• The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. (Luke 4:18-19).
  • Friday, 24 May 2013





    Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us,

    set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. 2 Corinthians 1:21, 22 (N.I.V.)

    We've been looking at the church as the army of God and the role of each one of us as believers in that army. We've talked about the Cross and the willingness of the soldier to lay down his life; we've looked at the issue of authority, and in this session we're going to be talking about some specific anointings in spiritual warfare.

    This word "anointing" can bring up all kinds of mysterious and vague ideas in our minds. We hear it a lot, but it seems to have many different meanings. We don't have space in this study to explore the whole subject of "anointing", so we will just cover it very lightly here. So what is an anointing? Well, in a practical sense it means to rub or smear oil on a person or a thing. In the Old Testament the anointing was a symbol of God's power resting upon someone. Kings and priests were ceremonially anointed and set apart, usually by prophets. In literal terms the Hebrew word for anointing (shemen) conveyed the idea of "richness, fatness, fruitfulness". Isaiah 10:27 says "the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing". The yoke was the wooden implement put around an animal's neck and was a symbol of servitude and oppression. But the anointing brings freedom.

    In the New Testament , the anointing is spoken of as a specific endowment or unction of the Holy Spirit. "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me BECAUSE He has anointed Me..... Luke 4:18. The word "Messiah" actually means "Anointed One". 1 John 2:27 tells us "the anointing you have received from Him abides in you....the same anointing teaches you concerning all things....." It is interesting that the Amplified Bible translates the word "anointing" as "a sacred appointment". (1 John 2:27)

    Every Christian has an anointing abiding within. We have been "rubbed" or "smeared" with the oil of the Holy Spirit. If we will learn to listen to it, that anointing will teach us "concerning all things". God's presence and power are resident in the anointing. If you see certain consistent spiritual fruit as the result of someone's area of ministry, you can safely say that person has a specific anointing from God to bear fruit in that area.

    An anointing is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit resting upon a person to bring forth fruit in one or more specific areas. Even though there is only one Spirit, just as with the gifts of the Spirit, there are diversities of anointings. In spiritual warfare, there can be different anointings for different fields of conflict. Some may operate more powerfully in deliverance ministry than in strategic level warfare. Others may have a specific anointing to deal with the enemy on the occult level.

    So in this study, we are looking at some specific anointings in the area of spiritual warfare. This is because as individuals we need to find and start functioning in our areas of anointing in the army of God, and because corporately the church needs to begin to acknowledge and release anointed people into their spheres of authority.

    Two people we are going to look at in this study are Deborah and Gideon, who were both anointed to lead Israel in war at different times of history, but who each were specifically anointed to release the breakthrough needed for the hour.



    When Ehud was dead, the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord sold them into the hand of Jaban king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who dwelt in Harosheth Hagoyim. And the children of Israel cried out to the Lord, for Jabin had nine hundred chariots of iron, and for twenty years he had harshly oppressed the children of Israel. Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, was judging Israel at that time. And she would sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the mountains of Ephraim. And the children of Israel came up to her for judgment. Then she sent and called for Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali, and said to him "Has not the Lord God of Israel commanded, "Go and deploy troops at Mount Tabor; take with you ten thousand men of the sons of Naphtali and of the sons of Zebulun, and against you I will deploy Sisera, the commander of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his multitude at the River Kishon; and I will deliver him into your hand?" Judges 4:1-7

    Deborah was one of only three people in the Old Testament who held the positions of prophet, judge and military leader (along with Moses and Samuel). Verse 5 tells us she sat between Ramah and Bethel. Ramah means "high place", the place where idolatry was practised. Bethel means "house of God". Deborah sat "in the gap" between these two extremes. I believe this to be symbolic of high level spiritual warfare and intercession. So already we can see that as well as the prophetic anointing, (she is called a "prophetess" V.4) there's an anointing for intercession on Deborah. In addition, there's an anointing of wisdom, counsel and discernment "And the children of Israel came up to her for judgment." (v.5) In Verse 6 Deborah is given a strategy for war and tactics for the battle by God. The Oxford Dictionary defines strategy as "the planning of a war or campaign", and tactics as the "method of arranging troops skilfully for a battle". There are many of God's people, men, women and children, on whom God is placing an anointing for military style leadership in His army, who will be given strategy and tactics for spiritual warfare and individual battles by the Spirit of God.

