ourselves or others. His plan is ALWAYS perfect. His plan is for healing.
Sometimes praying in faith is all that’s required. But I know that anointing my husband with oil had just as much to do with me as it does for his healing. Just like with prophets of old, I believe God wanted me to exercise my faith in Him in a way that was different than I had ever personally experienced. I believe He wants me to be bold in my faith—not ashamed of doing anything He calls me to do. I believe He has something for me to accomplish that requires obedience on a level that I have not yet experienced Him.
With this new thing, no matter how difference or strange it may seem, whatever it is, I know that obedience, faith and prayer are required. Therefore, I will walk in obedience. And then the healing He desires will come.
What about you? What is God requiring of you? What is it He is withholding from you until you submit to Him?
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Len's wife with his assistance!
Dr. Verna Foster Harvey