Bring Your 'A' Game

December 2, 1999

Bring Your "A" Game

Isaiah 10:27 – And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall
be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the
yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.

A friend and I are in the midst of a football video-game war with a game
called "NFL2K."  I have the advantage because I own the game and
he does not.   At first, I could pick the weaker teams and win
easily.  But this Thanksgiving holiday my friend spent the weekend at my
house.  So while I slept, someone was up practicing, drawing up plays and
even creating special players.  Well, during my guest’s stay, he beat me
(How Rude!).  Then to top it off he said this: "You’re going to have
to bring the ‘A’ game to beat me now."   In other words, he was
telling me that I could no longer bring a weak game to win.   If I wanted
to win, I would have to bring my very best or expect to lose.

This week we are going to focus on our ‘A’ game – The Anointing of God!
  Now for many Christians the word "anointing" has been flying
out of their mouths like some sort of buzz word.  I’ve heard many people
say, "Oooohh she/he is anointed to sing or dance."  My question
is do they really know what this really means?

Our scripture starts by stating, "And it shall come to pass in that
day."   In this prophetic word, the Lord is telling Israel that what
He is about to say will surely happen.  What will surely happen? 
Well, first the Lord tells Israel, "that his burden shall be taken from off
thy shoulder."  The HIS in this statement is the Assyrians. 
They were a pagan nation of plunderers and looters, and the Lord told Israel
that they would be delivered from the Assyrians.  In simpler terms, the
Lord is saying to Israel, "I will remove the burden that Assyria will
place upon you."  Then our scripture does a swift transition,
"and his yoke from off thy neck."

A yoke is a piece of farm equipment that sits on the shoulder and encloses
the neck of an animal.  A rope is then connected to the yoke so that the
animal can be controlled or guided in a desired direction by the person with
the rope.  Now let’s "humanize" this situation.  One
purpose of the enemy is to put as much hell in your life as possible.  The
best way to do this is to give you as many burdens as possible. 
Why?  Because he tries to gain control of you through these burdens.
  A prime example – bad habits.  As we all know bad habits are hard
to BREAK.   You see it all the time.  Advertisements for things to
help break habits: Nicorette gum, the nicotine patch, the nicotine inhaler,
weight loss pills, sleeping pills and even subliminal tapes.

However, fear not my brothers and sisters because our God has the answer for
the problem just like He always does.  The final portion of our scripture
says this, "and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the
anointing."  Now look at this as we put it all together.  First,
the power of God will remove the problem (the burden); then His power will
DESTROY the yoke (the source of the problem).  Now this last passage did not
say the anointing will BREAK the yoke.  Why is that?   Because broken
habits can be pieced back together. I’ll explain:

A few years ago, a friend came over to our house and accidentally broke a
porcelain elephant.  Under normal conditions I would have thrown the
elephant out and said, "Oh well."  But this elephant was made by
a special woman whose funeral I would be attending the very next day.  So
I gathered the pieces up carefully, and two days after the funeral I worked for
two hours putting that elephant back together.   Now the one reason I was
successful in putting the elephant back together was because the elephant had
sustained a 1-foot-fall and was only broken – just like a bad habit. 
However, if it had been thrown out of a six story building it would have been
destroyed and I wouldn’t have even tried to put it back together.  This is
what the anointing of God does to our habits and problems if we allow it
to.  It destroys them beyond recognition and repair.

So to summarize, the anointing of God does two things: (1) Remove Burdens
and (2) Destroy Yokes.  And I know that we’ve all got some burdens we want
removed and some yokes we want destroyed.  Family relationships that are
not right, Bills, Bills and more Bills, health problems, job situations,
financial struggles and bad habits.   We were not put on this earth to
lose or just barely get by.  It’s time we bring the ‘A’ game (The
Anointing) and get an ‘A’ in Abundant Living 101.  Leave the ‘F’ game (The
Flesh) behind because it’s weak and it only breaks habits which that same flesh
struggles to put back together.   Whatever you’re going through, just
bring the ‘A’ game so that your peace and prosperity shall come to pass in that