When my friend Pastor Andrea sent me the writing this week about the front row of one’s life it got me to thinking about this whole issue especially in light of a few decisions I made this week.
This week I was faced with the possibility of being around someone who is not good for the anointing upon my life. Many people would hear that and wonder what sins the person is involved in that would make them not good for the "anointing on my life."
The answer to that question is that it’s not so much an issue of sin but the fact that in their presence I am not lifted up, rather they make me uncomfortable and just sort of longing to get out of the room. When that happens, my whole focus becomes different and is no longer on the things God has asked me to focus on. Am I bitter? No. Am I unforgiving? No. I don’t have any unforgiveness toward the person – (or people like them) it’s not a matter of them “doing me wrong” and me not getting over it, for that is not the case. But it’s simply a matter of them not being a positive force in my life – but someone who takes my mind off of everything God ever called me to. It's a matter of them not being "for me" - not being supportive whatsoever of me, my husband or life, family or ministry at the church. So why should anything be required of me? The answer is, I don't believe there is anything required from God beyond simply having an attitude of blessing toward them and wishing them well as a brother or sister in Christ.
“But Deanna… (I can hear you say now…) if they are a believer, you might be next to them in heaven!”
Maybe so, but I’m content to wait til’ then to find out because at least I’ll have my glorified mind to better deal with the discomfort I feel spending time with them because I know they are negative. Blessed glorification! How wonderful it will be.
It's not a matter of not being loving. I am an honest person who sort of wears my heart on my sleeve. And if I was facing an issue of forgiveness or hurt I would just blog about it with all the details taken out and say, "pray for me, it's hard for me to get over something right now."
But it's really not that. Right now, at this precious moment, I hold no bitterness for anybody or anything of the sort. My heart is clean.
At the same time there are those, that if I choose to spend personal time with them, I am affected in my spirit. Because they are negative and they bring me down. It happens to YOU too whether you realize it or not. If you say it doesn't I think you are a little naive. You are affected by those you are around. You know what's popular for the youth pastors of today to say - "show me your friends and I'll show you your future!" I'm not sure who first said that - I've heard it attributed to Jeanne Mayo, Reggie Dabbs and Roosevelt Hunter. But whoever said it, it's true, and not just for teens but for adults! Basically who you allow to have access to you has a great affect on your mood, your attitude, your spirit.
The truth is for a long time in ministry, even up until recently, I thought I was required to do that simply because some people expected it of me or would be disappointed in me. I don't know whether it's the fact that I'm now over 40 or the fact that I just came out of a week of interceding and seeking God but at any rate, I'm so through with it! Goodbye stupid expectations, hello anointing!
I am learning that time is very valuable. A person has to position themselves to receive the anointing of God and then to protect it. Pastor Andrea said, everyone can’t sit on our front row. We can’t be everywhere at once. We have to choose carefully where we spend our time, who we spend it with, and how much time is allotted for each. You have to love everyone, but you can’t spend all your time with everybody. Choices have to be made carefully. Or you begin to drag in spirit.
Confession time here – in days past I would spend time with people who were not good for the anointing on my life (or anything else in my life for that matter) and do it simply because I thought God required it of me as a pastor - or more truthfully I did it because I wanted to avoid criticism.
I’m through with that. So through with it. I tell you the truth – I’m to the point in my life where if something makes me uncomfortable or starts to affect the anointing, I just quietly step away and sort of go to my “mountain” to pray (away from the crowds as Jesus did.) No, not to be a snob, but to take care of what God has given me. He has entrusted me with me and I have to be a good steward of me first before I can give to others.
Many times I believe we allow the anointing upon our lives to be affected because we care more about others expectations than we do about taking care of what God has entrusted to us. That has come back to bite me so many times. I’m just not going to do it in ’08.
I made some good choices this week. Larry agreed with them and he’s the most honest person I know when it comes to decisions I’m making – he’ll flat out be completely candid with me on whether he thinks I’m making a mistake. He has reassured me with this, I’m making all the right moves.
I can’t wait to see what will happen next because I’m looking forward to 08 even more now that the plan includes –
1) Not being in uncomfortable situations I don’t want to be in, no matter what people might think!
2) Having more choices than I’ve ever had. And to think, a few weeks ago, I thought this year was going to be more constricting to me and give me boundaries I didn’t like. (long story) Instead I’m experiencing some really freeing things!
3) Walking in a greater anointing than ever before.
and I feel so anointed to boot!!! yipppppeeee!
So tell me...what do YOU do to protect the anointing upon your life?
Have you experienced the fact, as an adult, that you are still affected by who you hang around with, and that the dangers don't just exist for our kids and teens?
Is your mood greatly affected by amounts of time you spend with certain people?
Do you ever spend time with people because you are expected to, versus because you really WANT to?
If you are a minister, was it hard for you to break away from people's social expectations and just please God?