During the Management Training Course at Western, the question we learned to ask was: "What business are we in?" Many businesses and organizations fail because management is confused about what business they are really in. I tell the story of the Addison Adding Machine company (never heard of it?) which discovered it was not in the business of making and selling mechanical adding machines. Computers were a new thing. They were in the business of making international business machines - IBM. The dramatic moment when Jesus claims the mission of the Messiah prophesied by Isaiah reminds us of what business we are in. We are not in the business of saving people or planting and developing healthy churches. We are in the business of healing the relationship between God and His people. The prophecy tells us exactly and in depth how we are to do this.
1. We are anointed by the Holy Spirit for this mission
We are not anointed by the church, priests and bishops but by the Holy Spirit. This means we are independent of human authority and completely dependent on Jesus, the Holy Spirit and Spirit-led religious authorities. Our business is to be available and prepared through study, prayer and listening to the Holy Spirit. This is where our authority for speaking comes from and where our protection comes from.
2. We are to proclaim the Good News to the poor (everyone)
Proclaim is a verb, an aggressive action word. Proclaim means stand for, represent and defend with aggressive tough love; in opposition to other religious and philosophical views. Proclaim does not include permission to alter, water down or soften the message.
- · Timothy warns us of the danger of false prophets who will proclaim a different message based on what people want to hear.
- · Only the revealed Good News of God's New Covenant of forgiveness, healing and restoration to right relationship through faith in Jesus' sacrificial death and resurrection.
- · Proclaim this to the poor - anyone, including people of other faiths, who have not heard the Good News.
- · It is not very loving or respectful to be sensitive or inclusive, if this means denying others of an opportunity for forgiveness, healing and right-relationship with God.
3. We are to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
This is not about a physical jailbreak. Proclaiming the Good News frees people from mental and religious prisons. Specifically from the false teachings of misguided religious leaders. Anointed words have both intellectual and spiritual power to free people from the lies and deceptions of both self-deceived people and Satan.
- · Forgiveness of sin frees from the prison of guilt and shame
- · Freed from false identities - a failure, no good, unwanted, etc.
4. We are to proclaim recovery of sight (spiritual & physical)
Anointed words of prayer have power to heal and free both physically and spiritually. Healing ministry includes anointing with oil and prayers for physical, emotional and spiritual healing and freedom.
- · Proclaim healing to sickness and disease to bodies
- · Opens spiritual eyes so people can see the truth, identify the root of their brokenness and be led through healing ministry
5. We are to set the oppressed free
The "oppressed" are in a stronger kind of bondage than the "prisoners". Human sin if un-forgiven can become an open door for evil spirits and demonic oppression - from the inside. This can lead to more powerful voices inside us crying out for more alcohol, more power, more control, more sex etc.
- · Repentance of un-forgiveness frees from the sin energizing this bondage
- · Proclaim truth and freedom to personal strongholds (ways of thinking and feeling that are culturally and demonically inspired) - racism, liberalism, homosexuality, intellectualism
- · Healing requires counselling to identify the root of sin and lead the person through repentance, confession and absolution which breaks the power of the demonic and frees the person from spiritual oppression.
- · Follow-up in a loving church community, counselling or Alcoholics Anonymous is essential to complete the healing.
6. We are to proclaim blessing on God's peopleMany people have wrong or confused ideas about God and the meaning of human life. We are in the business of healing and restoring people to a right relationship with God. We are told to do this by proclaiming the Good News of God's grace, love, forgiveness and healing to all God's children in Jesus Name
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