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The Arnotts: Honoring the Anointing

CBN.com Recently, John was reading from 2 Kings 5. It is the story of Naaman the Syrian being healed from leprosy after the prophet Elisha told him to dip seven times in the Jordan River. Naaman finds out about Elisha through his Israeli slave girl. 

John was captivated by the story and was impressed that Naaman’s Israeli slave girl is not bitter like most of us would have been, but remains cheerful and helpful despite being snatched from her home and family at a vulnerable and early age.

She helps her master saying, “If only my master were with the prophet in Samaria, for he would heal him of his leprosy.” 

If only more believers could be positive and life giving, even though they may find themselves in dismal circumstances. This little girl is actually giving honor, not only to Elisha the Prophet, but also to Naaman her captor, and wanting to help him with his dilemma. It is interesting that she knows of his anointing, but King Joash of Israel in Samaria is offended. King Joash does not honor the anointing or put his faith in God. He fears the worst because he thinks the Syrians are trying to pick a fight with him.

Elisha hears about the incident and sends word, “Let him come to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet (an anointing) in Israel.” 

Naaman’s humility is tested when Elisha sends one of his disciples (or interns) to Naaman with the message to dip in the Jordan River seven times. Naaman’s servants plead with Naaman to do what the prophet says. Naaman almost misses the blessing because he has expectations of how the healing will take place, but the love and honor of friends changes his mind. He humbles himself further and goes to the Jordan and does what the prophet requests. Because of this, he receives his healing. 

Such is the blessing of honoring the anointing, and Naaman could have missed it, but he didn’t. He humbly and thankfully returns to Elisha who takes none of his money and sends him on his way – a happy man and now a serious believer in the Lord.

JESUS TEACHES ON HONORING THE ANOINTING

This also made John think of Luke 4:16 where Jesus was in the synagogue and read from Isaiah 61, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach…to heal…to proclaim liberty…and recover sight to the blind and set at liberty those who are oppressed.  To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” 

After reading this passage, Jesus said, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Following his statement, Jesus was met with comments of dishonor and unbelief.

Then Jesus made a startling announcement, “No prophet is accepted in his own country." It is explained more in Mark 4:6, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.” 

From Luke 4:27 Jesus reminds them: “There were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them were cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” 

“And many widows were in Israel in the time of Elijah the prophet, yet Elijah was sent to none of them, only to a Sidonian in Zaraphath.”  

Reading between the lines, John says Jesus is asking, “Why are the people of God always missing the blessing of God?”

There were many lepers in Israel, and none of them were cleansed except Naaman, a gentile, a foreigner. Why? They didn’t honor the anointing of Elisha who lived ‘next door.’

There were many widows in Elijah’s time, but none of them were blessed except a foreigner, a Sidonian. Why? They didn’t honor the anointing on Elijah!  

What is it about the anointing that allows familiarity to breed contempt? It seems as though after a while we begin to see the imperfections of God’s people. Sometimes we are even hurt or offended by them and they begin to diminish that ‘prophet’ in our eyes.  We begin to wonder how God can use him or her with all those inconsistencies and issues going on in their lives. And sometimes, anointed leaders fall into sin (which is a different scenario) and need to be handled differently, but we need to see spiritual things as Spiritual.

In his personal life, John has a friend who went to high school with him. This friend attends John’s church in Toronto. Every now and then, John’s friend will laugh and say, “I still can’t believe you turned out to be a pastor!  You, of all people.” 

John says this is because his friend knew John in the flesh first. John’s friend saw him at his ‘worst’ so it’s hard for him to see John at his ‘best.’ The very thing that can get in the way of seeing someone “after the Spirit” is to know someone after the flesh. We cannot begin to look at the Anointing ‘after the flesh.’

HONORING THE ANOINTING AROUND US

John says we need to honor the Anointing, which is what people do when the ‘Prophet’ comes from afar. Usually, people know nothing about their weaknesses, ‘flesh’ and personal lives; so they see them as God’s servant, anointed and one from whom they can receive life and blessing.

John believes that we need to agree that we are going to honor the anointing that is on God’s Servants, especially those who are faithfully serving and are right under our noses. Don’t disregard the ‘prophet’ who lives next door.  We should also honor the anointing of our own pastors and leaders. The good counsel and ministry of many pastors is spurned and passed over while that of a TV evangelist is sought out and treasured. 

None of them were cleansed. Why? Because they didn’t honor the prophet who was in their own family. They started to see Elisha ‘after the flesh’ and did not honor him because of the anointing of the Spirit upon his life. 

John says to take it a step further, we should honor the anointing that is on our own lives, and also our spouses. Do you realize that you are the anointed of God? Yes, you little Christian, you are anointed. Christian means ‘little anointed one’ or little Christ.  

It is time we started taking ourselves seriously as well. Elisha did. He told the King of Israel, “Send Naaman to me and he will know that there is a prophet in the land.”

As we decide to honor the prophets among us and honor the anointing that is on them as a gift of God, we can begin to look to them after the Spirit and not after the weaknesses of their own flesh. Then we are putting our faith in God, and in His anointing; yet honoring those whom He is using to carry it. We will begin to see many more miracles, and the many lepers in Israel will also receive their healing. 

Don’t let people miss their blessing because of your unbelief and lack of honor.  Naaman almost missed his blessing, but he honored the anointing on Elisha. Later, Jesus says there were many lepers in Israel, but only Naaman, the foreigner was healed and prophets are without honor in their own countries. Those who lived near the prophet did not honor the anointing that was right there. 

It is a common thing to honor those prophets that come from afar, yet sometimes we discount our own pastors right where we live within our own hearts. As Christians, we need to stop dishonoring the anointing, even in ourselves. We need to see ourselves after the Holy Spirit.

Don’t miss the blessing! The message the body of Christ needs to hear lies in the supernatural. The anointing is accessible.

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