    It is not my purpose here to go into the rest of the story of the battle, but the end result is that the Israelites are victorious and defeat the enemy army and Sisera is killed. Deborah, along with her general, Barak, then sings a prophetic song inspired by the Holy Spirit. You can read the whole song in Judges 5. To continue our study, we are going to take a look at some of the passages in the Song of Deborah. Firstly, Judges 5:6-8. In the days of Shamgar, son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were deserted, and the travellers walked along the byways. Village life ceased, it ceased in Israel. Until I, Deborah, arose, arose a mother in Israel. They chose new gods; there was war in the gates; not a shield or spear was seen among forty thousand in Israel. This is a description of the state of the nation of Israel just prior to the war with Canaan. In many ways, this is also descriptive of where much of the church has been until recently. Notice the highways are deserted - the people of God were assigned to the "byways", hiding on the back roads for fear of the enemy who dominated the major highways. Village life had ceased. In those days many people lived in small villages outside the walls of the cities. This is telling us that the people were afraid to venture outside the fortified walls of their cities and towns. The villages had disappeared. Because of marauding raids from the enemy the people had fled inside the walls. Sadly, some churches have become like fortified cities, where the whole focus has become defensive, to keep the enemy out, and to keep the believers safe. The problem is that the rest of the world is still out there with him. We've built walls with our structures and systems that keep us apart from the very ones we are meant to be reaching with the Gospel, out there at the enemy's mercy. They had chosen to follow other gods and God had allowed war to come to them (see Judges 4:2, so the Lord sold them into the hands of Jabin, King of Canaan). The people were not prepared for war and did not know how to use their weapons (not a shield or spear was seen). Many in the church today are awakening to the call to war, but we need God to raise up leaders like Deborah, apostolic "mothers and fathers in Israel", who are anointed to receive strategies and battle tactics from the Holy Spirit in order to lead the church in effective warfare.

    Deborah goes on in her song to acknowledge different tribes who came to fight. This also is an aspect of the anointing on the Deborahs God is raising up - the ability to recognise and discern specific giftings in the Body of Christ and to encourage, and nurture them. Even among the tribes of Israel there were a variety of anointings, and the Bible indicates that these were recognised between one tribe and another. However, even though there were twelve tribes in Israel, THERE WAS ONLY ONE KINGDOM. When the tribes of Israel were summoned together for warfare, they knew who the enemy was, and it wasn't each other. We are told in Verse 15 that the princes of Issachar, were with Deborah. The tribe of Issachar, who had a prophetic and intercessory anointing, stood in warfare with her. The tribe of Benjamin (v. 4) had a reputation amongst the tribes for fierceness in battle, likewise Naphtali for bravery and stamina (v.18), and Zebulun was known for producing scribes, or keepers of the Word: (And from Zebulun they that handle the pen of the writer. V.14 KJV). Then there was the tribe of Reuben - who had a reputation for being weak, undisciplined, & unreliable. The tribes of Reuben, Gilead, Dan and Asher apparently did not come to assist in the battle. We are told that among the divisions of Reuben there were great resolves of heart but that Reuben stayed among the sheepfolds: Among the divisions of Reuben there were great resolves of heart. Why did you sit among the sheepfolds, to hear the pipings for the flocks? The divisions of Reuben have great searchings of heart. Judges 5:15,16 Well, doesn't it all sound a bit like the Kingdom of God? It doesn't matter what tribe (denomination) you belong to, unity isn't found in sameness, but in recognising and valuing the diversity of God's Kingdom. It's in being able to acknowledge that there are both strengths and weaknesses in the different tribes. It's in recognising specific anointings amongst God's people, and in being willing to learn from one another, as well as cover each other's weaknesses. It's in allowing each other to be different but identifying as one kingdom fighting a common enemy.

    They fought from the heavens, the stars from their courses fought against Sisera. The torrent of Kishon swept them away, that ancient torrent, the torrent of Kishon, O my soul march on in strength. Then the horses' hooves pounded, the galloping, galloping of his steeds. Judges 5:20-22 These verses speak of angelic hosts (the stars) fighting on behalf of Israel in the heavenlies (stars in the Old Testament are often symbolic of angels). God caused a flood from the River Kishon, to sweep away Sisera's 900 chariots of iron. The horses hooves beat loudly because of the galloping of fleeing riders. Curse Meroz, said the angel of the Lord, Curse its inhabitants bitterly, because they did not come to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty. Judges 5:23. Meroz was a town in Galilee whose inhabitants apparently refused to respond to the call to war. We need to understand that Jesus has put the authority to act into the hands of His church, and when His church acts, under the unction of the Holy Spirit, Heaven endorses. In Ephesians 6:10-20, a passage which talks about the armour of God, we are exhorted to "take... the Sword of the Spirit... Ephesians 6:17. That implies will and action. Having a weapon and having the will to use a weapon are not the same thing. A call to war has gone out to the people of God, and, like the tribes of Israel, we have a choice. Like Reuben, we can stay in the safety of the sheepfold, making endless resolves in our hearts but never actually doing anything about them; or we can be like Issachar, who the Bible tells us were men who "understood the times and knew what Israel should do."1 Chronicles 12:32

    So, what was Deborah's anointing? She was called a "mother in Israel". That is an apostolic anointing which recognises, nurtures and releases the anointings and giftings in others. She had an intercessory anointing, and a prophetic anointing. She was a wise judge, gifted in leadership and discernment and she was also a strategist. Today, I believe God is releasing in the Body of Christ a Deborah anointing upon many of His people.


    Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian for seven years, and the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel. Because of the Midianites, the children of Israel made for themselves the dens, the caves, and the strongholds which are in the mountains. So it was, whenever Israel had sown, Midianites would come up; also Amalekites and the people of the East would come up against them. They would encamp against them and destroy the produce of the earth as far as Gaza and leave no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep nor ox nor donkey. For they would come up with their livestock and their tents, coming in as numerous as locusts; both they and their camels were without number; and they would enter the land to destroy it. So Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord.... Judges 6:1-5 Now the Angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, 'The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valour!" Gideon said to Him "O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, "Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?" But now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites." Then the Lord turned to him and said "Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?" So he said to Him, "O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house. And the Lord said to him, "Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man." Judges 6:11-16

    Now I want you to picture the scene. Here we have a young man, threshing his family's wheat. For years he's heard the stories from his grandfather and his father and his uncles that have been told and retold through the generations. They would probably sit around the camp fires at night, up there in the dens and caves where they were hiding, and Gideon and his mates would repeat the stories of the elders amongst themselves. "Did you hear the one about where God parted the Red Sea and all the Egyptian army was drowned? Hey, wouldn't it have been great to see Pharoah's face?" "Yeah, and what about the one where the people were thirsty and Moses struck the rock and water came out? What about that one!" Then there'd be a short silence. "Hey, have you ever seen water come from a rock?" "Er....no, never". "Me either." You can only get so much mileage out of stories from the past, even when they're true.

    You see, Gideon was representative of a generation that was tired of hearing about what God had done in the past, and who were hungry to see God's power demonstrated for themselves. It wasn't enough any more to hear the stories the fathers told. The reality for him was that his people were hiding in dens and caves in the mountains just trying to survive. The reality for him was that his family were impoverished because the harvest was continually destroyed and stolen by the enemy. Why was Gideon threshing wheat in the winepress, instead of out in the open on the threshing floor? Because he was hiding! He'd heard all the stories, but they didn't ease the frustration of having to hide the wheat in the winepress just so he and his family could eat that year. You can just imagine the kind of threshing that wheat was getting, can't you? And in the midst of all this the Angel of the Lord appears and says "The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valour!" So out of the frustration of all the years of growing up and surviving under these depressing, fruitless, circumstances Gideon virtually says "You've got to be kidding - He's with us? Then where is He, and where are His miracles?"

    What the Lord was doing was stirring Him up. He knew there was a valiant warrior hidden in Gideon. I don't know how many of you are aware of it, but there's a Gideon generation in our midst right now, and they've been hidden away in the wilderness by God, and He's getting ready to release them. Many of them are our young people, but it's all those who are tired of being hearers of the word, and hungry to be doers of the word. They're tired of surviving in strongholds while the enemy plunders and steals. They're being stirred up, they being called out, they're getting ready to march on the enemy, and they are going to be used in such a demonstration of God's power that the world has not seen since the days of the early church. Verse 14 then tells us: Then the Lord turned to him... The word "turned" here literally means faced him - the Lord looked at him face to face. This generation that is going to arise will be a generation that has known the Lord face to face, intimately, and upon whom the Lord has turned His Face. Friends, when the Lord turns His Face upon you, He turns His favour upon you.

    And He says Go in this might of yours (the NIV says "the strength you have") ...V.14. What might is He talking about? Gideon's a farmer, not a warrior, and a scared farmer at that - he's hiding in the winepress for goodness sake! What is it that the Lord is seeing in Gideon as He looks him in the face? May I suggest it's his weakness? Behold my clan in the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house." V.15. And the Lord said "Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midainites as one man." V.16 In other words, "That's just what I want Gideon, someone who knows he can't do what I'm asking. I'm going to show you how you and I together make a majority." Please understand, the highest places in this army the Lord is raising up are reserved for the weakest in His house. He can't use people who are full of their own strength. He can only use those who have come face to face with their own weakness. Because they are the ones who will draw from His might; they are the ones He means when He says "Let the weak say I am strong" They will know their only strength is His strength, because they will have been led by the Holy Spirit through a place where they have had their own weakness revealed to them, and in their brokenness have cried out to God: "without You I can do nothing!"

