SORRY REPOST: You Anoint My Head With Oil…Even In The Small Things!

You anoint my head with oil… Psalm 23:5a NIV

Last weekend my mother-in-law came to visit to celebrate Father’s Day and her birthday. We had a great time…and at the end of our celebration I drove her back home with my 2 little boys.

Of course keeping the boys busy and entertained during this 45-minute car ride to the West side of town…as always…was a challenge…so they began to take turns reciting Psalm 23 to their Grandma! Fun! Right?

Totally blows my mind that my 4 and 6 year-olds can recite Psalm 23…word for word…in its entirety! Ok I know I am bragging a bit…but what proud mommy wouldn’t?!

As they went through the verses, I thought…

Wow…they have no idea what they are saying! They have absolutely no clue what words/phrases like… green pastures…restore my soul…paths of righteousness…anoint my head with oil…even mean!!!

Come to think of it…we too may not really know or understand the abundant promises of blessing this Psalm holds either!

Did you know there are 18 promises in Psalm 23? You may even think of more…

1) The Lord is my Shepherd = That’s Care!

2) I shall not want = That’s Provision!

3) He makes me lie down in green pastures = That’s Rest!

4) He leads me beside the still waters = That’s Peace!

5) He restores my soul = That’s Healing!

6) He leads me in the paths of righteousness = That’s Guidance!

7) For His name sake = That’s Purpose!

8) Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death = That’s Presence!

9) I will fear no evil = That’s Comfort!

10) For You are with me = That’s Faithfulness!

11) Your rod and Your staff they comfort me = That’s Discipline and Guidance!

12) Your prepare a table before me = That’s Friendship

13) In the presence of mine enemies = That’s Protection!

14) You anoint my head with oil = That’s Consecration!

15) My cup runs over = That’s Abundance!

16) Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life = That’s Hope!

17) And I will dwell in the house of the Lord = That’s Security!

18) Forever = That’s Eternity!

So packed full of promises! Studying each promise in Psalm 23 in greater depth would be such an encouraging experience… wouldn’t you agree?!

But today I want to focus on one particular verse…Psalm 23:5…and dig deeper into the phrase…You anoint my head with oil.

So what exactly does it mean when David says…You anoint my head with oil?

The dictionary defines the word “anoint” as…“to apply oil to as a sacred rite especially for consecration; to dedicate to the service of God.”

The New Testament Greek words for “anoint” are chrio which means “to smear or rub with oil” and aleipho which means “to anoint.”

David…the author of Psalm 23…is speaking of the symbolic custom in the Bible in which kings were anointed to represent the chosen one from God.

This anointing was representative of the responsibilities that the King would assume over the people.

According to the biblical meaning of the word…anointing of a particular person was also carried out for the purposes of healing…both physical and spiritually.

As the definition above states… to anoint was a representation of setting someone or something aside for the service of God. (Consecration)

We as believers and followers of Christ must indeed be separated for the service of God…living in this world but not of this world.

In Psalm 23…we see in David’s words a humble image as he compares himself to a sheep in relationship to what God does on our behalf.

Did you know that sheep often face various enemies…many wild animals such as…lions, bears, and wolves?

Now David knew this first hand because as a young boy he worked as a shepherd…and so we can be sure he had opportunities and instances when he perhaps had to kill some of these wild animals to protect his flock.

But sheep face other enemies that we don’t necessarily think much about because these enemies are so small. These creatures can actually make a sheep’s life so miserable that they won’t even lie down to rest!

These small enemies include the warble flies…mosquitoes…gnats…and something called the Nasal Fly.

Sheep are specially troubled by this “Nasal Fly” or the “Nose Fly.” These little flies buzz around the sheep’s head attempting to lay their eggs on the damp mucous membrane of the sheep’s nose. So gross…I know!

If they are successful…the eggs will hatch in a few days and it forms a small, slender, worm-like larvae. They work their way up the sheep’s nasal passage and into the sheep’s head. It causes severe irritation to the sheep.

And for relief from the pain, the sheep will often beat their heads against a tree or rub their heads on a rock. This as you can imagine causes great pain to the animals and has been known to kill some sheep.

So where are we going with this?

When the shepherd begins to see signs of these tiny enemies…he will begin to smear and rub oil to the sheep’s head and nose.

