Of all the lucky winners, he was the most deserving of good fortune, but even so, no one could say he deserved it. It was still sheer gift.
And, anyway, the size of the gift outweighed anything he might have “deserved.”
And so it is with us. Roald Dahl’s story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a parable about grace. Grandpa Joe says: “I’ve heard tell that what you imagine sometimes comes true,” but the very best that you can imagine for your own life and future is tawdry stuff compared to God’s plans for you.
“I’ve got a golden ticket!”
There is an anointing upon the People of God. It’s a golden ticket that we could never deserve. It is a sign of ownership, an empowerment for service and a guarantee of God’s future for us.
This is how Paul explains it: “It is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (2 Corinthians 1: 21-22)
The anointing, according to this verse, comprises three great assurances available to every believer.
You are ESTABLISHED. The word means “made firm or stable” or “set on a firm basis.”
The same promise is reiterated across the letters of Paul:
“As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.” (Colossians 2:6-7)
“But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.” (2 Thessalonians 3:3)
You are CONSECRATED. The word conveys the idea of being “designated as having authority or power”.
John writes of the anointing of the Holy Spirit on the believer. “But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you.” (1 John 2:27) “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17) Jesus said to His disciples: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
You are SEALED: the word means “made secure or safe”; “guaranteed”; “assured”.
“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14)
“Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are His.” (2 Timothy 2:19).
A final word from Roald Dahl:
“Mr. Wonka: “Don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted.”
Charlie Bucket: “What happened?”
Mr. Wonka: “He lived happily ever after.”