Summary: One of Satan’s aims is to trip up God’s child so that we lose our power (unction), witness, etc… To illustrate this point Paul presents an O.T. study. It’s the story of God’s own nation. They serve as an example (warning) (v.6, 11).
LOSING OUR UNCTION
INTRODUCTION: “Unction” = anointing. Fervency in speaking or behaving. Persuasion. See 9:27. What was Paul fearful of? Not losing his salvation, but his unction = divine authority/power/persuasion/influence! If that left him he would have nothing left! If his practice didn’t measure up to his preaching; if his behavior didn’t match his beliefs then he feared being a castaway (losing his unction/persuasion).
Study Judges 13-16. Look at Samson. See Judges 16:20. Samson lost his unction! One may have natural ability, personal charm, or a great education but if that person loses his/her heavenly authority they really have nothing left. Losing our unction means we lose our effectiveness, influence and persuasion!
One of Satan’s aims is to trip up God’s child so that we lose our power (unction), witness, etc… To illustrate this point Paul presents an O.T. study. It’s the story of God’s own nation. They serve as an example (warning) (v.6, 11).
I. Israel’s Favor (v.1-4)
They enjoyed God’ favor, blessings and privileges. Here is a reference to their exodus from Egypt and the wilderness wanderings.
A. How God Guided Them (v.1): “Cloud” = God’s guidance.
B. How God Governed Them (v.2): Through Moses.
C. How God Graced Them (v.3-4): God supernaturally and divinely provided for them.
II. Israel’s Failure (5-10)
With privileges comes responsibility. Israel presumed on God. They became overconfident. Nearly 3 million came out of Egypt. With how many was he displeased? All but two! Joshua and Caleb. The others were overthrown in the wilderness. They provoked God. What caused their fall?
A. Lust (v.6): Setting our hearts on evil. They demanded their own way (see Num.11).
B. Idolatry (v.7): Study Ex. 32.
C. Immorality (v.8): Study Num. 25.
D. Test the Lord (v.9): Study Num. 21.
E. Murmuring (v.10): Study Num. 16.
They wrestled against God’s will. They desired that which was out of his plan. They placed something in his place. They allowed wrong relationships, complained and grumbled. As a result they lost their spiritual power (unction).
III. Israel’s Force (v.11-13)
It doesn’t have to be that way. You may have fallen but you can reclaim your power (unction). See v.14 – “flee” = run. Where? Into the only place that is safe – the arms of Jesus! In His presence unction, power, influence and persuasion is renewed and restored.
What’s the lesson here for Corinth? For us? Paul is saying to the church at Corinth that they have received God’s favor. He has guided, governed and graced them. If they continue to be seduced by the spirit of the age and if they continue to act more like Corinthians than Christians (lust/idolatry/immorality, etc. ) they were in danger of losing their unction.
That same lesson holds true for us today! If we do like the Hebrew people of old we can lose our unction. God’s power will depart. A state of apathy will set in. The church will become unresponsive and people will be unreached. People won’t hear what we say for seeing what we do. We can miss our opportunity by failing to accept our responsibility.
CONCLUSION: The tragedy in many churches today is that God’s power (our unction) has departed and people don’t even know it! Let the church repent that she might properly function at Unction Junction!