Hey Family, I wanted to take a minute to provide some context for what will be happening this weekend at Faith Restored.
Each weekend when we gather together, we expect to experience the Power of God in a real and a tangible way—we expect this weekend to be no different. The purpose of this worship experience service is to first of all, thank God for his provision and His protection in 2018 on us as individuals and on Faith Restored as a church family. We will do this through praise and worship and through our last financial gift of 2018. Second, we want to pray for God’s blessing for the upcoming year we want to ask for God to give us His favor and to increase us in every area of our lives. We also want to ask God to bless the ministry of Faith Restored in 2019 so that we can manifest our vision to bless the City of Jacksonville.
Third, we are going to pray and consecrate oil for you to use in your own personal prayer/spiritual warfare. This is the important part because many of us may be unfamiliar with the practice of anointing with oil, so I want to make sure you have an understanding going into the weekend.
Throughout the Bible God has used the anointing (lit. “to pour” or “to smear upon”) of oil to symbolize the act of consecration or the setting a part of a thing, a person, or a group of people for His special purpose. To further communicate this point, God in Exodus 30:25-26 details a specific process for the creation of the anointing oil that was to be used in the temple. This oil was restricted to priestly use, because it was holy and anything that it touched became holy and it was not to be recreated by anyone other than the priests because God did not want it to become common. Outside of the temple, the People of God would set aside oil in their homes for prayer and anointing. It was separate from their cooking supply, or the supply they used to anoint their guests who arrived after a long journey because it was deemed Holy and used only for the purpose of marking things as set apart for God alone.
We don’t believe that there is power in the oil itself, just like there is no special power in the denial of food for those who fast; however, just as the person who fasts denies themselves food to give expression to their desire to draw closer to God and to bring the flesh under subjection, the act of anointing with oil gives an external expression to our internal desire to set a person, a place or a thing aside for God’s special use or attention.
The practice of using oil in prayer continued in the New Testament Church and can be seen in the book of James 5:14-15 when James instructs the sick to call upon the Elders of the Church to be anointed with oil and to be prayed for “in faith.” The power is not in the oil, but the power is in whom the oil is set aside for and the Faith we place in His name. The oil is a point of contact, something tangible we can use, that adds energy and focus to our prayer and that marks the thing or person we anoint as holy, set apart, or consecrated to God. We use anointing oil like baptism to symbolize in the physical what is happening in the spiritual. When we anoint with oil we are marking a thing as God’s own and asking God to respond in the spirit realm by pouring out his anointing, His power and His spirit upon the thing which we have set apart.So, on Sunday, when we pray for the oil, it is a prayer of consecration to set it apart to be used as a weapon of spiritual warfare. We won’t cook with it or use it to lubricate our skin as a part of our daily regimen, but we will set the oil apart as holy to the Lord and symbolic of the very Spirit of God.
Finally, this is a “special” service meaning that I need you all to consecrate yourselves this weekend leading up to the service. Please guard your eyes, your ears and your conversations so that we can be spiritually prepared for anything that the enemy may throw our way leading up to the weekend. Also, I want you to come with a spirit of expectation. Come expecting God to move in a fresh and powerful way because we know that He is able to blow our minds!