When Your Dedication Matches Your Anointing
No matter how talented and gifted you may be, you will rise or fall in God’s kingdom by your devotion to Him and to Him alone. Your gifting can create a spiritual emotion that affects people positively, but nothing will be accomplished for eternity without God’s favor on your life. Genuine anointing, when disciplined properly with dedication, can make so powerful a combination that no matter how many storms you encounter and endure, your life will be safely anchored to the rock of obedience to God’s word.
How much you obey will determine how much dedication you possess. Being able to distinguish between the voice of God and the voice of man is a valuable key to successful ministry. Too many say, “God spoke to me,” when in truth they ate too much pizza the night before. If God has truly given you an assignment, He will also give you instructions on how to carry it out in a way that will bring complete glory to His name.
I trust that because of this letter you will be motivated to increase your dedication and allow it to match your anointing. When both are joined together, nothing will be able to hinder your relationship with God and His purpose for your life. Let me give you a sermon thought for this month that you can preach if you feel so led to do so.
The words “up” and “out” are used 251 times in the Bible. Whenever they are used in connection with the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, “up” is first and “out” is second. God will never get you out of the mess you’re in until He first picks you up. Many times, God must elevate us above the problem before we can get out of it. When a potter molds the clay, he never presses down on the clay to mold it, but always lifts. By lifting the clay, he molds it.
Remember that all ministry should be ultimately designed to lift up. Jude 1:20 states, But ye beloved, building up yourselves on your most Holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost. Teach people to build themselves up by speaking the promises of God. What you say to yourself can make the difference between success and failure in life.
Hebrews 11:32 – And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and [of] Barak, and [of] Samson, and [of] Jephthae; [of] David also, and Samuel, and [of] the prophets:
I John 2:20 – But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.
The many characters found in the Bible are often presented to provide for us a contrast between those who have obeyed the voice of God and those who struggled to do so. Every successful minister must learn for himself how to distinguish the voice of God from the many other voices that one hears in this world.
You can be very easily deceived into thinking that an emotional power rush is the same as the moving of the Spirit, but tragically, it is not. One must learn to try the spirits and see whether they are of God or not. Unfortunately, in the beginning of one’s ministry the only way to determine the difference is by trial and error. Let’s consider the biblical contrast between two men listed in the heroes of faith – Samson and Samuel.
There are many similarities and disparities in their ministries that I believe provide clear spiritual direction if we examine them carefully.
It is not good enough for us to experience the anointing of God – we must learn to compliment the anointing with a certain amount of discipline and personal dedication. There is a difference between Old Testament anointing and New Testament anointing. The word, “anointing” is not used in the New Testament except in I John and it is translated as “unction,” rather than anointing. The difference is simple – the anointing of the Old Testament is poured out. The word “unction” in the New Testament is a word used for “rubbing it in.” The only way to rub it in is to develop a love for the things of God and not for the things of this world.
Similarities Between Samson & Samuel
- The similarities between Samson and Samuel are many.
- Samson was given a deliverance ministry. The enemies he faced were the Philistines.
- Samuel also, was given a deliverance ministry and his enemies were the Philistines.
- Samson’s birth was accomplished because of the supplication of his parents and promised by divine visitation. Samuel’s birth was the same.
- Samson was given to the Lord all the days of his life by a Nazarite vow. Samuel was given to the Lord all the days of his life by serving in the tabernacle.
- Samson had a tremendous unction and anointing of strength. Samuel received a tremendous anointing of hearing the voice of God.
- Both had a covenant relationship with Jehovah established at their birth.
Anointing that comes through a covenant relationship can bring deliverance to a lost and dying world. But it can also be very dangerous. Anointing that is not disciplined by dedication & relationship will be wasted anointing. Deliverance will not last, and ministry will not be perpetuated to the next generation. Remember, Samson had no successor but Samuel did. Samson left this world without a child. Samuel left this world after anointing David King.
The disparities are many between the two men and their deliverance ministries.
Samson’s strength could only be provoked through vengeance and revenge. The enemy had to hurt him with tragedy before he moved into action. Samuel was moved by the glory of God into action.
