These were the words of Jesus as He read from the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 61:1-2) while teaching in a Jewish Synagogue (Luke 4:18-19). How was Jesus able to accomplish the will and tasks of His heavenly Father in the Acceptable Year of the Lord? He was “anointed”, which simply means He was consecrated, set-apart, and empowered by the Spirit of God to fulfil the Will and Plan of His Father.
Before Jesus could be effective as a teacher, healer, and deliverer, He first had to be anointed. The same is true for us. Below are some additional fruits of the anointing mentioned in Isaiah that has significance for Lighthouse Evangelism and her members that we should all focus on (Isaiah 61:3).
1) Beauty for Ashes
There will be seasons in life when we will experience deep pain and despair. It can be the loss of a loved-one or a deep trial which seems never-ending. The picture of Jesus on the Cross is one of devastation and hopelessness, yet the true reality is resurrection power and life. God can transform our ashes into something beautiful and precious. This then allows us the privilege of proclaiming the Acceptable Year of the Lord to those who are wounded and broken-hearted.
2) The Oil of Joy for Mourning
The Prophet Joel speaks of a day when “joy” will be stripped away from the sons of men (Joel 1:12). The world is constantly seeking for fulfilment and satisfaction but true joy can only be found in God. There is a “joy unspeakable” that God has apportioned for His church. It is through a time of contrition and brokenness where the “Joy of the Lord” can become the strength of God’s people (Nehemiah 8:8-10).
3) The Garment of Praise for the Spirit of Heaviness
The Psalmist speaks of how the “High Praises of God” can serve as a weapon to execute judgement against the spiritual forces aligned against God. It’s also a privilege and honour given to the saints of God (Psalm 149:6-9). Remember how Paul and Silas were delivered from prison as they sang praises to God (Acts 16:25-26)? No matter how dark or dire our situations may be, the Lord is still worthy to be praised. Praise is a weapon!
Think of what this can mean for us and our church. Is this an “Acceptable Year of the Lord” moment for Lighthouse Evangelism? In recent years, attention has been given to the Restoration Ministry of Nehemiah. In the Acceptable Year of the Lord, God anointed Nehemiah to be both a messenger and instrument of Restoration to Jerusalem. It was a desperate and dire situation, yet God anointed Him for the task.
What do we see when we look at the world and even matters concerning the church and our families? Is it possible that the Lord is preparing us, as His people, for a similar ministry of our day? The Lord has more to say through Isaiah.
And they shall rebuild the old ruins, They shall raise up the former desolations, And they shall repair the ruined cities, The desolations of many generations. (Isaiah 61:4)
Jesus was dependent upon the anointing to fulfil the will of His Father. Nehemiah carried the burden of God and was anointed in his restoration ministry. That same promise is available to us as we discern and respond to the Acceptable Year of the Lord. Do not look to the prevailing circumstances of hopelessness and fear but rather, look to Jesus, the Anointed One who is able to Anoint the Saints in proclaiming the blessings of the Acceptable Year of the Lord.
Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)