The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord‘s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. Isaiah 61:1-11
Football season starts in less than sixty days. For fans, that means the excitement is starting to build. For players and coaches, that means that the time of hardest work is upon them. I remember the year that my son went out for football. He spend the hottest days of summer in grueling practices. He would come home burned out and exhausted. There was no glory in hundred degree practices. The cool fall evening football games seemed a long way away.
Although it isn’t very fun or pretty, the days of summer are crucial for football teams. Players are getting back in shape. Coaches are laying out strategies and deciding who will fill what slots in the coming season. Opponents are being scouted. New talent is spotted and some, for whom there was much promise, are falling by the wayside.
For everyone that God uses there is a time of preparation. Jesus and Moses both spent time in the dessert. These are tough and lonely times, but they are crucial times. During these times, hearts are prepared and spirits are nourished. These are the times of anointing. I know that’s not how we usually think about anointing. We think of dramatic moments with public laying on of hands or doves descending from on high. By the times these public events happen, the work of anointing has already taken place.
Look about. If you see poverty, broken hearts, folks in captivity or prison, that means someone is being anointed. Someone is being prepared to deal with these situations. The Spirit of the Lord is at work. Consider for a moment, perhaps you are that person. There are problems to be solved. If you are noticing them, if your heart is being moved by conditions that you see, perhaps you are being called.
If it seems like you are in the midst of hot, hard, tiring summer practices, perhaps you are being anointed. You see challenges ahead that seem impossible. You feel inadequate to make any difference. You are being anointed. You are realizing that you need something supernatural to make a difference.
There is probably nothing more humbling than a summer of working out in the sun. The time of preparation is a time of recognizing our weaknesses and our need for His strength.
He is ready to do great things through you. The need is great but He is greater. Seek His anointing and get ready.
Time to put on the pads and get in the game.