Once the oil has been applied to the sheep’s head…there is an immediate change in the animal’s behavior. The aggravation is gone…the irritability is gone…and the animal can lie down and rest… just as David suggests in Psalm 23.

Now we may not be bothered by such nasal flies as the sheep are…but what thoughts…worries…challenges… frustrations… irritations…buzz around our head robbing us of our peace…our joy…our faith?

Do you find yourself struggling to gain control over your mind and thoughts not only in the bigger worries and challenges of life…but also the smaller daily frustrations and irritations?

Just as these small enemies…like the nasal flies…rob sheep of their peace and rest…we too can easily allow the small enemies of our day…like frustrations and irritations…to steal our peace and joy and eventually our faith as well.

Remember that Satan is doing everything within his power to gain control over our minds.

He played with Eve’s mind (Genesis 3)…He played with David’s mind (1Chronicles 21)…and He even played with Jesus’ mind! (Matthew 4) So why wouldn’t he try to play with our minds as we are made in the image of Christ?!

Satan wants to rob us of our peace…our joy…and our faith. In the big things…and small things. Period.

But just like the oil that is applied to the sheep’s head causes an immediate change in the sheep’s behavior allowing him to have peace, comfort, and rest…We too must allow God to anoint our head with oil allowing us to keep our peace…our joy…our faith.

This oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit….which is available to you…to me…and to every child of God!

When we allow God to anoint our head with oil…we are actually anointed with His presence.

It is His presence in our lives that will protect our minds on a daily basis from being robbed of our peace…our joy…and our faith.

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isaiah 26:3 NLT

For the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10 NIV

In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; And take the helmet of salvation… Romans 6:16,17a ESV

God is just as much in the big things we worry about as He is in the small things! He is actually the Master of what may seem small and insignificant!

We must be continually reminded that the anointing of the Holy Spirit and His presence in our life will protect…strengthen…refresh…and keep us consecrated in our walk with Jesus.

We can fight Satan and his attempts to steal our peace…our joy…and our faith by putting on the full Armor of God described in Ephesians 6:10-18. (For more on the Armor of God…Refer to previous blog posts titled… “Your Daily Armor”…“Draw Your Sword” … “Don’t Drop Your Shield!”)

We can also fight Satan from gaining control over our minds by talking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ. (For more on controlling our minds…Refer to previous blog posts titled… “Peace of Mind” and “Loving God with All Your Mind”)

By fighting to gain control of our minds, we will experience greater peace…joy…and faith on a daily basis and resist banging our heads against a wall…like the sheep do in response to their frustrations and irritations.

Reflection Points:

  1. Do you know that there are abundant promises of blessing in Psalm 23?
  2. Do you know what David means when he says…You anoint my head with oil?
  3. How does this phrase relate to sheep?
  4. What does the oil symbolize?
  5. Who is this “oil” available to?
  6. Do you find yourself struggling to gain control over your mind and thoughts not only in the bigger worries and challenges of life…but also the smaller daily frustrations and irritations?
  7. Do these daily frustrations and irritations rob you of your peace…your joy…even your faith?

Action Points:

  1. There are at least 18 promises of blessing in Psalm 23! Read through them listed above.
  2. Once the shepherd applies oil to the sheep’s head…there is an immediate change in the animal’s behavior. The aggravation is gone…the irritability is gone…and the animal can lie down and rest… just as David suggests in Psalm 23.
  3. The “oil” symbolizes the Holy Spirit which is available to you and everyone who is a child of God.
  4. We must allow God to anoint our head with oil allowing us to keep our peace…our joy…our faith.
  5. For more on practically fighting Satan from controlling our minds…see the references to previous blog posts.

 

 

 

 

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SORRY REPOST: You Anoint My Head With Oil…Even In The Small Things!

You anoint my head with oil… Psalm 23:5a NIV

Last weekend my mother-in-law came to visit to celebrate Father’s Day and her birthday. We had a great time…and at the end of our celebration I drove her back home with my 2 little boys.

Of course keeping the boys busy and entertained during this 45-minute car ride to the West side of town…as always…was a challenge…so they began to take turns reciting Psalm 23 to their Grandma! Fun! Right?

Totally blows my mind that my 4 and 6 year-olds can recite Psalm 23…word for word…in its entirety! Ok I know I am bragging a bit…but what proud mommy wouldn’t?!

