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Friday, 23 December 2011

God's Anointing vis-a-vis Godly character

To be anointed by God is to have been gifted by the Lord - often the individual has done nothing to deserve it. God chooses who He will lavish His gifts & callings upon. Thus Saul was anointed to be King, although he had done nothing to deserve or earn it. The anointing of God is a wonderful thing and the book of Romans tells us to covet all the gifts of the Spirit.

However character is not a free gift. Godly character is wrought and forged in our lives by God's hand squeezing, trying and testing us. Developing character is painful. It involves denying ourselves the easy pleasures our flesh craves. When we don't lie, flee sexual sin, don't steal, are not greedy for gain, forgive others even when they have hurt us deeply and are NOT sorry, give up our rights, stay quiet in the midst of insults, trust God even in dark times, praise God when everything is negative, speak faith in the middle of seeming hopelessness, obey God, it develops Godly character in us. We are yielding to the Holy Spirit and allowing the life of God to grow in us.

No-one can choose to be anointed by God; God's anointing is His free gift that He bestows upon whosoever He pleases. However it is our choice to allow or not allow God to develop character within us. Because God's anointing is a free gift, a man can have the gift of prophecy but still be a thief like Balaam. Godly character on the other hand, can only be developed by fleeing iniquity and being obedient to God. (Balaam’s story is in Numbers : Chapter 22 – 24)

Joseph had the gift of dreams - the only anointing or gift we appear to see in his life. He was also very handsome. However Joseph was a MAN of character. From his childhood, he was diligent, hard-working, obedient, submissive to authority as a son, a slave and a prisoner; honest, forgiving and FAITHFUL to GOD and these were the traits that took him far. God tried and tested Joseph’s character, refined him and Joseph came forth as PURE gold. Although he was cruelly sold into slavery by his own brothers, falsely accused of rape by Potiphar’s wife, wrongly imprisoned by Potiphar, callously forgotten by Pharaoh's butler; through those 13 yrs long years of slavery, imprisonment & seeming abandonment by God, Joseph never stopped holding unto God and living a Godly life. No anointing could have kept Joseph through those 13 years of pain & sorrow. What kept him was his relationship with God. Joseph TRUSTED God & lived a life worthy of that relationship. (Genesis: Chapters 37 – 50).

Contrast this with King Saul. Saul was greatly gifted. Tall, handsome, charismatic, a brilliant general, anointed to be Israel's 1st King, a prophet, the Holy Spirit even came upon him a few times ( in the days when the gift of the Holy Spirit was given to very few) - Saul had anointing and giftings in spades! He even had a Godly mentor – Samuel, God’s great prophet-judge. However Saul lacked one vital thing - a relationship with God. He was a man of flawed character. His gifts and anointing could NOT make him right with God. He died a sad lonely miserable end, rejected by God, the Kingdom torn from his hands, plagued with bouts of madness and periodic demonic attacks, a man who authorised the killing of the Levites (the priests of God). By the end of Saul's life, he could no longer hear from God as God refused to speak to him.

It is very important to note that after Saul was rejected by God, nothing seemingly changed in Saul's life. He was still King, he still won battles, he was surrounded by his sons and grand children and life appeared to continue as normal. Saul was king for 40 glorious years – during his reign Israel NEVER lost a battle until Saul's final battle. (1Sam: Chapters 9 – 27).

Anyone looking at Saul from the outside would have called him a blessed anointed man highly favoured by God. In fact, some might have wanted to ‘hang around him’ so they could 'share in his anointing'! (All they would have got were madness and demon possession - a very sobering thought). As for Saul's armour-bearer? Well, the poor chap committed suicide at Saul’s last battle and defeat. Be very careful who you associate with. The wrong person can impact your destiny negatively.

Having gifts, talents, anointing is wonderful and a blessing from God. However all one's gifts will not mean anything if Godly character is not formed in the individual. Apostle Paul (a man greatly anointed by God and who had yielded his life completely to God so he had tremendous Godly character) says by the Holy Spirit,"Let those who are named by the name of the Lord depart from iniquity." That simply means is if you are a Christian, then stop excusing sin in your life. No ifs, no buts, no excuses, just flee temptation like Joseph and don't try to excuse sin like Saul. Those decisions made by each man impacted their lives, their walk with God, their children, their calling.

For Joseph, it meant he became prime-minister of Egypt, the man God used to save the entire world from famine, he became head over his brothers, the birthright became his, his children were blessed and God stamped him with God's own seal of approval (he is mentioned in God's hall of faith - Heb 11). His two sons were even named among the 12 tribes of Israel - an honour that was meant to be reserved for Israel's (Jacob) sons alone. Basically, Joseph received a double-portion of the blessing.

For Saul, his decision to disobey God led to ignominy and rejection by God. His genealogical line was disinherited by God, he went mad, his sons were killed in battle, he committed suicide, died hopeless & defeated by his enemies, and even after his death, God's judgement upon Saul did not end. Saul's grandsons were put to death many years after his death. Of Saul's male line, only his grandson Mephiboseth survived because his father Jonathan had been faithful to God. But while Mephiboseth survived, he was crippled.

It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. God is gracious in mercy and loving kindness, but He is also a judge. It is much much safer to stay on the right side of God - for who can deliver the person God unleashes judgement and fury upon?

Let us all endeavour to see Godly character formed in our lives. Let us yield our all to God and be faithful in whatever He gives us to do. God’s anointing is given to every Christian to do the work of God. We should desire God’s gifts so we can serve Him, however Godly character is what will give us a relationship with God. Anointing without Godly character is meaningless in the long run.


Let's remember that God will anoint anyone to carry out His work. The presence of God's anointing does not indicate the person anointed has Godly character. Jesus said ‘the stones will praise me if you do not’. Even Balaam's donkey became anointed of God, saw an Angel and then SPOKE to Balaam, a prophet. Now that was one heavily anointed donkey!!!!! LOL (Num 22: 23 - 30)

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