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Walking on Anointed Waters

Do you ever wrestle with God on things you were absolutely convinced of, like, ten minutes ago? Like Satan is wrapping his python self right around the neck of your faith, feeling heavy and warm and whispering like he did to Eve in Genesis 3: “Nah, God didn’t really say that.”

And then you start to wonder: wait… did He?

I watched a reel the other day that was a mashup poking fun at an imaginary conversation between Moses and his wife after his encounter  with God and that bush in the desert:
“So … God talked to you,” Moses’ wife said
“Yes.”
“Out of a bush.”
“Right.”
“And it was on fire?”
“Correct.”
“… but it didn’t burn.”
“That’s right.”

I had been in a conversation two hours earlier with after asking for some clarity prayer when I was gently and lovingly asked how I knew it was God that spoke. I was suddenly stumbling for words, trying to stammer out a 30-second summary of 20 years’ worth of nuances I’ve learned of His voice. It’s like I knew how outlandish it sounded when I tried to describe it, like I was saying I talked to a bush. Then again, it’s almost impossible to describe the scent of my daughter when she has just woken up. But every morning, when I take that whiff, kissing the top of her head as I pick her up from her crib, my heart warms because it’s just the smell of her.

I was reading last week about the difference between gifting and anointing, anointing and appointing, when it happened again – one of those nuances that are a little outlandish. Still, I knew: it was God speaking. The Scripture story was in Exodus 29 with the consecration of the priests, and a few of the words rustled in my spirit when I read them like leaves on a branch caught in a gentle breeze. I wrote the words in my prayer journal before realizing they were wrong: Exodus 29:2 – unleavened waters anointed with oil. … Wait a minute, I thought. Water isn’t leavened. I glance back at the verse again, take a closer look. It had been marked up in my Bible so, where I saw waters? It was actually wafers.

It was speaking to the process of hallowing the men for ministering to the Lord as priests: taking a blemish-free bull, two also-perfect rams, and a basket full of unleavened bread, unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil. I didn’t get to the end of the story before God interrupted me, repeating the words:

I have anointed these waters.

For days, I had been questioning: Why am I doing this? Why am I taking this risk? Putting myself out there? Trying to get this binder into the world while simultaneously getting out the idea to #unlearnquiettime? Nobody asked me to do this. I have three little ones at home and hardly a minute to myself. Why am I doing this?

It took a couple of days for God to whisper about the anointed waters after I wondered aloud for the hundredth time in the midst of my sinking faith: God, why am I doing this? Nobody asked me to.

I did.

He said it gentle and firm in that way He has about Him. The way that you know it’s Him speaking.

The next day, a girlfriend texted, sharing that she had been talking to her husband months ago, searching for a tool that is exactly like the Quiet Time Binder. She had been praying that God would show her where to find a place to study the Bible simply, with all 66 books in one place, so she could take the next handful of years digging in deep.

“Women like me have been asking God for something like this,” she said. “They might not have asked you to make it. But they asked Him.”

My mind wandered back to the anointed waters and the Morning Dew binder color (which is the same color as the prayer journal that this entire idea was birthed in). I take a peek at the Hebrew word, matstsah, for “unleavened” in Exodus 29:2 – it means that it is not soured our bittered with yeast. It is unfermented. Or, as it’s put simply in the lexicon: “what is sweet.”

I had wondered how water could be unleavened, how I could take this accidental reading of a word entirely out of context and apply it to my right-then. You know, being a Bible teacher and all, I can’t be pulling things out of left-field. But He pulled the point home as soon as I saw those unleavened description words. Because, just 14 chapters earlier, in Exodus 15:22? God made some bitter waters sweet for His people when they complained of thirst. It turns out that they complained again in Exodus 16:2 and again in 17:3. And in that last bout of complaints? They were saying similar words as my doubting ones: “Why did we do this again?”

I look back to that accidental verse in Exodus 29:2 and look at my prayer-journal words again: I have anointed these unleavened waters. And so, it has become my prayer: God, don’t let my unbelief sour them.

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