What Hurricane Harvey's Damage Can Teach Us About the Holy Spirit's Anointing

Tropical Storm Harvey is seen approaching the Texas Gulf Coast, U.S., in this NOAA GOES East satellite image taken at 10:07 ET (14:07 GMT) Aug. 24, 2017. (NOAA/Handout via Reuters)

The Energy Information Administration's petroleum status report estimated daily oil production to be 9.528 million barrels last week. Daily production, during the week, is 26,000 barrels higher than the week before; 980,000 higher than the previous year; and the highest in 25 months. Four-week average daily production is 11.3 percent higher than last year, while the cumulative daily average is 4.2 percent higher than a year ago.

Petroleum imports (cumulative daily average) are 2.2 percent higher than a year ago, whereas four-week average daily imports are down -3.1 percent. Petroleum exports (cumulative daily average) are a whopping 63.2 percent higher than the previous year, while the four-week average is 19 percent higher.

Crude oil inventories are -0.3 percent lower than the previous week and -3.9 percent lower than the previous year. Gasoline inventories are -0.5 percent lower for the week, and -1.2 percent lower than a year ago.

Hurricane Harvey is currently the biggest factor in the petroleum market. The Texas Gulf Coast has approximately 1/3 of U. S. petroleum refining capacity and nearly 1/5 of U. S. petroleum production. Harvey became a Category 4 hurricane (winds of 131-155 mph) just before it made land. Wind damage is significant.

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At this writing, damage assessments have not been made. But, rainfall amounts are epic and flood damage will be even more significant than wind damage. Some areas of Texas are expected to receive 40-plus inches of rain before Harvey leaves. Floods are more likely to be damaging to refining capacity than production. Depending on the amount of eventual damage and how long it takes to repair, Harvey is likely to cause higher gasoline prices and lower petroleum prices.

In the Scriptures, oil is repeatedly used as a symbol of the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament, kings were often anointed with oil as a symbol of the Spirit consecrating them for office. David was anointed with oil, and the Spirit came on him from that day forward. Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit and power to preach, heal, deliver and do good.

"Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord came on David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah" (1 Sam. 16:13).

"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 preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind to set at liberty those who are oppressed" (Luke 4:18).

"How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him" (Acts 10:38).

If Old Testament prophets, priests, righteous kings and military leaders needed the anointing of the Holy Spirit, how much more do we need Him today?  If God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power, how much more do we need Him today?  If the disciples were not to leave Jerusalem until they had been baptized with the Holy Spirit, how much more do we need Him today?  If the first church (a mega-church of 3,000) was born on the day of Pentecost, how much more do we need Him today?  If the early apostles and believers evangelized the known world after they were baptized with the Spirit, how much more do we need Him today?

Paul was stoned, beaten, whipped, shipwrecked and imprisoned. He was sometimes hungry and thirsty, and endangered by his countrymen, Gentiles and robbers. But Paul was never without power. Ananias had anointed him with the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:17). The Holy Spirit convicts, bears witness, comforts, consecrates, gives guidance and empowers. He finished his race. He changed the world for the glory of the Lord Jesus. He wrote the majority of the New Testament for our benefit. If we want to finish our race with victory, we also need the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

Current times demand that believers be filled with power. Domestic and global unrest, economic and political uncertainty, terrorism and a cultural war that attacks the very foundations of Judeo-Christian mores, necessitates the power of the Holy Spirit to be victorious. Fortunately, the Father has promised to give the Holy Spirit to all who ask.

"If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" (Luke 11:13).

Perhaps it is time that we all take the charge to commune with the Holy Spirit seriously. Perhaps we can become more significant, victorious and like the Lord Jesus.

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen" (2 Cor. 13:14).

Dr. James Russell is a professor of economics at Oral Roberts University.

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