What are we here for?
I mean we are saved, we would go to heaven if we died so what are we still doing here?
I think we can all agree that the only reason we are still here is that God wants to use us to lead others to Christ.
We already know that the bible says that God does not want anyone to perish but wants all to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus.
We also know that the only way people are going to hear about Jesus and be able to experience Him is if we tell them,. See Romans 10:14
So now then what are the tools we need as believers to effectively communicate our message?
Most Christians would agree the most important tool we need is
The apostle Paul said if we love we have fulfilled the whole law. Galatians 5:14
Arguably we also need:
Knowledge of the word
OK…all those are true…and we need all those…
But what I want to talk about now is probably the most powerful and most misunderstood characteristic of the effective Christian witness.
Have you ever heard the same scripture explained by 2 different people and from one it had an impact and from the other it just fell flat?
Have you ever heard someone singing a song and the sound was wonderful but it didn’t touch your heart?
Have you ever heard someone singing not quite as beautifully but somehow despite that, the song melted your heart and made you want to weep? Somehow you could feel God and you just knew that He was talking to you from the song.
Ever had that experience?
Ever heard a sermon that was very well spoken, using all the right scriptures but just seemed dry? Factual but somehow irrelevant?
Ever heard a sermon that was maybe not as polished but the words spoke right to your situation and gave you answers you were waiting to hear from God?
What is the difference in these examples?
What is the piece that is included in one but clearly missing in the other?
There could be arguments about the answer to this but I believe the difference is the Anointing.
When something is anointed, whether it is singing, speaking, praying, dancing or even things such as helping, cooking or counseling, it transforms that activity to something supernatural.
Something has taken our activity and transformed it into something God uses to change lives.
It’s no longer about our ability.
It seems God has joined Himself with us and it’s not us doing it anymore it’s Him.
It’s no longer just a beautiful song, it’s a song from God’s lips to our hearts.
It’s no longer an ordinary prayer, it’s an actual audience with God Himself.
It’s no longer a Sunday sermon, it’s Jesus talking directly to me about my situation.
It’s not just a beautiful dance, it’s a vision of worship from heaven.
Ok that’s great but
What is the anointing?
One of the best definitions I discovered while studying this topic is that the anointing is God’s heart touching another person’s heart through your heart.
That is essentially what we were describing in the scenarios discussed above.
Those individuals who moved us were being used by God to touch us. They were tools being used by God.
On to the definition.
To anoint means to smear on, pour on or rub into.
In the old testament most times the substance used to anoint something was oil.
Sheep were anointed with oil to protect them from insects.
Shields were anointed with oil to help them last longer.
People were anointed as a sign of consecration or appointment to a specific office or job.
Pretty much anyone used by God for any purpose at all was referred to as God’s anointed…
This list includes but is not limited to prophets, priests and kings.
It seems God anoints those he appoints for a specific job or position.
Even Jesus our savior was anointed.
Jesus Christ means Jesus the Anointed One.
So then we can see the anointing is related to position assigned. And if the position is assigned by God, then the anointing to function in that position is given as well.
Notice it is a position assigned. Assigned by God. Not a position selected.
We don’t choose our assignment or our position in the kingdom, God does. We can only choose to embrace or reject it.
So now we see how we get the anointing, it is given to us by God at His discretion based on what He has chosen us to do.
So that prompts another question.
Why do we need the anointing?
The anointing has a two-fold purpose. It works in us and through us.
First the anointing works in us by teaching us God’s ways and transforms us into His likeness.
Secondly it works through us by giving supernatural ability to do God’s work (witnessing, preaching, teaching, etc.). ..
Remember the anointing is a Divine enablement for us to accomplish God’s purposes on earth. God’s work cannot be done through human might and power, only by His Spirit. However we are co-laborers with Him. His Spirit works in us and through us by anointing us
In the examples we listed earlier like the sermons and songs. We need the anointing to make a difference.
We saw even from our own experience that ability is not enough. You can be a great speaker but not touch hearts. You may be able to stir up emotions, but do your words prompt lifelong changes?
I’ve frequently heard and have come to believe God is not looking for ability, He is looking for availability.
It is God who does the work, He is simply looking for a vessel to use.
The anointing demonstrates the power and presence of God.
For people’s lives to be changed, we have to actually demonstrate the power of God not just talk about it.
