Anointing Mission

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.

Luke 4:18-19

My pastor continually has repeated that anointing is synonymous with training. He has taught me that the Holy Spirit anoints us in order to enable us to efficiently carry out the Lord’s work. When I read Luke 4:18-19 or Isaiah 61:1-2, I understand that he is absolutely right. We are anointed in order to fulfill our mission as soldiers of Jesus Christ.

In 2008, my oldest son decided to join the United States Army. The first requirement was to receive training that will enable him to be an efficient soldier. His basic training was in Fort Knox, Kentucky. I went there for his initiation ceremony. But his training does not end there. After basic training, my son went through three more bases: Fort Lee, Virginia; Fort Benning, Georgia; and Fort Polk, Louisiana, before being assigned to his permanent base in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

In each of the military bases to which he attended, my son received specialized training that would qualify him to serve in the United States Army. After the series of training, he was ready to fulfill his primary mission in Iraq, where he served for two years and then he returned to his respective military unit.

Spiritually, it says that God does not choose the trained people He but trains those who are chosen. As in human armies in which a recruit is not sent to the battlefield without being previously trained, God will not send any of His servants to a mission without first being trained properly. But the big difference is that the divine training does not necessarily imply spend certain time at an academic institution or a spiritual camp.

In Luke 24:49 the Lord says:  Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem[a] until you are endued with power from on high. The power that our Lord refers to is the anointing of the Holy Spirit, which was poured out on the disciples at Pentecost. Thus, a simple fisherman like Peter was able to preach with such power that thousands of people were converted to Christ.

In Isaiah 10:27 we read: It shall come to pass in that day that his burden will be taken away from your shoulder, and his yoke from your neck, and the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil. The anointing gives us the ability to preach the gospel of power that sets the captives of sin, gives hope to the poor in spirit, heals the sick, casts out demons and perform miracles and wonders and signs that glorify our Heavenly Father. We should seek a fresh anointing every day to be able to fulfill the great commission that has been entrusted to us to make disciples of all nations. God bless you.

La Misión de la Unción

Espíritu del Señor está sobre mí, Por cuanto me ha ungido para dar buenas nuevas a los pobres; Me ha enviado a sanar a los quebrantados de corazón; A pregonar libertad a los cautivos, Y vista a los ciegos; A poner en libertad a los oprimidos; A predicar el año agradable del Señor.

Lucas 4:18-19

Mi pastor repite continuamente que unción es sinónimo de capacitación. Él me ha enseñado que el Espíritu Santo nos unge con el fin de capacitarnos para llevar a cabo con eficiencia la obra del Señor. Cuando leo Lucas 4:18-19 o Isaías 61:1-2, comprendo que él tiene toda la razón. Somos ungidos con el fin de cumplir nuestra misión como soldados de Jesucristo.

En el año 2008, mi hijo mayor decidió formar parte del Ejército de los Estados Unidos. El primer requisito era recibir entrenamiento que lo capacitara para ser un soldado eficiente. Su entrenamiento básico fue en Fort Knox, Kentucky. Yo fui allí para su investidura. Pero su capacitación no terminó allí. Luego de su entrenamiento básico, mi hijo pasó por otras tres bases más: Fort Lee, Virginia; Fort Benning, Georgia; y Fort Polk, Louisiana, antes de ser asignado a su base permanente en Fort Bragg, Carolina del Norte.

En cada una de las bases militares a las cuales asistió, mi hijo recibió entrenamiento especializado que lo iba a capacitar para servir en el Ejército de los Estados Unidos de América. Una vez concluida la serie de entrenamiento, él ya estuvo listo para cumplir su primera misión en Iraq, donde prestó servicio por un par de años para luego regresar a su unidad militar correspondiente.

En lo espiritual, se dice que Dios no escoge a los capacitados sino que capacita a los escogidos. Igual que en los ejércitos humanos, en los cuales no se envía al campo de batalla a un recluta sin ser previamente entrenado, Dios no va a enviar a ninguno de sus siervos a cumplir una misión sin antes ser capacitados adecuadamente. Pero la gran diferencia es que la capacitación divina no necesariamente implica pasar determinado tiempo en una institución académica o un campamento espiritual.

En Lucas 24:49 dice el Señor: He aquí, yo enviaré la promesa de mi Padre sobre vosotros; pero quedaos vosotros en la ciudad de Jerusalén, hasta que seáis investidos de poder desde lo alto. El poder a que nuestro Señor se refiere es la unción del Espíritu Santo, la cual fue derramada sobre Sus discípulos el día de Pentecostés. Así, un simple pescador como Pedro fue capaz de predicar con tal poder que miles de personas se convirtieron a Jesucristo.

