Horn of Oil

18 Jun

3 After Pentecost 17 June 2012

(Birthing on Father’s Day)

Horn of Oil

The lectionary lessons for today start off with the separation of Samuel from Saul. (1 Sam 15:34)  Samuel doesn’t see Saul again until the day of his death, but Samuel still grieves over Saul.  How could he not?  He knew Saul’s heart. (1 Sam 9:19)  The Spirit of God had been poured out on Saul (1 Sam 10:10), so Saul had a portion of God within himself, and yet he chose to set up a monument to his own honor. (1 Sam 15:12)  And the Lord was sorry that He had made Saul king over Israel. (1 Sam 15:35)  The readings continue with:

1 Sam 16:1 The LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for Myself a king among his sons.”

The story continues through the process of divine selection as Samuel meets all the sons of Jesse (v10), has David brought in from shepherding the flocks (v 11); upon first sight, Samuel hears the Lord say, “Rise and anoint him; for this is the one,” (v 12) Samuel anoints him, and then Samuel goes home to Ramah. (v 13)  Since I don’t choose the scripture passages to reflect and write upon, all I could do was take it to God in prayer and ask Him to “fill my horn with oil” and tell me where to set out. 

I can really relate to Samuel and his grieving.  I have grieved terribly over the Churches and her pastors.  Together they made a conglomerate of “Saul” with a double meaning considering Paul’s name was Saul before his conversion, and the risen Jesus had asked him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?” (Acts 9:4)  In the yin/yang of cosmic play, the clergy have not technically “persecuted” this messenger (me) in the harassing or oppressive definition of the word, but this was now a velvet glove torture of the Great Nothing in the Grand Silence.  “Babylon” has been doing a fine job of babbling on and on for three years now…  I thought to myself, “Maybe Darwin wasn’t too far off the mark with his theories.”  For at least the last year I have been crying out to God, “THERE AIN’T NO EIGHTH CHURCH!”  I went to all Seven!  What’s a girl to do?  God has this annoying habit of repeating Himself.  I asked Him what He wanted me to do and He said again, “Fill your horn with oil and set out.”  To go where?  I have no sanctuary.  Literally!  And I repeated back to God what Samuel had said to Him:

1 Sam 16:2 Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.” And the LORD said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’

Gee, thanks God.  Then all of a sudden I “got” it.  What made this so poignant was not the “Holy Cow!”  [Heifer, ha, ha!]  It was the realization that my journey to the Seven Churches was like Samuel grieving over Saul with an overlay of the archetypal seven sons of Jesse: “The LORD has not chosen any of these.” (v 10)  I really had come peaceably to sacrifice to the LORD (worship) with each of the Seven Churches, had sanctified (blessed) them and invited them to the sacrifice (of praise.) (v 5)  Each of the Seven had their own agenda, worldview, and appearance that they sacrificed on their altars of Values. (cf v7)  Not one Church seemed bothered or bugged if they had made God angry.

I had asked God (metaphorically,) “Are all your “sons” here?”

And He said, “There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the ‘sheep.’” (v 11)  God overlaid the meaning of this on top of half of Thyatira (Rev 2:24-28, specifically) and the Evangelical mega-churches.  They are the “youngest” in the denominational line-up and are “keeping the sheep.”  This part of Thyatira really does desire to 1) Honor God AND 2) Help people.  And this half of Thyatira has been true to what Christ said,

“(I will not impose any other burden on you): 25Only hold on to what you have until I come.” (Rev 2:24-25)

The other Churches have become drunk on the blood of the saints and those who bore testimony to Jesus. (Rev 17:6; 16:6; 18:24; 19:2)

I continued to ask Christ to “fill my horn with oil.”  Then I “set out” and looked at the rest of the lectionary lessons.  Paul says in

2 Corinthians 5:16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way.

5:17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!

God’s not random in His leadings, readings, and promptings.  Revelation 21:1-2 also talks about this new creation.  This new creation happens after the “dead” are judged. (Rev 20:11-15)  So far, there has been no accountability of the Church.

Also in the Gospel reading this stands out:

Mk 4:29 But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”

The people have already been spiritually harvested:

The Harvest of the Earth

 Revelation 14:14I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one “like a son of man” with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.

15Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, “Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” 16So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.

