You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. (Ps. 23:5)

THE GENTLEMAN STEPPED UP to the podium, dressed in a gray suit and colorful tie. He stood tall to display authority, even though his insides were like jelly. He knew the crowd would be mixed—not everyone would be on his side. Still, he had a message to share and he choked down his fear to speak the words he had prepared. He said a silent prayer and felt the warmth of God’s touch. Fear turned to peace and confidence. His audience could not dispel the intent of the Spirit.

Not all of us can isolate ourselves on a consistent basis, never encountering unpleasant crowds, big or small. Many of us face daily resistance. We are present in the world where our enemies watch and wait for a time to discredit us and God’s work in our lives. Sometimes the courage to continue the fight wanes when we think of the forces against us.

We all have enemies, some seen and some unseen. Our friends might even be against us at times, making us feel as though we have been abandoned. But the anointing of the Spirit is always available to empower us to flourish in our world of resistance. We can face the strongest foe and have strength left over to do more than we ever dreamed in our surroundings.

How great is the love of God to anoint us when we are weak.

Before you go out into the world, seek the anointing of the Spirit.

Jan Cline is the author of three devotional books. She is a speaker and founder and director of a Christian writers’ conference in the Northwest.