The Apostle Paul said to the leaders of the Church at Ephesus as he was traveling to Jerusalem, towards the end of his second missionary journey:

“And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me.”
‭‭Acts‬ ‭20‬:‭22‬-‭23‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Evidently this was a situation in which an uncertainty existed about what lied ahead of him, as Paul was traveling to Jerusalem. He didn’t have a clear understanding about, what was going to happen to him in Jerusalem, at the time when he had made this statement.

But one thing is clear here in his statement about what lies ahead. Paul had put his confidence in the testimony of the Holy Spirit personally to him, about the “chains and tribulations” that awaited him.

At the moment when there is no certainty about what you are being led into by the Spirit of the Lord, you do know that you will need an inner witness of the Holy Spirit to guide and lead you on.

There are those who will rather be guided by the experience of others. Truly, experiences are great. But they are really the testimonies of others. Why not let the Holy Spirit lead and guide you into your own personal testimony?

There is nothing that can be more perfect and more certain in this type of situation with Paul, apart from the inner witness of the Holy Spirit within him. When you’re leaning to the inner witness of the Holy Spirit, you are certainly going to be in a better position in pleasing the Father.

The experiences of others may be absolutely different from what the Lord is taking you through. You don’t know, because the Lord has not completely given you the whole picture of things, as seen from this example with Paul.

That’s why we don’t ever totally rely on the experiences of others. The experiences of others may be solely relevant to their own personal situation alone. Your own situation may be peculiar to you alone also. It’s therefore always better to trust in the inner witness of the Holy Ghost.

The Apostle Paul testified to us about spiritual experiences in the Amplified Translation of the Bible that:

“For now [in this time of imperfection] we see in a mirror dimly [a blurred reflection, a riddle, an enigma], but then [when the time of perfection comes, we will see reality] face to face. Now I know in part [just in fragments], but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known [by God].”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13‬:‭12‬ ‭AMP‬‬

It’s not all the time that the Lord will give us a good and clear picture about spiritual things. He will often give us a dim picture of the whole thing in fragments. He however expects us to use our faith to do exploits, in knowing more than what we do know, as we are giving ourselves to praying in the spirit.

We know many things in part or partially. That’s why we often prophesy in part. But as we release what has been given to us in part by faith into the realm of the spirit, the Spirit of the Lord will begin to expand upon it, for us to be able to comprehend the mind of the Father.

We can see the mind of God in part and by the Spirit. But when we begin to seek His face more and more in prayer; then what has been given to us in part will become perfect in our lives. Praying in the spirit reveals the mind of the Father personally to us (1 Corinthians 13:9-10).

Paul was in a situation where he knew that his destiny was in the hand of God. Being bond in the spirit without knowing what lies ahead is a spiritual situation, which he could not even pray about at that time; for the Lord God to turn things around.

There are certain things that are irreversible through prayer. This particular situation with Paul is one of them. Paul acknowledged in the above scripture text that it was in the plan of God for him to go through it.

Therefore, he had decided to fully submit himself to it. In this type of situation, we don’t necessarily need the anointing in doing anything; but we do need the strength of the Lord to carry us through it.

Jesus had also showed us while in the garden of Gethsemane, why it’s important to always submit ourselves into the hand of the Lord as we are seeking His face in prayer. Even with all the anointing from His Father in Heaven upon Him, Jesus knew that He needed the Father to give Him strength:

“Saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.” Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭22‬:‭42‬-‭44‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

An angel from the Lord appeared to Him immediately as He prayed to strengthen Him, in the perfect will of God through the situation that was ahead of Him.

The strength of the Lord will always carry you in every situation, where the anointing is not enough to get you through; because you do have a loving Father in Heaven who is more than enough. If an angel could be dispatched to answer the prayer request of Jesus, angels will be dispatched on special assignments to help you too; because God loves you as much as He loves Jesus.

The will of the Father is of utmost importance than our own personal desires in prayer. When we are always seeking to be in His perfect will in prayer, He will surely begin to fight our battles for us. This is how He will cause us to triumph over the enemy.

And surprisingly enough He will even grant you the desire of your heart, because He can see that your heart is right before Him (1 Kings 3:13-14).

The Apostle Paul knew that God’s hand was upon him, as he traveled with uncertainty to Jerusalem. He could only yield to the will of God on this journey. He knew that he was going to Jerusalem in accordance with the plan, that God had assigned to him.

And as long as it was the perfect will of the Father for him, he knew that everything would be just fine, in spite of the trials and tribulations that awaited him.