The Churches have already been spiritually harvested by conviction of the Holy Spirit using the mouthpiece of “one like a son of man” [= mortal.]  The Churches have not yet been “harvested” by accountability to the same Holy Spirit of our God.  Accountability is the justice arm of righteousness. 

I asked God for more “oil in my horn.”  He took me to the next parable in the lectionary lessons from Mark 4:30-34 on the mustard seed growing into the greatest of all shrubs that produces branches so the birds can make nests in its shade. (v 32)  I am still anchoring in faith alone that my writings may branch out.  My friend and prayer partner encouraged me by saying that she appreciates my writing.  My writings are deep.  She also said she is a visual learner and doesn’t always “get” the more intellectual stuff that I write, but she does get it when I write in the Spirit and from the heart.  She added that she thought that intellectual people would also benefit from what I write.  I held that in blessing while my spirit took a side-trip down Memory Lane.  I wondered as memory took me back to the Episcopal Church, where my homies had the intelligence to comprehend but not the Spirit to understand what I wrote.  (cf Matt 13:14)  My head knows that I need a greater readership base, but my heart still grieves over “Saul.”  It was the intellectuals who had most poignantly turned their backs on the Good News of the Kingdom of God and believing Christ the sovereign Lord makes good on His promises.  I have done what every single pastor/priest has asked of me, and it seemingly was never enough.  That’s human nature.  I sincerely believe God is not angry with us.  He wants to set the record straight. 

Then a marvel of the Holy Spirit came peaking through the struggles last Sunday (10 June 2012).  The pastor had said, “What bugs me; I don’t wanna make God angry.”  In all honesty, none of the other pastors/priests, not one, had ever seemingly given God’s righteous anger a second thought or how they could have contributed to making that anger possible (let alone trying to figure out how to make it right so that God’s anger would not go down with the sun. (Eph 4:26))  Many have publically preached and prayed that they would be spared embarrassment at the time of Judgment.  And many, many have preached on “fire escape salvation” or rapture to avoid God’s righteous anger and accountability measures on this side of eternity.  But until last Sunday I had not heard one clergy consider the notion of offending God.  They definitely didn’t want to offend man.  I so understand!  It is a delicate line.  It’s the hardest thing God demands of us to do, to forsake everything for His kingdom by setting down our own crowns.  But what this pastor had said in his sermon was right on the mark:

“If we can imagine the wedding banquet and the rich foods and the beautiful spread and the ice sculptures of the seraphim, but we’re not looking at the Host, we’re missing the real banquet.”

Christ is truly inviting us to the “wedding feast.”  In order to cross over the broom (or threshold, or whatever the tradition) the issue of justice and accountability with the Seven Churches must be addressed.

Luke 18:And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

I know I have faith in Him and I trust (and even rely) on the gifts He has given the Church, and the gifts He has given to me as well.  So what’s the next step from here?  I donno.  The next move is the Church’s.  Please do what He tells you to do.  As for myself, I asked God what I specifically should do now and He spoke through this verse:

1 Sam 16:3 Invite [the Root of] Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you.”

So I prayed and I invited the Root of Jesse to my sacrifice of prayer and writing.  Through the process of writing and communion with Him, He did “show” me His design and overlay and I “shared the journey” just as He told me to do.  And the part about anointing for God the one whom He names to me?  He named Pastor Bruce Zachary.  So in the Spirit, I took my “horn of oil” and spiritually poured it over him in blessing, saying, “May you be at peace, feel God’s abundant grace, and receive an extra measure of wisdom.”

That was on Tuesday (12 June 2012).  The next evening (Wednesday, 13 June 2012) at our worship service Pastor Bruce passed along the blessing to the congregation by asking the Holy Spirit to anoint us all.  The Holy Spirit was VERY present and bathed us in God’s presence.  It was beautiful, not only to witness, but to praise God for.  The Holy Spirit did give us His anointing!  This is how God’s kingdom is meant to operate: by passing along the blessing and giving God the glory.

