“Guard this precious thing placed in your custody by the Holy Spirit who works in us.” 2 Timothy 1:14, The Message
When a man or woman pays the price to steward the anointing of God upon their lives, all hell takes notice! Religious activity and service void of the power of the Holy Spirit is of no concern to Satan. What he absolutely loathes is the anointing because it is the only thing that can stop him. This truth is clearly demonstrated in the life of Christ:
“They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, ‘What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!’ ‘Be quiet!’ said Jesus sternly. ‘Come out of him!’ The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek” (Mark 1:21-26, New International Version).
The anointing is what breaks the yoke of bondage (Isaiah 10:27, KJV) and causes those under the influence of the devil to be liberated. “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him” (Acts 10:38). Therefore, the enemy utterly despises men and women that walk in the anointing of the Spirit’s power. He will do whatever he can to render ineffective and impotent such servants of the Lord.
One of Satan’s most successful tactics is to distract God’s servants so that they pursue that which is of lesser or no significance than a life fully yielded to the Spirit. We see him at work in the church in Jerusalem. In the midst of a white-hot revival, the enemy introduces a strategy to sidetrack the apostles from giving themselves unceasingly to prayer. His method was to downgrade their calling from that of apostle to administrator. If the enemy cannot succeed with a strategy that will result in our destruction, he will settle for plan that culminates in our reduction.
In the New Testament we read of the special authority given to apostles to demonstrate and display the Gospel with miracles, signs and wonders following (Acts 5:12; 19:11; 2 Cor. 12:12). More than anything, Satan wants to prevent such supernatural power from being made manifest in the earth. He knows that apostolic demonstration will cease when apostolic devotion is abandoned. If the devil can’t make us bad, he will make us busy! Either way he wins as his strategy results in the common goal of a life that is no longer marked by the Spirit’s anointing!
The apostles in Jerusalem would not be duped by the devil. They knew that to do so would result in an impotent Gospel presentation. Upon identifying the enemy’s threat, they implemented a plan to counter it. “Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, ‘It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word’” (Acts 6:2-4).
Don’t fall prey to the devil’s schemes. Cherish and invest in intimacy with God more than anything else! The purest expression and highest form of ministry is communion with Father God. Everything we need flows out of our relationship with the Lord! Powerful, prophetic proclamation in public stems from passionate, praying in private. Apostolic demonstration is determined by apostolic devotion!
Guard the anointing. Guard your heart! Guard your time! Amen!