Don’t ever use your anointing for personal gain. Always remain zealous for the glory of God. When you minister to others you gain certain privileges that others have no access to. Use those privileges wisely and responsibly. Samson used his for self-gratification, but Samuel used his anointing for the sake of the kingdom of Israel.
Samson broke every vow of the Nazarite covenant. He loved the world more than he loved the purpose. Your love for God’s purpose will be tested repeatedly, so get ready. Samuel, on the other hand, kept the law of God without fail.
I Samuel 3:19 documents Samuel’s relationship with the Lord and how God was with him in everything that he did. It is very striking to note that not one single word Samuel spoke ever fell to the ground.
And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground.
Samson never had a personal visitation from God except when God showed him the jawbone that he discarded after his victory. This was only to quench his thirst and for his own self-preservation. Samuel was privileged to experience a revelation of God through the word. I Samuel 3:21 And the LORD appeared again in Shiloh: for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD.
Samson did not have favor of the people. Judah even bound him and delivered him to the enemy. Samuel had the favor of the people. I Samuel 3:20 And all Israel from Dan even to Beer-sheba knew that Samuel [was] established [to be] a prophet of the LORD.
Samson could never conquer himself. Samuel conquered himself and submitted to the command of God. Here is the missing link in many people’s lives. They conquer many things, but never themselves. Only when you have learned to master your emotions, your passions and your desires can God elevate you higher in the kingdom.
- Samson delayed revival by one generation. Samuel passed on his heritage to the next generation (David). Samson was able to with the jawbone of an ass slay to 1000 Philistines, but after the victory when he prayed, he attributed the victory to himself. Judges 15:16 And Samson said, With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men. Samuel always gave Glory to God. I Samuel 12:23 Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:
- I Samuel 7:12 Then Samuel took a stone, and set [it] between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us.
- Samson’s ministry was self-centered. Samuel’s ministry was God-centered. Six times it is recorded that Samson went down on his journeys. Samuel was recorded about 15 times as going up. Do you want to go down or up in your ministry?
- When Samson died, only his family attended the funeral. When Samuel died, all Israel wept. Samson never sacrificed to the Lord, nor went to the tabernacle in Shiloh. Samuel did. Samuel’s personal devotion to the Almighty made all the difference in the world.
- Samuel was an intercessor for the people. He was given access to the Holy Place to minister because he found favor with God. His ministry included many mighty feats of supernatural proportions, all accomplished because of his dependence upon God. He offered sacrifice and it thundered and discomfited the enemy (I Samuel 7:10). There was thunder and rain at harvest to convince the people that he had truly heard from God (I Samuel 12:16). Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among them that call upon his name; they called upon the LORD, and he answered them (Psalm 99:6). A supernatural presence surrounded Samuel that influenced Saul and his servants, and they began to prophesy (I Samuel 19:21-24). Then said the LORD unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, [yet] my mind [could] not [be] toward this people: cast [them] out of my sight, and let them go forth (Jeremiah 15:1).
Jesus is the Best Example of Dedication and Anointing Being Perfectly Matched
Between Jesus’ baptism and his temptation or shall we say, his anointing and his dedication, He progressed from being full of the spirit to returning in the power of the spirit. If you want the power of the spirit you have to learn to resist the temptation to use your anointing for personal gain. It must be used only to further the cause of the kingdom and the purpose. Whether this dedication is revealed in your personal disciplines or in your relationship with others, it is necessary that you allow the Almighty to order your personality and behavior in such a way that God will always be glorified.
Luke 4:1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Luke 4:14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.
Samuel was so respected by future generations of prophets that his prayer life became a hallmark by which all intercessors would be measured. For the prophets themselves listed Samuel among the very elite of those who, by virtue of their walk with God, were known for their ability to pray and get answers. What good is it to pray if you don’t get answers? When anointing and dedication are perfectly matched you get more than just the drudgery of the early morning prayer shift. You receive something much more valuable – you get answers. Some dedication is not possible if we are not accountable.