Will You Pay the Price?
The importance of the anointing is proved in many ways, as we have seen, but no one sets it forth
with more authority than the psalmist, as found in the following excerpt. Pay particular attention to the height, depth, and breadth of the promises through
David to the Messiah, the ultimate Anointed One, from whom you derive your anointing: I have found my servant David; With My holy oil I have anointed him, With whom My hand shall be established; Also My arm shall strengthen him. The enemy shall not outwit him, Nor the son of wickedness afflict him. I will beat down his foes before his face, And plague those who hate him. But My faithfulness and My mercy shall be with him, And in My name his horn shall be exalted. Also I will set his hand over the sea, And his right hand over the rivers. He shall cry to Me, “You are my Father, My God, and the rock of my salvation.” Also I will make him My firstborn, The highest of the kings of the earth. My mercy I will keep for him forever, And My covenant shall stand firm with him. His seed also I will make to endure forever, And his throne as the days of heaven. (Ps. 89:20-29)
Had we nothing else but this, we should seek the wonderful gift that is ours. Strength, protection, victory over the enemy, faithfulness, authority, power,
unending covenant—on and on are the promises that are yours and mine through the King of kings, the Lord
Think About It Soberly
The anointing, which carries these promises, also carries a price, as I wrote in Chapter 1, and it is very real. You will accomplish little, or worse, should you
act foolishly or insincerely. That price is total death to self. And it comes only
in prayer. Furthermore, the dying must occur daily, as Paul wrote (1 Cor. 15:31). I can’t say, “But I died twenty years ago.” No, the flesh must be denied daily.
It is an accursed thing and must go to the cross daily. Jesus said it flat out: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily,
and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). That comes only in prayer. You see, you and I have no power to say no to Satan; there’s no power in us to refuse him. The power only comes when the Holy Spirit is upon us. Giants of faith have fallen because they couldn’t say no. They relied on their own power. Kathryn Kuhlman said years ago, “I died a long time ago.” And she could have been misunderstood unless she had gone on to say, “I die a thousand deaths,” meaning that she had made the decision a long time earlier, but she had to make it again every day. This is one of the things about the presence of the Holy Spirit. It comes quite simply by making the decision before God, saying it, meaning it, and totally abandoning yourself to Him. He knows whether you’re telling the truth or not, and you’d better be aware of that.
It’s a Lifetime Matter
The anointing of God, the power of God, comes upon us by spending time, and all else that is required, with Him. And it’s not a one-day experience, but a lifetime, one in which you become completely sold out. I do not believe I have arrived at a 100 percent level in this, although that is truly what I desire, and God has been able to use me, especially in recent
years, and He will do the same with you.
In my case, I know I have lost complete desire for anything to do with the world. My worldly desires are gone. It’s hard to talk about these things and sound
truthful in our cynical age, but because of the presence and the anointing of the Spirit, I am consumed by my walk and work with God. He is literally all I have. If He said, “Benny, move to China,” I’d leave everything and go. I no longer have any rebellion in me. The lack of material desire does not mean that Satan has stopped tempting me. The daily death to self, often very difficult, is still a battle that must be fought.
A Candid Question
A good friend asked a question that gave me pause recently. “Do you think God has used you the way He has,” he asked, “because you were such a loner and so
withdrawn that you didn’t have much to die to when you were young?”He raised an important point, as I thought about it. I had an awful speech impediment, I was little, and I was terribly shy. I would often hide under my bed when visitors came to our home. But when God began to use me, I basically had nothing to lose, and I wasn’t tied to anything. I had certain desires, naturally, as every human being has—certain things I wanted. But God dealt with me on those. So, after considering the question seriously, I believe God often chooses people like me, who He knows aren’t going to fight Him. But then, there is the absolute truth that when you are in God’s presence and tasting His goodness and His love, you say, “Who wants anything else?” He just consumes you. I’ve found that as you try to explain this to people and tell them what they’re missing, they often look at you as though you’re crazy. The amazing thing is that He loves you so much,and yet you’re not always right with Him. I mess up,and I miss the mark so often, and I grieve Him so often, but never intentionally. I would rather die than that. I love Him too much to hurt Him like that. But when I do miss, He gently comes and deals with me on my sins and failures and weaknesses, and I go forgiven. My friend asked an even harder question about my commitment to the ministry, but the answer was easier “.Are you sure you don’t love the work of the Lord simply because you’re good at it?” he asked, implying:”. . . and there’s not much else you could do?”I have examined my heart many times and immediately concluded that I would never ruin my life and my family’s life serving something and killing my relationship with God. It sounds heroic, but it’s as Paul said, the love of God constrains me (2 Cor. 5:14).I have a chance to see God’s incredible love for people. When I stand on that platform at a miracle crusade and see the thousands of people, the kids, and the wheelchairs, the souls of men and women hungry for their Creator, I know exactly why I’m in the ministry. I pray every time, “Help me pay a higher price to see them touched.”And I have to say, I don’t know why every person isn’t touched and healed, but I do know that thousands upon thousands are. And I also know that the full answer lies in the anointing of the Holy Spirit and the desire we have for Him—the willingness we have to pay the price. And I am confident that thousands of you will be willing to pay that price too. God still loves the world and its people more than we’ll ever be able to imagine.
