I spent most of last week at the Bible Week organised by Ministries Without Borders. It was mostly hot and sticky, which provided excellent opportunities for icecream.
I lived in a tent, and whatever anyone else may say, I thought it was the best tent available. It wasn’t exactly fashionable, but it was sturdy and functional. It wasn’t mine; I borrowed it from a friend who has more camping experience than I can imagine. I think it’s a scout tent, but it certainly kept me safe and warm during last year’s hurricane. Well, it felt like a hurricane, even at the Staffordshire showground where we were staying. In fact, I think Birmingham got flooded. That was last year. In fact, having lived three one week stints in three successive years in that tent, I feel it’s a sort of home now.
I didn’t go there for the tent, I went for some spiritual encounter, and a great time with church friends. We had great speakers. You won’t have heard of Keri Jones, Tony Ling, etc; they don’t have television ministries. But they’re filed with the Holy Spirit of God, and I’ve had the pleasure of hearing them speak when they’ve visited our church, and of course at Bible week.
For me, the highlight of the week was Monday evening. The speaker was Andy Hughes, and he spoke on annointing. It wasn’t the usual talk about the power of an annointed person. He spoke on the difference between ‘glask’ and ‘horn’ annointing, using Saul and David as illustration. Saul was the first to be annointed king of Israel. He was the popular choice to lead the people into battle, partly because he stood head and shoulders above anyone else. The question was whether he was God’s choice, seeing that in the first place, monarchy wasn’t the way God had planned for the Israelites. When Saul failed, God chose the next king, David, whom He described as “a an after my heart”.
These two people were very different. When Saul was chosen to be king, he was nowhere to be found, because he’d hidden among the baggage. In fact, he’d been annointed by Samuel before then. Samuel had found him a few days before, and poured the oil from a flask which he carried for the occasion. David was also annointed before his first public appearance. In his case, Samuel had annointed him from a horn.
What’s the difference? a horn is natural, made by God, whereas, a flask is man-made. Saul was what the Israelites wanted, essentially, he was a man-made king. In fact, God who knows the hearts of man chose David, which is why he was the more successful king. The result was that Saul kept trying to please God and failing. Eventually, he disobeyed once too many, and although he remained king in name, David began to eclipse him. David on the other hand relied on God for his success. He knew where he stood in God and acted accordingly.
It’s a long story, covering most of the book of Samuel. It took him two sessions to fully develope his theme. At the end of the first evening, he made an alter call. I can’t even remember what this particular call was, only that I stood up and went forward. I won’t forget the experience in a long time. Let’s set this in a little context. I’m one of those who says that Christians should be people who walk like the miraculous is natural. Mary Mary wrote that sone, “we are ordinary people serving an extraordinary God”. I firmly believe it, because I see myself as the child of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. But I still wonder sometimes why I’m not fully there. Just the day before, I’d been joking with a friend. She’d said that people think I am sighted until they discover that my focus is not as good. So I’d been walking round the camp telling my friends that I’d be focussing on them. I’d also thought of that in a spiritual sense and had spent some time praying for increased spiritual focus.
What happened on Monday evening as I stepped out was that someone prayed for me. Then as he left, two other people prayed for me, and one annointed me with oil. He just kept pouring the oil. He said something to the effect that it was like God did that especially for me. Then, as he left, another person grabbed me and poured even more oil on me. I’m sure he’d have known that I was already soaked, but that didn’t stop him. I felt it was a message about God’s riches, and his extravagant love.
I still felt that I was the son of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. But there was something more. While I was concentrating on focus, it was as though God was turning things around, and focussing on me. It felt like there was no other person in that room, but God and me, and that in getting that many people to pray for me, he was telling me just how special I am. Sometimes, when you say something often enough, it can lose its power. To me, this was God confirming what I’d always said to others, and telling me that it applies to me too.
I don’t think I can fully explain Monday evening to anyone. I hope the week made me see above and beyond the natural. The icecreams were nice too. I seemed to go for the rum and raisin.