En Isaías 10:27 leemos: Acontecerá en aquel tiempo que su carga será quitada de tu hombro, y su yugo de tu cerviz, y el yugo se pudrirá a causa de la unción. La unción nos da la capacidad de predicar el evangelio de poder que libera a los cautivos del pecado, les da esperanza a los pobres de espíritu, sana a los enfermos, expulsa demonios y hace milagros, prodigios y señales que glorifican a nuestro Padre Celestial. Busquemos una unción fresca cada día para ser capaces de cumplir con la gran comisión que nos ha sido encomendada de hacer discípulos en todas las naciones. Dios te bendiga.

The Flesh and the Spirit are Incompatible

I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Galatians 5: 16-18

I’ve heard many people say that this life was to enjoy it. According to those who think this way, life is very short and the only thing that we carry when we die is what we have enjoyed. Therefore, this type of person prefers to live each day like it was his or her last one, they are given to pleasures and do not care about spiritual things because they think that prevent them from enjoying as is their desire. But enjoying carnal things is the opposite of the spiritual. In the flesh we live crazy life, while in the Spirit we will enjoy eternal life.

Walking in the Spirit is not easy nor is it something we can do in our natural state. The nature of every human being without exception tends to lean toward sin, not to holiness. Every day, life presents us with many temptations that pull us focus on the things of God. The media, social networks and our own friends, can drag us to do things that often lead us astray. Satisfy the desires of the flesh can lead us to our own destruction.

When I was a freshman in chemical engineering I lived in a boarding house with two other students. I was the youngest of the three and the oldest of all was Carlos, a last year student of economics who had 23 years. His father was a Spaniard merchant and his mother was a German of Jewish origin. Carlos had everything you could crave: money, good looks and ending his career.

However, Carlos preferred to live life to the fullest instead to pay attention to his studies. Repeatedly he was missing school because he slept during the day as the night wore for the pleasures: alcohol, drugs and women. A weekend in which only Carlos was on the house a friend, drinking buddy went there to get him. That day, Carlos had no intention of leaving; but his friend persuaded him saying he had a girl for him.

The party night of Carlos and his friends ended in disgrace. They went in a pickup truck his friend was driving who, amid drunkenness and drugs did not see that the road was under construction and the truck went down an embankment until it dump on itself. In turn, Carlos was thrown out of the vehicle and struck his head against a wall and died instantly. The fate of his friend and the girl who was with them was no different, he died two days later and she did four days later.

Let us try to ask God to lead us to live in the Spirit rather than living in the flesh. Not always do what we want is good for us, but the wisdom of the Spirit of God will always lead us down the right path. God bless you.

La Carne y el Espíritu son Incompatibles

Digo, pues: Andad en el Espíritu, y no satisfagáis los deseos de la carne. Porque el deseo de la carne es contra el Espíritu, y el del Espíritu es contra la carne; y éstos se oponen entre sí, para que no hagáis lo que quisiereis. Pero si sois guiados por el Espíritu, no estáis bajo la ley.

Gálatas 5:16-18

He escuchado a mucha gente decir que esta vida se hizo para gozarla. Según quienes así piensan, la vida es muy corta y lo único que nos llevamos cuando morimos es lo que hemos gozado. Por eso, este tipo de persona prefiere vivir cada día como si fuera su último, se dan a los placeres y no les importan las cosas espirituales porque piensan que les impiden gozar como es su deseo. Pero el gozar las cosas carnales es todo lo opuesto a lo espiritual. En la carne se vive la vida loca, mientras en el Espíritu vamos a disfrutar de vida eterna.

Andar en el Espíritu no es algo sencillo ni tampoco es algo que podemos hacer en nuestro estado natural. La naturaleza de todo ser humano sin excepción tiende a inclinarse hacia el pecado, no hacia la santidad. Cada día la vida nos presenta múltiples tentaciones que nos sacan del enfoque sobre las cosas de Dios. Los medios de comunicación, las redes sociales y nuestros propios amigos, nos pueden arrastrar a hacer cosas que muchas veces nos llevan por caminos equivocados. Satisfacer los deseos de la carne nos puede conducir a nuestra propia destrucción.