The marvel did not stop there.  On Thursday, (14 June 2012), I had a day full of stress at the library while I wrestled with a spirit of Discontent who was chasing a spirit of Unworthiness who was chasing a spirit of Self-pity (and I was caught in the middle of the wretched chase!)  I joined Paul in preferring to be away from my body and at home with the Lord. (2 Cor 5:8)  I kept searching my heart while I grunted and carried on:

2 Cor 5:13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.

I thought about this verse while I tried to make order out of the Summer Reading Program chaos at the library where every urchin had crawled out from under every rock.  (Why I get surprised by this every year, I don’t know.)  The harder I stared at this verse in my mind’s eye while I was shelving books, the more it made no sense to me from inside the chaos.  It wasn’t until later in solitude that this verse made sense to me, because later I could find balance between the gifts offered by my heart and my head.  In the chaos itself I was feeling beside myself with an insatiable empty hole in my soul.  I didn’t feel like I was ‘for God’ in my “besidesness” and I couldn’t find my “right brain.”  The right brain is the key to what connects us to each other, and I couldn’t seem to connect with my core self let alone to the sense of “we.” 

Finally Wisdom asked me, “Where are you?”

I barked, “In the Kids’ Section!!” [Duh?  Where do you think I am?]

She breathed, “Ah…Yes…”

Oh…!  It suddenly dawned on me while I was snorting and stooping and bending and holding my breath just to then exhale like I was in labor for the last six hours, that I finally recognized these feelings and breathing, and prayers, and rhythm.  I had been through this before—twice!—once with the archetypal Church of Ephesus and also with the Church of Laodicea.  Now I made the connection that the Spirit had planted the “seed” in the “soil” of the worship service the night before at the archetypal Church of “Thyatira” and now on this next day the spiritual seed was being “birthed,” we didn’t know how, just as Jesus described in Mark 4:27.  Now I had to wrestle through those feelings of discontent, unworthiness, and self-pity like pushing through the birth canal.  Once I made that connection, from then on whenever an old memory or feeling arose, I prayed “Fresh Spirit” upon it.  It would have helped if I’d had community to birth with me, but this spiritual midwife doesn’t (yet.)

I also realized that Thursday was the 14th [!] of the month, and God often does miraculous stuff with me on the fourteenth of some months (but not every month.)  I had sensed many weeks ago that God was going to do something special on this day, but I hadn’t made the connection until that evening that He really had done something powerfully special.

On Friday, 15 June 2012 the connections grew clearer now that I had had some rest and more prayer from the Horn of Oil.  I realized that the spiritual birthing experiences I’d had at “Laodicea” and “Ephesus” fulfilled what Jesus had said: “The first shall be last and the last shall be first.”  (Matthew 20:16)  Jesus had spoken those words at the conclusion of the Parable of the Vineyard Laborers[!].  In that parable, the day laborers who had slaved the longest and hardest, were the ones to complain the loudest over injustice.  And just as the vineyard workers had done, so I, too, had wrestled with a large spirit of Envy at the beginning of the week, and the Lord asked me, too, “Are you envious because I am generous?” (Mt 20:15)  Conviction pushed me to my knees.  It was after I had confessed that larger-than-life Envy at the beginning of the week that allowed me to be able to pick up the Horn of Oil at all.  Now my spirit was open to “seeing” more lateral (rather than horizontal) connections.  The Spirit confirmed what Prophet Rick Joyner had shared on Tuesday (…as the threads weave and interweave…):

“         As we also can note from John 10, it is His sheep who know His voice, not His lambs. While we are young in the Lord, we will have to follow others until we learn to know His voice, but my hope is to have my own veils removed and those of all I can help along their way. We must see Him to be changed into His image, not just become the image of one of His friends.

     What would any man think if his children all looked like his best friend? We need to consider what we’re doing when we’re leaders who are trying to get people to conform to us rather than to Him. Our lives can and should be good examples for others, but as the Apostle Paul stated, he was in labor [!] until Christ was formed in His people. This is our goal.

     One of the encouraging things I was shown when I was given The Vision of the Harvest twenty-five years ago was that there will be a generation of the most powerful messengers ever to walk the earth and all will be “eunuchs for the kingdom’s sake.” This was not in the natural but in the spiritual. Just as natural eunuchs cannot even have a desire for the bride, but receives all of their satisfaction out of seeing the king’s pleasure in her, so these will be for the Lord. Their whole desire will be to see the King’s pleasure in His bride, the church. Their devotion will be to see the church become what He wants, not what they or anyone else want. These are the true friends of the Bridegroom.”

