God did powerful things through Paul, things quite out of the ordinary. The word got around and people started taking pieces of clothing—handkerchiefs and scarves and the like—that had touched Paul’s skin and then touching the sick with them. The touch did it—they were healed and whole – Acts 19:11-12, 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). For this reason, the enemy utterly despises men and women that walk in the anointing of the Spirit’s power and will do whatever he can to render ineffective and impotent such servants of the Lord.
One of his 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 an apostle to an administrator. “But as the believers rapidly multiplied, there were rumblings of discontent. The Greek-speaking believers complained about the Hebrew-speaking believers, saying that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food. 2 So the Twelve called a meeting of all the believers. They said, ‘We apostles should spend our time teaching the word of God, not running a food program.'” (Acts 6:1-2, NLT).
Devotion Determines Demonstration
If the enemy cannot succeed with a strategy that will result in our destruction, he will settle for a plan that will culminate 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. Satan’s objective is clear: a life that is no longer marked by the Spirit’s anointing. If he can’t make us bad, he will make us busy.
The apostles in Jerusalem would not be duped by the devil. Upon identifying the enemy’s threat, they implemented a plan to counter it. “And so, brothers, select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility. Then we apostles can spend our time in prayer and teaching the word” (Acts 6:3-4, NLT).
Don’t fall prey to the devil’s schemes. The purest expression of worship and the highest form of ministry is communion with God. Everything we need flows out of deep relationship with the Holy Spirit. Apostolic demonstration is predicated on apostolic devotion.
Guard your heart. Guard your time. Guard the anointing.