Cuando yo era estudiante de primer año de ingeniería química viví en una pensión junto con otros dos estudiantes más. Yo era el más joven de los tres y el mayor de todos era Carlos, un estudiante de término de economía y quien contaba con 23 años. Su padre era un comerciante español y su madre era una alemana de origen judío. Carlos tenía todo lo que se podía anhelar: dinero, buena presencia y terminando su carrera.

Sin embargo, Carlos prefería vivir su vida al máximo que prestarle atención a sus estudios. Faltaba repetidamente a clases porque dormía durante el día ya que las noches las usaba para los placeres: alcohol, drogas y mujeres. Un fin de semana en el cual solo Carlos estaba en la pensión fue un amigo suyo, compañero de juergas a buscarlo. Ese día, Carlos no tenía ánimo de salir; pero su amigo lo convenció diciendo que le tenía una chica para él.

La noche de fiesta de Carlos y sus amigos terminó en desgracia. Andaban en una camioneta que manejaba su amigo quien, en medio de la borrachera y las drogas no vio que la carretera estaba en construcción y subió la camioneta por un terraplén hasta hacerla volcar sobre sí misma. En las vueltas, Carlos salió disparado fuera del vehículo y su cabeza impactó contra un muro muriendo instantáneamente. La suerte de su amigo y la chica que los acompañaba no fue diferente, él murió dos días después y ella a los cuatro días.

Procuremos pedirle a Dios que nos conduzca a vivir en el Espíritu en lugar de vivir en la carne. No siempre hacer lo que queremos nos conviene, pero la sabiduría del Espíritu de Dios siempre nos llevará por el camino correcto. Dios te bendiga.

Prayer Badly Worded

You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

James 4:3

On numerous occasions I have heard complaints from people who ask God for things they never receive. The rationale for such people is that God is not interested in settle their problems. They say that Heavenly Father is probably very busy on other matters or simply He has forgotten them. As almost always those persons are looking for people to blame the other side, almost never stop to ponder whether their prayers are certainly on the correct order from the perspective of God or not.

Consider an event that can happen in private life. Suppose you want to take a trip somewhere and talk to your boss in the workplace to cover travel expenses to you. The answer may be yes or no. If the trip is going to serve a purpose that benefits the company, it is likely that he or she pleased. But if you wish to go for enjoying a holiday with your family on a Caribbean beach, certainly your boss will deny you the funds to cover such a trip.

During the course of my career I have enjoyed many trips which have not cost me a penny. For many of them I have not even asked but the company I worked for sent me to a congress or training. In some of those trips I went with my family paying for that part out of my pocket. It is true that in addition to conferences or training I had always space to enjoy things such as knowing the vineyards of Napa Valley in California or the museums of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington; but undoubtedly the main purpose of each of those trips was in accordance with the plans of the company.

God will not answer a prayer if made with a selfish purpose. Definitely if we ask Him to give us money to spend on things we like it is unlikely to obtain it. But if we ask this blessing in order to expand the Kingdom of God and go for the nations proclaiming the good news of salvation, it is more likely to receive it. It is also likely that God will allow us to enjoy the journey knowing places and people. I tell you from experience, since I have been on mission trips and also doing my task for God, I had time to enjoy and meet wonderful places such as Macchu Picchu in Peru or El Peñol in Colombia.

In Psalm 23 we see that God, as our pastor promises to give us wonderful things for our enjoyment. This shows that God’s intention is not that bad move on. However there is something He wants us to do first, as Psalm 37:4 says: Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. If we seek His presence first and we delight in Him, then our prayers will be answered. Let our prayers seek first meet God’s purpose not ours. Our chief delight is Him and not to satisfy our passions. As our Father, He has promised to meet all our needs, everything we need. We have to please His heart. God bless you.

La Oración Mal Formulada

Pedís, y no recibís, porque pedís mal, para gastar en vuestros deleites.

Santiago 4:3

En numerosas ocasiones he escuchado quejas de gente quienes le piden a Dios cosas que nunca reciben. El razonamiento de tales personas es que Dios no está interesado en resolverle sus problemas. Dicen que probablemente nuestro Padre Celestial está muy ocupado atendiendo otros asuntos o que simplemente Él se ha olvidado de ellos. Como casi siempre la gente anda buscando culpables del otro lado, casi nunca se detienen a meditar si ciertamente sus oraciones tienen o no el fin correcto desde la perspectiva de Dios.