He later went on to explain further to the Ephesians that:

“Except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me.”
‭‭Acts‬ ‭20‬:‭23‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Paul had known that he would be thrown into jail and that the Jews would persecute him at Jerusalem. He however didn’t know many details about the extent of the persecution, which was ahead of him (Acts 21:10-14).

He however was ready to go through it with the help of God.

His strength can do anything for you.

As we can see from this example of Paul, it’s possible for anyone who has been anointed by the Lord, to be surrounded by the darkness of the unknown. Paul never knew about the intensity of what he was about to step into.

There are things that the Lord God will never allow us to know even when we are in His perfect will. If He does allow us to see into those things, He knows that the enemy may want to take advantage of us, by hindering us from advancing in His purpose for our lives.

When such a situation comes upon the righteous while he is walking in the perfect plan of God, the Lord God by Himself will make His grace available to him in going through it.

This is where we can begin to see the difference between being anointed of the Lord and being clothed in His strength. They are different from one another, and oftentimes Christians have mistaken the anointing of the Holy Spirit in their lives for His strength.

Your anointing cannot carry you through certain things in life without God’s strength to help you. God’s strength on the other hand is His all sufficiency for us to do anything, at anytime, anywhere and anyhow. It’s therefore important to know the difference between the two.

The anointing of the Lord is His enablement in our lives. The anointing enables us to do supernatural things for His Kingdom on the earth.

There are however limitations to what we can do with the anointing within us. There are limitations of the flesh, the unbelief of men and other factors that may affect the flow of the anointing in our lives. But God can never be limited in His strength and abilities in us.

This is why it’s important for us as God’s ministers to be consistent in our walk with the anointing, that the Father God has given to each one of us.

No matter how hard you may try to function beyond your anointing, you will always find yourself operating outside the will of your Father in Heaven with it. This will of course, open the door for the enemy to come after you for doing so. You can’t function beyond the anointing that the Father has given you. Stay focused in it!

You can only function under the anointing of the Holy Ghost, for the purpose that you were anointed to function. You may be anointed to heal the sick with a special gift of the Holy Spirit that is operating in your life.

Stay strong and function more often in that anointing. Don’t take upon yourself what the Lord God has not given you. If you are anointed to be a Pastor, stay under that pastoral anointing. It’s where your increase and promotion are with that anointing. Don’t try to be walking in the prophetic or apostolic anointing when you know it doesn’t belong to you.

Failures comes when Christians are not walking in their individual calling or lane. God’s protection is unavailable outside of the calling which the Lord has given to you.

The more we are yielded to walking in our individual anointing, the more we each will experience an increase of God’s grace to carry us on. And the Body of Christ will get stronger with an increase of the supply of His Spirit in this way.

The more you are functioning under the anointing that the Father has given you, without seeking to get into another realm that is not yours, the more your faithfulness will become glaring with that anointing. You cannot walk in another person’s shoes. Walk in the anointing that the Lord has given you. It’s the only place where your blessing is.

Your anointing cannot function in an area where the Lord has not called you to function. Doing so will create a disaster for you in the ministry. And many are creating disasters for themselves all the time, by trying to function in another person’s shoes.

But as we could see in the above situation with the Apostle Paul, even though he knew that he was anointed by the Lord; he however had found himself in a spiritual bound, without an understanding about what lies ahead of him. He acknowledged that he needed God’s help more than the anointing, which was upon his life, to get him through the uncharted path that was in front of him. He knew that he needed the strength of the Lord to go through it.

The strength of the Lord will carry you through situations in your life, that your anointing cannot take you through. Even though every Christian needs the strength of the Lord on a daily basis, but it’s not every Christian that has been anointed by the Lord, to do certain things in His strength.

God’s strength is His omnipotent abilities in our lives. The Apostle Paul said:

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4‬:‭13‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

The Amplified Translation said the same thing in this way:

“I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4‬:‭13‬ ‭AMP‬‬

With God’s strength and confident peace in our lives, all things are possible for us. He infuses us with the inner strength and the inner confident peace to do the impossible; because with God working in us and through us, nothing shall be impossible to us (Matthew 19:26).

Such strength comes upon us as we are waiting on Him. It is what we are doing consistently before the Lord that gives us His strength. If you are consistently faithful in little things in His Kingdom; He will give you the strength to do more with it. He will cause His grace to establish you in it, while strengthening your ability to do more for Him.