    As we read on in the story we find that Gideon is told to tear down the altar to Baal that has been set up by the people of his city. (v. 25) One of the major aspects of this Gideon type anointing is the strength to tear down enemy strongholds. After this the Spirit of the Lord comes on Gideon and he gathers neighbouring tribes round about him and they go out and set up a camp opposite the Midianites' camp. But God has Gideon send many of them home, lest Israel should claim glory for itself (Judges 7:2). Even then there are too many for God's purposes, so God orders them down to the river. So he brought the people down to the water, and the Lord said to Gideon "Everyone who laps from the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set apart by himself; likewise everyone who gets down on his knees to drink." And the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was three hundred men; but all the rest of the people got down on their knees to drink water. Then the Lord said to Gideon, "By the three hundred men who lapped I will save you, and deliver the Midianites into your hand. Let all the other people go, every man to his place." Judges 7:5-7

    Well, just what is God doing here? I believe that some of the people were so crushed in spirit from all their years of hiding from the enemy that they focused solely on their thirst, forgetting why they were there. These ones who got down on their knees and put their faces in the river left themselves defenceless and wide open to enemy attack. Those who used their hands to bring the water to their mouth were still refreshed, but were also able to look around and keep watch for the enemy. They were the ones who hadn't forgotten why they were there. There's a lesson for us here. Many of us have been enjoying ourselves in "the river" for the last few years, and rightly so, for we have been in desperate need of refreshing. But there's still a war going on for the souls of everyone out there who are not in the river. Don't get so focused on the river that you forget why you are here. The river is great - but we're not meant to take up residence there. It has a purpose - to refresh us, renew us and strengthen us, but we're here take the land!

    Finally, the Lord gives Gideon a battle strategy and tells him to go down by night with his servant into the enemy camp. Now the Midianites and Amalekites, all the people of the east, were lying in the valley as numerous as locusts; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the seashore in multitude. And when Gideon had come, there was a man telling a dream to his companion. He said, "I have had a dream: To my surprise, a loaf of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian; it came to a tent and struck it so that it fell and overturned and the tent collapsed. Then his companion answered and said, "This is nothing else but the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel! Into his hand God has delivered Midian and the whole camp." And so it was, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, that he worshiped. He returned to the camp of Israel, and said "Arise, for the Lord has delivered the camp of Midian into your hand." Judges 7:12-15 There is an actual anointing available in spiritual warfare to go behind enemy lines without being uncovered, and to discern the plans and strategies of the enemy.

    Some of you reading this may already be operating in that kind of anointing. In this type of strategic warfare, you are able to see into the enemy's camp and discern, through the Spirit, their plans. However, be aware that you go in behind the Captain, Jesus, and in His might, not your own. You are able see the enemy's plan from the vantage point of being seated in Heavenly places in Jesus, and your part is to do what Gideon's men were told to do: "Look at me and do likewise, watch, and......., you shall do as I do." (Judges 7:17). In spiritual warfare, we have only one Commander - Jesus. We must watch the Commander only, and do what we see Him doing. If you get your focus on the enemy, pretty soon you'll be taking your orders from him. The enemy is not the focus - our Commander is our focus. And He alone chooses the times and terms of battle. Some intercessors will be able to identify with what I'm talking about here, but some blow their trumpets way too soon. The key to flowing in this kind of anointing is to come into a place where you've waited on the Lord for the particular strategy He wants to use in each instance. So when He shows you what the enemy's up to, don't start jumping up and down and making a lot of noise; don't blow your cover or move out in your own strength. Wait on the Holy Spirit for your battle strategy, and pray it out in faith. Don't pray out your fears because you've seen what's going on. You've only got half of it - get the Lord's heart and pray that out. We must fight from a position of faith in what God's going to do.

    The anointing of Gideon is an anointing for leadership, but not based on a person's history or position in the church. It's an anointing for discernment and strategy, a prophetic anointing that even discerns the plans of the enemy, and an anointing for tearing down strongholds. May the Lord raise up many Gideons in the coming days as the battles intensify, who will receive their orders directly from the Captain of the Host and who will be entirely dependent on the Spirit of God for their battle strategy. Whole camps of the enemy will flee even at the mention of their names! Who are you in God's army? What is your position? What is your place? You may be a Deborah, a Gideon, a Barak or a Jael; you may be a trumpet blower or a torch bearer. You don't have to prove who you are to anyone else - the Lord knows who you are. And the great thing is, the pay's the same. Whether you're a general or a trumpet blower or one who cooks the food for the troops, Jesus said the pay's the same (see Matthew 20:1-16). The important thing is to find your place, receive your anointing, and take up your position. Gideon thought he was the weakest and least important in his clan, but God said He was a mighty warrior. Ask the Lord to show you who He says YOU are. Then leave the rest to Him.

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