As they went through the verses, I thought…

Wow…they have no idea what they are saying! They have absolutely no clue what words/phrases like… green pastures…restore my soul…paths of righteousness…anoint my head with oil…even mean!!!

Come to think of it…we too may not really know or understand the abundant promises of blessing this Psalm holds either!

Did you know there are 18 promises in Psalm 23? You may even think of more…

1) The Lord is my Shepherd = That’s Care!

2) I shall not want = That’s Provision!

3) He makes me lie down in green pastures = That’s Rest!

4) He leads me beside the still waters = That’s Peace!

5) He restores my soul = That’s Healing!

6) He leads me in the paths of righteousness = That’s Guidance!

7) For His name sake = That’s Purpose!

8) Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death = That’s Presence!

9) I will fear no evil = That’s Comfort!

10) For You are with me = That’s Faithfulness!

11) Your rod and Your staff they comfort me = That’s Discipline and Guidance!

12) Your prepare a table before me = That’s Friendship

13) In the presence of mine enemies = That’s Protection!

14) You anoint my head with oil = That’s Consecration!

15) My cup runs over = That’s Abundance!

16) Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life = That’s Hope!

17) And I will dwell in the house of the Lord = That’s Security!

18) Forever = That’s Eternity!

So packed full of promises! Studying each promise in Psalm 23 in greater depth would be such an encouraging experience… wouldn’t you agree?!

But today I want to focus on one particular verse…Psalm 23:5…and dig deeper into the phrase…You anoint my head with oil.

So what exactly does it mean when David says…You anoint my head with oil?

The dictionary defines the word “anoint” as…“to apply oil to as a sacred rite especially for consecration; to dedicate to the service of God.”

The New Testament Greek words for “anoint” are chrio which means “to smear or rub with oil” and aleipho which means “to anoint.”

David…the author of Psalm 23…is speaking of the symbolic custom in the Bible in which kings were anointed to represent the chosen one from God.

This anointing was representative of the responsibilities that the King would assume over the people.

According to the biblical meaning of the word…anointing of a particular person was also carried out for the purposes of healing…both physical and spiritually.

As the definition above states… to anoint was a representation of setting someone or something aside for the service of God. (Consecration)

We as believers and followers of Christ must indeed be separated for the service of God…living in this world but not of this world.

In Psalm 23…we see in David’s words a humble image as he compares himself to a sheep in relationship to what God does on our behalf.

Did you know that sheep often face various enemies…many wild animals such as…lions, bears, and wolves?

Now David knew this first hand because as a young boy he worked as a shepherd…and so we can be sure he had opportunities and instances when he perhaps had to kill some of these wild animals to protect his flock.

But sheep face other enemies that we don’t necessarily think much about because these enemies are so small. These creatures can actually make a sheep’s life so miserable that they won’t even lie down to rest!

These small enemies include the warble flies…mosquitoes…gnats…and something called the Nasal Fly.

Sheep are specially troubled by this “Nasal Fly” or the “Nose Fly.” These little flies buzz around the sheep’s head attempting to lay their eggs on the damp mucous membrane of the sheep’s nose. So gross…I know!

If they are successful…the eggs will hatch in a few days and it forms a small, slender, worm-like larvae. They work their way up the sheep’s nasal passage and into the sheep’s head. It causes severe irritation to the sheep.

And for relief from the pain, the sheep will often beat their heads against a tree or rub their heads on a rock. This as you can imagine causes great pain to the animals and has been known to kill some sheep.

So where are we going with this?

When the shepherd begins to see signs of these tiny enemies…he will begin to smear and rub oil to the sheep’s head and nose.

Once the oil has been applied to the sheep’s head…there is an immediate change in the animal’s behavior. The aggravation is gone…the irritability is gone…and the animal can lie down and rest… just as David suggests in Psalm 23.

Now we may not be bothered by such nasal flies as the sheep are…but what thoughts…worries…challenges… frustrations… irritations…buzz around our head robbing us of our peace…our joy…our faith?

Do you find yourself struggling to gain control over your mind and thoughts not only in the bigger worries and challenges of life…but also the smaller daily frustrations and irritations?

Just as these small enemies…like the nasal flies…rob sheep of their peace and rest…we too can easily allow the small enemies of our day…like frustrations and irritations…to steal our peace and joy and eventually our faith as well.

Remember that Satan is doing everything within his power to gain control over our minds.