And whatever you are doing consistently and faithfully in the joy of the Lord, will see God’s strength being infused into it. This is different from the flow of the anointing of the Holy Spirit in our lives, when our ability is limited to that area that we have been anointed to function.

God’s strength is what gives us stability in what we are doing in His Kingdom. The ability to worship Him in the Spirit and in truth, as an example helps us to wait on Him. Worship has to be in the joy of the Lord. The strength of the Lord comes upon those who are joyful before Him, and not upon those who are sad (Nehemiah 8:10).

Our worship of God takes us to the place of rest in Him. We rest in the Lord because we are resting in His strength. This is the most protected and perfect place to be with the Lord God.

The Psalmist said:

“They go from strength to strength; Each one appears before God in Zion.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭84‬:‭7‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

We are empowered from His presence to go from strength to strength. To be clothed in the strength of the Lord is to be clothed with His help. It’s the place where you are fully dependent on Him for the strength to do the impossible.

And His strength often comes through the adversities of life. In the midst of adversity His word gives us strength to overcome. When you are confronted with something that is greater than your ability to handle, you do know that you need God’s help and not the help of men.

In fact, men’s help will always fail us in the time of adversity. But God’s help with His strength causes us to get to the place of knowing Him, as the God Who is more than enough for us. And when you know Him in this way, then all things shall be possible for you.

The Bible says:

“And though the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore, but your eyes shall see your teachers. Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭30‬:‭20‬-‭21‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

His word comes to us often in this way in the midst of adversity, as the words of knowledge or wisdom to get us out of the adversity that is before us. That word of knowledge or wisdom empowers us to face our obstacles in life.

His word reveals what is not known to our natural senses about the situation in front of us. This is how the hand of the Lord is moving to deliver His people from adversity.

That’s why we must be covering ourselves daily with His word, which comes to us in this manner by His Spirit. He expects us to put it in our hearts and to be speaking it out of our mouth always, so that His word can do what it is designed to do for us.

There are many Christians who have received God’s word for the strength, which they do need in the time of adversity, but who are not declaring it. That’s why they can’t get the expected result that they do need to deliver them.

A form of dead religion has crept into the Body of Christ, which is crippling their faith from declaring what the Lord has given them.

The Prophet Isaiah said:

“Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord! Awake as in the ancient days, In the generations of old. Are You not the arm that cut Rahab apart, and wounded the serpent?”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭51‬:‭9‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

We are the arm of the Lord on the earth who are being used by Him, to cut through the wickedness of this earth and the serpent (the devil) himself. If we are not clothed in His strength, we can’t be triumphant. So, wake up and start speaking the word that He has given you to change your world.

For the Body of Christ to wake up from dead religion, she needs to put on the strength of the Lord. This will take the eyes of many away from the systems of this world, which are preventing them from putting on God’s strength.

To put on God’s strength is to be clothed with His ability in us, through His word and the Holy Ghost. A Church that is clothed in this manner does not need the systems of this world to sustain her in all her endeavors.

The Lord God rescued Israel from the house of bondage in Egypt with His Own strength. It was His Own hand that delivered them and brought them into the land, which He had promised to Abraham their father.

Moses had tried in his own strength with his connections within the system of the Egyptian governmental power hierarchy. But the system of the Egyptian world had failed him. God had to take him through the wilderness for forty years, so as to teach him how to tap into His strength and to start relying on it for the rest of his life.

Moses finally got it right. He eventually did amazing things in the strength of the Lord, that were impossible for him to do in his own strength or by relying on others. He was able to deliver God’s people in the strength of the Lord God out of the house of bondage.

God’s strength in action is God by Himself all alone doing what needs to be done, so as to rescue His Own people out of bondage. To be clothed in the strength of the Lord is to be clothed in His ability and in His omnipotent power.

God’s strength comes also by taking our delight in the things of His Kingdom. Those who are delighting themselves in the Lord are clothed in His strength. The scripture says:

“Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭37‬:‭4‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Nothing is impossible for those who take delight in serving the Lord. There are people who are slow to delight themselves in God and the things of His Kingdom. They can see the hand of the Lord doing great things for others around them, but they are slow in their response to His move, so as to be positioned in receiving His strength also.

Life becomes though for them, not because God’s strength is not available to them; but rather because of their unwillingness to respond with joy, to the move of God.

Are you waiting on the Lord for His strength? Begin to delight yourself in the things of His Kingdom and His written word today. You will eventually be led out by His word, which will give you the strength that you need to do what you have in front of you to do for Him:

“But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40‬:‭31‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


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