Acts of Remembrance, Pt 1

I love January. The start of a fresh new year. Cracking open a brand new calendar, penciling in all the significant dates and dreaming ahead of what exciting new things I’d like to see take place. Where do I want to go? Where do I want to intentionally position myself? What do I want to see? What would I like to accomplish? This year holds so much promise!

Though my plans for each New Year actually start the September prior, (around the time of Rosh Hashanah), I do enjoy setting aside some time each January for dedicated focus – both spiritually and practically. This year, I started out a little different. I always try and make sure I don’t do things just to do them or just because I’ve always done them. And while there have been some familiar practices I’ve kept to this January, I felt led to add two additional ones that have really amplified my focus and my time with God. Maybe you’d like to give these a try too? Today, I’ll share around the first one: the practice of anointing with oilNow, let me start out by saying, as my title suggests, these are acts of remembrance. There’s nothing “magical” or superstitious about the acts themselves, but there is power in what these acts symbolize/represent. And if I could simplify what anointing with oil represents, it would be the marking of something that is set apart to be used for God’s purposes.

Throughout the Bible, oil represents the presence and/or anointing of the Holy Spirit. The word “anointed”, (originally the Hebrew word “mashach“) means to rub with oil, especially in order to consecrate someone or something. Early on, we see this act performed when God instructed Moses to “anoint” certain elements in the tabernacle (Exodus 40:9-14). He also gave specific instructions as to how the priests should be anointed (Exodus 28:41, 29:21). Both of these acts indicating that the temple itself and those chosen to minister unto God were to be marked and “set apart” for God’s service. Additionally, whenever kings were appointed, they were anointed (1 Samuel 16:1-13). It was an act of affirmation and consecration, sealing and marking the call of God on their lives.

Then came Jesus. The Messiah. Which literally means “The Anointed One”. Priest, King and Prophet. Marked, set apart, full of and operating in the anointing. Because He IS the anointing, Himself. He’s the only One worthy and full of the power and authority necessary to actually set something or someone apart. After His death, burial and resurrection, He sent the Holy Spirit so that this magnificent Anointing could now dwell in those who receive Him. Those who will give Him the rightful place as Lord of our lives. The indwelling Presence of the Holy Spirit means that the Anointing is no longer someOne we only experience externally. Anointing now dwells within.

“And because of Him [Jesus], when you who are not Jews heard the revelation of truth, you believed in the wonderful news of salvation. Now we have been stamped with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:13 TPT

As a symbolic act of remembrance and a heightened awareness of what has already been done for me and what is available to me and within me, I’ve been starting out each day anointing myself with oil. With the prayerful marking of my head, my eyes, ears, hands and feet, I pronounce that my thoughts, what comes into my hearing, how I perceive, what and how I see with my eyes, what I put my hands to, who I lay my hands upon, and where my feet take me – it is all set apart for His purposes, and His purposes alone. Anything that is not of Him is not welcomed in, but all this is of Him is released and free to flow out. 

I also anoint my knees and ankles. I don’t have time to go too much into this, but last year, one of the main things I battled was fear. A much different fear than anything I’ve ever faced before. Fear is a presence, you know? (2 Timothy 1:7 “…a spirit of fear..”) And in moving into a new area, I have to recognize there are different things at work in the atmosphere around me. Fear is one of the main ones here. It was warring against me, and I humbly admit, there were times it gained ground. As it did, it’s effects began to manifest in my physical body, causing arthritic-like symptoms in my joints – primarily my knees and ankles. But God heard my cry and exposed what was really at the root of this. Once I knew what I was up against, I could battle it. And I haven’t had a symptom since. Anointing my knees and ankles with oil reminds me to walk diligently, alert and aware of my surroundings. Not becoming distracted by them, but aware – and most importantly, abiding in unbroken fellowship with God so that I can recognize, conquer and establish His kingdom in places where fear is trying to rule.

The practice of anointing indicates what something or someone is set apart for and thereby also indicates what that someone or something will not be used for. You could think of it this way: when you set something apart to be used for a specific purpose, it not only clarifies what can go in – it clarifies what must stay out. It activates proper use and guards against misuse.

Throughout my day, should anything threaten or cause my attention to waver, the scent of the oil reminds me and draws me back to that sweet place. I’ve learned to carry a small roller with me and some days, depending on what I’m doing, I may need to reapply. How long will I continue on in this practice? I’m not sure. I’m always very careful to not make a law of things, so I guess my best answer would be, seventy-times-seven, or until this awareness has been perfected in me. Until then, I gladly remain in training, making the declaration of Psalm 89 my anthem:

“With My holy oil I have anointed (her), with whom My hand shall be established. Also, My arm shall strengthen (her). The enemy shall not outwit (her). Nor the son of wickedness afflict (her). I will beat down (her) foes before (her) face and plague those who hate (her). But My faithfulness and My mercy shall be with (her), and in My name (her) horn shall be exalted. Also I will set (her) hand over the sea, and (her) right hand over the rivers. (She) shall cry out to Me, “You are my father, My God, and the rock of my salvation”… (Psalm 89:20-26 NKJV)

Forever in His grip,
Linda G. Riddle

3 thoughts on “Acts of Remembrance, Pt 1

  1. Karen Coughlin says:

    Hi Linda. Thank you so much for your blog. Your honesty and your giftedness to teach have helped me so much.
    Questions: can you use just ordinary oil or do you get yours from a Christian store? Do you pray over the oil first? Also I love the idea of carrying around a roller ball in my purse. Will you share where you got yours?
    Again, thank you for continuing your ministry via this blog.
    May God richly bless you in 2018.


    • Linda G Riddle says:

      Hi Karen,
      Thank you so much for your encouraging comments and for writing in! I love hearing from everyone. This is a great question. It allows me to share another principal, or way of thinking, really, by which I’ve learned to operate. And that’s this: whatever works in one area must be transferable in another area. Is what I’m using and/or doing accessible by others in an easy way? Or does it have so many specific requirements that people located in specific geographical areas or of certain social or economic demographics can’t get it or can’t participate? If so, then I’ve probably made it too complicated. What about if I was out somewhere, miles from the nearest Christian Store or on the mission felt where a specific type of oil was not obtainable and yet I felt led to engage in this type of practice? What’s the most important thing? The act or the oil?
      Jesus was always about making everything – especially those things which involved worship – accessible. Which is one of the main reasons He expressed such passionate contention with the merchants when He arrived at the temple only to find them selling elements that they had deemed as the only “worthy” ones to use in worship for offerings / sacrifice. They’d missed the point. See where I’m coming from?
      So I guess to answer your question, “yes”. Yes to all of the above. I’ve used ordinary olive oil that I’ve pulled out of my cupboard, I’ve also bought some at a Christian Store. I’ve used some of my essential oils and I’ve used some of the oil I keep near my bathtub. I’m not really so focused on the element as I am on what it represents. Instead, I do as I can with what is available to me. As for prayer, yes. I do pray before and while anointing myself (or others) but I don’t necessarily pray over the elements themselves. I’m praying over what it symbolizes. My focus is on Jesus and on this intimate moment I’m sharing with Him. And I can enjoy the beauty of that moment whether I’m granted the privilege of royalty, indulging in something super fancy, or I can do it in the most humble of environments, knelt at His side, bowing before my King who was humble enough to be born in a manger. To Him, unto Him, for Him and because of Him only and always be the glory forever and ever.

      Liked by 2 people

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