He played with Eve’s mind (Genesis 3)…He played with David’s mind (1Chronicles 21)…and He even played with Jesus’ mind! (Matthew 4) So why wouldn’t he try to play with our minds as we are made in the image of Christ?!

Satan wants to rob us of our peace…our joy…and our faith. In the big things…and small things. Period.

But just like the oil that is applied to the sheep’s head causes an immediate change in the sheep’s behavior allowing him to have peace, comfort, and rest…We too must allow God to anoint our head with oil allowing us to keep our peace…our joy…our faith.

This oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit….which is available to you…to me…and to every child of God!

When we allow God to anoint our head with oil…we are actually anointed with His presence.

It is His presence in our lives that will protect our minds on a daily basis from being robbed of our peace…our joy…and our faith.

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isaiah 26:3 NLT

For the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10 NIV

In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; And take the helmet of salvation… Romans 6:16,17a ESV

God is just as much in the big things we worry about as He is in the small things! He is actually the Master of what may seem small and insignificant!

We must be continually reminded that the anointing of the Holy Spirit and His presence in our life will protect…strengthen…refresh…and keep us consecrated in our walk with Jesus.

We can fight Satan and his attempts to steal our peace…our joy…and our faith by putting on the full Armor of God described in Ephesians 6:10-18. (For more on the Armor of God…Refer to previous blog posts titled… “Your Daily Armor”…“Draw Your Sword” … “Don’t Drop Your Shield!”)

We can also fight Satan from gaining control over our minds by talking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ. (For more on controlling our minds…Refer to previous blog posts titled… “Peace of Mind” and “Loving God with All Your Mind”)

By fighting to gain control of our minds, we will experience greater peace…joy…and faith on a daily basis and resist banging our heads against a wall…like the sheep do in response to their frustrations and irritations.

Reflection Points:

  1. Do you know that there are abundant promises of blessing in Psalm 23?
  2. Do you know what David means when he says…You anoint my head with oil?
  3. How does this phrase relate to sheep?
  4. What does the oil symbolize?
  5. Who is this “oil” available to?
  6. Do you find yourself struggling to gain control over your mind and thoughts not only in the bigger worries and challenges of life…but also the smaller daily frustrations and irritations?
  7. Do these daily frustrations and irritations rob you of your peace…your joy…even your faith?

Action Points:

  1. There are at least 18 promises of blessing in Psalm 23! Read through them listed above.
  2. Once the shepherd applies oil to the sheep’s head…there is an immediate change in the animal’s behavior. The aggravation is gone…the irritability is gone…and the animal can lie down and rest… just as David suggests in Psalm 23.
  3. The “oil” symbolizes the Holy Spirit which is available to you and everyone who is a child of God.
  4. We must allow God to anoint our head with oil allowing us to keep our peace…our joy…our faith.
  5. For more on practically fighting Satan from controlling our minds…see the references to previous blog posts.

 

 

 

 

I AM

When Billy and I were choosing names for our boys…we had a baby book that listed all the baby names and their meanings. Even though I was a bit more serious and Billy was way more playful… throwing out ridiculous and absurd names by the way…we certainly had a lot of fun and shared some good laughs trying to choose names for our children.

We decided to name our first born Connor. I was leaning toward the name Connor more than Billy until I shared its meaning with him. Connor means “wise” and “hound-lover.” “Wise” is always good but I knew that Billy would consider it more once he heard it meant “hound lover” because he loves dogs so much! And so…Connor it was.

We named our second son Bryce. Bryce really stood out to us and barely had any competition. The name Bryce means “ambitious”…which is certainly a great character trait to have. And so… Bryce it was!

We have found it so fascinating that our kids have personalities that actually exemplify these meanings. Connor is a very cautious and wise boy (not sure about the “hound-lover”…maybe more like a “hound-liker”) and Bryce is…no doubt…an ambitious little boy!

Now many times when we as parents name a child…we don’t have the power or the authority to make the child fit the name. We can certainly give names in the hope and prayer that our children will become what their names imply…which surprisingly did happen with our boys…at least for now! …As they are only 6 and 4 years old!

So why are we talking about names?

Because names are very significant in the Bible. A person’s name signifies his character… ability…or mission…especially when the name is given by God.

How many of you know there is a big difference when we name someone…and when God names someone?! Check this out…

God changed Abram’s name to Abraham (Genesis 17:5).

God changed Sarai’s name to Sarah (Genesis 17:15).