Veamos un caso que puede suceder en la vida particular. Supongamos que queremos hacer un viaje a algún lugar y hablamos con nuestro jefe en el lugar de trabajo para que nos cubra los gastos del viaje. La respuesta puede ser un sí o un no. Si nuestro viaje va a servir con un fin que beneficie a la empresa, es muy probable que seamos complacidos. Pero si lo que deseamos es irnos a disfrutar de unas vacaciones con nuestra familia a una playa del Caribe, sin duda que nos negarán los fondos que cubren tal viaje.

Durante el ejercicio de mi carrera profesional he disfrutado de numerosos viajes los cuales no me han costado un centavo. Muchos de ellos ni siquiera los solicité sino que la propia empresa para la cual trabajaba me enviaba a algún congreso o entrenamiento. En algunos de esos viajes fui con mi familia costeando esa parte de mi bolsillo. Cierto es que además de los congresos o entrenamientos siempre hubo espacio para disfrutar de cosas tales como conocer los viñedos del Valle de Napa en California o los museos del Instituto Smithsoniano en Washington; pero indudablemente que el propósito principal de cada uno de esos viajes iba conforme a los planes de la empresa.

Dios no va a responder una oración formulada con un propósito egoísta. Definitivamente que si le pedimos que nos provea dinero para gastarlo en las cosas que nos agrada, es poco probable que lo obtengamos. Pero si pedimos tal bendición con el fin de expandir el Reino de Dios e ir por las naciones proclamando las buenas nuevas de salvación, es más probable que lo recibamos. Y también es probable que Dios permita que disfrutemos el viaje conociendo lugares y personas. Te lo digo por experiencia, ya que he ido en viajes misioneros y, además de hacer mi tarea para Dios, he tenido tiempo para disfrutar y conocer lugares maravillosos como el Macchu Pichu en Perú o El Peñol en Colombia.

En el Salmo 23 vemos que Dios, como nuestro pastor promete darnos cosas maravillosas para que las disfrutemos. Eso demuestra que la intención de Dios no es que la pasemos mal. Sin embargo hay algo que Él desea que hagamos primero, tal como dice Salmo 37:4: Deléitate asimismo en Jehová, y Él te concederá las peticiones de tu corazón. Si buscamos Su presencia primero y nos deleitamos en Él, entonces nuestras peticiones serán respondidas. Hagamos que nuestras oraciones procuren primero cumplir con los propósitos de Dios no los nuestros. Que nuestro principal deleite sea Él y no satisfacer nuestras pasiones. Como nuestro Padre, Él ha prometido cubrir todas nuestras necesidades, todo lo que nos haga falta. Nos toca complacer Su corazón. Dios te bendiga.

Faith, a Requirement for Effective Prayer

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.

James 1:6-7

The best way to prevent something from happening is doubt that will happen. Many people have hopes and dreams that are never realized because they simply lack the conviction that they will reach them. Spiritually, many people prays for something that never receives. When this happens, those people blame God that He is not listening and that He has been abandoned them in the midst of dire need. The truth is we did not receive what we ask for because we ignore the motor that moves the hand of God is our faith, not our need.

In the Spanish language there is a word that for me is the symbol of the doubt. That word is “ojalá”, which is translated into English as hopefully, that word came from Arabic language and literally means “if God wanted.” According to the Dictionary of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language, this interjection denotes a yearning for something to happen. However, the context in which Spanish spoken people use that word and its literal meaning indicates that they are not sure that something will happen but they want to let the uncertainty occupy a small place in their desire.

On the other hand, faith becomes the opposite of doubt. Says Hebrews 11:1: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Since faith is the substance of things hoped for, there is no room to doubt that we will get what we expect. When we pray with faith, there is the wish for if our prayer is according to God’s will, undoubtedly He wants no matter what you’re asking.

We read in Hebrews 6:11-12: And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. The fact that the answer to our prayers is not immediate does not mean that God did not listen. He can tell us that it is not the time yet or that He has a better plan for us. But if we ask what is in the plans of God and part of His promises, we must never doubt that will happen, not in our time but His, which is the perfect time.

Many people are driven by circumstances around them. I know it’s not very pleasant to live with water up to the neck; but believers walk by faith not by sight. Pray every day, convinced that we are talking with our Father in heaven, who is listening intently. Put all our faith in what we pray and we do not doubt for a moment. The lack of faith, which is equal to the presence of doubt, is what will prevent that prayer is heard and answered. If the answer tarry, all you need to do is wait for it. A Christian song says that when God is silent, it is because He is working. God bless you.