I soaked up Rick’s words and the Truth in them.  I took out the “Horn of Oil” again and spiritually poured it over Rick in blessing.  I prayed that Prophet Rick Joyner and Pastor Bruce Zachary would connect.  These two men are on the same wavelength and harmonic frequency.  God called both of them specifically by name.  While it is true that we are all meant to be working for Christ’s Kingdom purposes, it is important that those efforts streamline.  Pastors and prophets are meant to augment each other.  I found myself back on my knees praying for blessing on both men, and that even though they are on opposite Coasts, they would come together as one.  This would benefit the whole.  Please pray with me, since God has chosen each by name and they are part of His grand design.  Of this I am certain.

Prayer:  Holy Spirit, please use and nurture the seeds that were planted Wednesday by Your glorious Spirit.  Help them to grow so that the good spiritual grain can be “harvested” with our full potential.  Branch out Your kingdom as You draw ministries (and ministers) together, showing us how they fit together like well-oiled cogs of machinery interlocking one with the other for purposes of glorifying Yourself.  Forgive us for our misunderstandings and inadequacies.  As we reach out to each other in Your Name, sheath us in the womb of Your grace, wisdom, peace, and love as You birth us into Your New Creation. (2 Cor 5:17)  Amen.

 

3 After Pentecost                    Father’s Day , 17 June 2012                          Gospel: Mark 4:26-34

1 Samuel 15:34 – 16:13
15:34 Then Samuel went to Ramah; and Saul went up to his house in Gibeah of Saul.

15:35 Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death, but Samuel grieved over Saul. And the LORD was sorry that he had made Saul king over Israel.

16:1 The LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.”

16:2 Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.” And the LORD said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’

16:3 Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you.”

16:4 Samuel did what the LORD commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, “Do you come peaceably?”

16:5 He said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

16:6 When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is now before the LORD.”

16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the LORD does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”

16:8 Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.”

16:9 Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.”

16:10 Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen any of these.”

16:11 Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.”

16:12 He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The LORD said, “Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.”

16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah.

Psalm 20
20:1 The LORD answer you in the day of trouble! The name of the God of Jacob protect you!

20:2 May he send you help from the sanctuary, and give you support from Zion.

20:3 May he remember all your offerings, and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices. Selah

20:4 May he grant you your heart’s desire, and fulfill all your plans.

20:5 May we shout for joy over your victory, and in the name of our God set up our banners. May the LORD fulfill all your petitions.

20:6 Now I know that the LORD will help his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with mighty victories by his right hand.

20:7 Some take pride in chariots, and some in horses, but our pride is in the name of the LORD our God.

20:8 They will collapse and fall, but we shall rise and stand upright.

20:9 Give victory to the king, O LORD; answer us when we call.

Ezekiel 17:22-24
17:22 Thus says the Lord GOD: I myself will take a sprig from the lofty top of a cedar; I will set it out. I will break off a tender one from the topmost of its young twigs; I myself will plant it on a high and lofty mountain.

17:23 On the mountain height of Israel I will plant it, in order that it may produce boughs and bear fruit, and become a noble cedar. Under it every kind of bird will live; in the shade of its branches will nest winged creatures of every kind.

17:24 All the trees of the field shall know that I am the LORD. I bring low the high tree, I make high the low tree; I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. I the LORD have spoken; I will accomplish it.

Psalm 92:1-4, 12-15
92:1 It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High;

92:2 to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night,

92:3 to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre.

92:4 For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy.

92:12 The righteous flourish like the palm tree, and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.

92:13 They are planted in the house of the LORD; they flourish in the courts of our God.

92:14 In old age they still produce fruit; they are always green and full of sap,

92:15 showing that the LORD is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

2 Corinthians 5:6-10, (11-13), 14-17
5:6 So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord —

5:7 for we walk by faith, not by sight.

5:8 Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

5:9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.

5:10 For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil.

5:11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade others; but we ourselves are well known to God, and I hope that we are also well known to your consciences.

5:12 We are not commending ourselves to you again, but giving you an opportunity to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast in outward appearance and not in the heart.

5:13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.

5:14 For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died.

5:15 And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them.

5:16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way.

5:17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!

Mark 4:26-34
4:26 He also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground,

4:27 and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how.

4:28 The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head.

4:29 But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”

4:30 He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it?

4:31 It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth;

4:32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”

4:33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it;

4:34 he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.

 

 

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