God changed Jacob’s name to Israel (Genesis 32:28).

And when the Son of God came into the world, His name was not left to chance…

“You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

God is very intentional when He names people.

Because…unlike us…God has the right and the power to cause anyone He names to become what the name implies. The names He gives are sure indicators of the destiny of those He names.

And there is great significance when God names…not just others…but also Himself.

When God names himself…we can be sure the name is packed with who He is and what He intends to do. God does not choose names for Himself at random…say for the way it sounds or for an ancestor or to avoid embarrassing nicknames.

He chooses names for the sake of revealing things about Himself that will deepen our love for Him…enlarge our admiration…and strengthen our faith.

Knowing the names of God helps us trust him more in our lives.

Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:10 NIV

The following passage in Exodus 3:13-15 is the only place in the Old Testament where God explains His name…

But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?” God replied to Moses, “I Am Who I Am. Say this to the people of Israel: I Am has sent me to you.” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors–the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob–has sent me to you. This is my eternal name, my name to remember for all generations. Exodus 3:13-15 NLT

This phrase “I Am” may seem a bit confusing…but there is great importance in God’s names!

What does it exactly mean when God says “I Am”?

The name “I Am” in Hebrew is Yahweh. We may also know it as Jehovah.

This is the most sacred and precious name of God. It is used in the Old Testament among His people often associated with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It is usually signified in the Old Testament with the word LORD written in capital letters.

It means that God is self-existent…He was not created. It signifies that God had no beginning and will never have an end. He has all power and has no limitations.

And Jesus often affirmed His equality with God, the Father…especially to the unbelieving Jewish leaders. This signifies that Jesus too can refer to himself as “I Am.”

“I and the Father are one.” John 10:30 NIV

Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” John 8:58 NASB

Ok…so how does knowing what “I Am” means help us trust Jesus more?

Jesus made seven “I Am” statements in the book of John to support his deity and explain His purpose for coming to earth.

I Am…the Bread of Life.

“I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. John 6:35 NASB

Jesus is saying…I will meet your needs. I will sustain you. I am sufficient.

I Am…the Light of the World.

“I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” John 8:12 NASB

Jesus says…I will guide you so you’ll never need to stumble in darkness. I will light the path ahead of you so you can see how to live. I will let my light shine through you.

I Am…the Door.

“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” John 10:9 NASB

Jesus is saying…I am the door…step through the door and you will have eternal life. I will give you access to safety and security if you enter through the Me.

I Am…the Good Shepherd.

“I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. John 10:14-15 NASB

Jesus is saying…I will take care of you. I will provide for you. I will protect you.

I Am…the Resurrection and the Life

“I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies…” John 11:25 NASB

Jesus is saying… I will give you spiritual life over death if you believe in Me…because I have the power over life and death.

I Am…the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” John 14:6 NASB

Jesus is saying…I am the only living way to the Father.

As the way, I am the path to the Father. As the truth, I am the reality of all God’s promises. As the life, I join my divine life to yours both now and eternally.

I Am…the Vine.

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. John 15:5 NASB

Jesus says…I will provide you nourishment and life if you stay close to me…like a branch attached to the vine.

Important Note: Jesus says “I Am”! He doesn’t say…“I Was”…or “I Will Be”.

“I Am” is in the present tense.

He is all of this… the bread of life…the light of the world…the door…the good shepherd…the resurrection and the life…the way, the truth and the life…the vine…and so much more…for us in the present…this very instant! RIGHT NOW!

We cannot improve upon this name. We can’t add to it or change it to make it any better!

He is I Am…He wasn’t created. He had no beginning and has no end…He has all power and no limitations.

Whatever your need is today…God is the great “I Am”! Let’s trust Him more today in our lives!

Reflection Points:

1.Why is studying God’s names important?

2. What does it exactly mean when God says “I Am”?

3. What are the seven “I Am” statements made by Jesus in the Book of John and what do they mean for us today?

Action Points:

1. Studying and understanding God’s names will help us trust him more in our lives. God’s names reveal things about Himself that will deepen our love for Him…enlarge our admiration…and strengthen our faith.

2. “I AM” means that God is self-existent…He was not created. It signifies that God had no beginning and will never have an end. He has all power and has no limitations.

3. Study and review the seven “I AM’ statements made by Jesus to encourage you to trust Him more in your life today.