Much Respect is Required
In addition to the price we must pay for the presence and the anointing of the Holy Spirit, there is the important matter of respect for that anointing. It may not sound terribly spiritual, but I have heard God warn about “playing games” with the anointing. And I urge you, as you move forward in the life with the Spirit, do not allow anything that would be disrespectful to the Lord. Warning against disrespect for the obvious anointing of the Spirit came early in the history of God’s dealing with Israel. Numbers 12 opens by saying that Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman Moses had married. They challenged Moses with these words: “Has the LORD indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us also?” (vs. 2). And here the Scripture says parenthetically that Moses was more humble than all men on the face of the earth. He was God’s chosen man, and God judged them for their disrespect. Moses “is faithful in all My house. I speak with him face to face, even plainly, and not in dark sayings,”God said. “Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses? (vs. 7-8)”God did not like their disrespect for Moses and his anointing, the Bible says, “So the anger of the Lord was aroused against them, and He departed And when the cloud departed from above the tabernacle, suddenly Miriam became leprous, as white as snow.”God’s displeasure was strong, and had it not been for Moses’ intervention with God, Miriam would have remained “as one dead.” Aaron apologized and pleaded, and Moses cried to God, “Please heal her, O God, I pray!” So God let her stay in punishment for seven days, shut out of the camp, and then she was healed (vs. 11-15). The point is: Aaron and Miriam walked away from their callings and tried to be a Moses, despising the powerful anointing upon him. Never try to be a Moses if you are not. And it is beneficial to notice that the cloud lifted before the leprosy hit. People who walk away from their anointing will realize sooner or later that the presence is gone. Yes, God will forgive them when there is repentance, but there is still a price to pay.
The Horse and Mule
As you prepare to surrender to the Holy Spirit, dying to yourself, and moving into the marvelous presence and anointing He has for you, I want to share one verse of Scripture that can be a pointed needle in your side. I know it has often provided a rebuke for me.
Psalm 32:9 says, “Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle.” Think of it. One day the Lord gave me that verse, and the Holy Spirit literally shook me up with it.
Do you know what a horse does? He runs ahead and is impatient. What about a mule? He is so stubborn he won’t move. One runs too fast, and the other won’t
run at all. The serious message is that the horse will run out of the anointing and into the flesh, while the mule dies
in the flesh. Sadly there are a lot of mules in the church. They don’t want anything from God, no presence, no anointing. They are stubborn. If I can’t have all sheep, who will follow the Lord
faithfully, then I would rather have horses in my church than mules. At least horses are going somewhere, and you have a chance at bringing them under control.
It’s Time to Move
As I said earlier, these are powerful times in which we live. Sin abounds, but grace does much more abound. Millions of people, unhappily, are charging in
the opposite direction from God. Society is in a shambles. Our young people are suffering. But other millions are hungry for God and want to line up with
Him and serve Him. I trust you are in the latter group, and I pray that as you go forward, you will go forward in the power of the Holy Spirit, in His precious
anointing that is for all of God’s people.
Let nothing deter you. He wants you so very badly.
Please pray with me:
Father, I surrender to You completely now I yield everything to You—my body, my soul and my spirit, my family, my job, my finances’, my weaknesses, my strengths, my past, my present, and my future, everything I am, for all eternity. I ask You, Lord, to give me a repentant
heart for all the things I’ve done to grieve You, all my sins, my iniquities, my coldness of heart, and my lack of trust. I ask You to empower me to turn around, to go the other way, the way that
pleases You. Holy Spirit, I welcome You into my life right now. I praise You and love You. I ask You to help me receive the things I’ve asked for from the Father through Jesus. Help me to come into fellowship and communion with You,
for I really don’t know how to myself. Make me fully aware of Your presence and enable me to hear Your voice. I promise to obey. Lord Jesus, anoint me with the Holy Spirit as I obey and learn. Give me Your power to touch those around me and those You will bring across my path. Show me what to do next. And help me never to neglect Your fellowship. I pray in the name of Jesus my Lord. Amen.
I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. (Ezek. 36:27) But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:8)