Consider 1 Corinthians 4:20
In this verse Paul says the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.
When we are walking in the anointing it distinguishes us from those who were not sent by God.
We are distinguished from either those who decided to go because they wanted to or those who are being used by the devil to deceive.
Now consider Isaiah 10:27
This verse says the anointing destroys the yoke of bondage. This means to obliterate so completely that there is no evidence the yoke ever existed.
That is deliverance. That is what we/I need. I don’t need a well spoken sermon that does not touch my heart. I don’t need a lovely song unless the anointing is there to reach me on the inside and obliterate my bondage.
It seems to me that is what God wants to do for us and that’s what He wants to do through us.
Check out Luke 4:18-19
Given all I’ve said, I had yet another question.
Can I do anything to change my anointing?
If the gifts of God are without repentance (Romans 11:29), is it possible for us to lose our anointing or diminish the ability of it to flow through us?
According to John 3:34 Jesus had the spirit without measure….but then Jesus had this testimony John 8:29. Unfortunately I can’t say I share that characteristic with Him.
Let’s look at an Old Testament example
Let’s look at the king who was king before David.
At this point in Israel’s history the children of Israel had no king. God wanted them to be ruled by Him directly but they wanted a king like the other nations around them.
So God gave them what they asked for…He warned them first, but He honored their request.
Let’s look at 1 Samuel 10:1-10
Samuel anoints Saul as king.
He is not yet elected, but he is anointed by God to his position as king.
Look at 1 Samuel 10:9
God gives Saul another heart. This literally means that God changed Saul’s heart. God gave Saul the heart he needed to fulfill the calling He had just anointed him to. He gave him the heart of a king.
This is what God does for us also. If God calls you to be a pastor, He will develop the heart of a pastor in you.
If God calls you to be a teacher, he will give you the anointing to teach. What ever God calls you/appoints you to do, he will enable you supernaturally to do.
Saul now equipped with his new heart still has not been officially appointed as king by the people…but it is important to note God has already equipped him.
1 Samuel 10:10
The Spirit of the Lord comes upon him and he prophesies among the prophets just as Samuel told him would happen.
This was an awesome sign for Saul. He had never prophesied before…there could be no doubt in his mind that God had chosen him to be king.
Just as God confirmed His calling to Saul, He will confirm our callings to us.
A couple of verses down the people who knew Saul cannot believe he is prophesying. They know him from before but do not understand he has been transformed. They do not accept him.
Has this ever happened to you? God appoints you, anoints you to something and those who know you don’t believe?
Notice this transformation for Saul happened in like 1 day. The same thing can happen to you and people will not accept it. Especially those who know you well.
Sometimes we have to do like Saul did and keep it a secret until God chooses to reveal it.
Look at 1 Samuel 11:1-7
The spirit comes upon Saul to deliver Jabesh by singlehandedly killing the Ammonites.
1 Samuel 11:15
Saul is made king by the people.
—– Here comes the we can change it part —–
The prophet Samuel warns the people and Saul that they must be obedient.
1 Samuel 12:14-15, 24-25
1 Samuel 13:8-14
In verses 11-12 Saul gives his reason for not obeying. He says that because Samuel did not come at the appointed time, his army was getting farther and farther away from him and he feared the Philistines would kill him.
God gives Saul another chance
1 Samuel 15:1-4
1 Samuel 15:9
Samuel asks for an explanation in v. 14
Saul replies the people did it. He does not own up to his disobedience.
Samuel tells Saul obedience is better than sacrifice.
1 Samuel 15:22
Saul loses what God anointed him to do (1 Samuel 15:23)
1 Samuel 15:24
At first glance it looks like Saul repents but not really. Saul is more distressed about losing his kingship than about his disobedience to God.
He was supposed to lead the people to obedience, not be led into disobedience by fearing unpopularity.
But his pride is revealed even further in verses 30-31
He still wants to be honored by the people.
The story of Saul clearly shows the connection between obedience and anointing.
Have you ever heard the phrase
Salvation is free but the anointing is going to cost you something?
Have you ever thought about what that cost is?
Do you have any idea what the anointing costs to keep?
Anointing costs obedience.
Your level of anointing is directly affected by your level of obedience.
Understand I am not saying you have to be failure free.
Failure followed by true repentance leads to restoration. We will make mistakes absolutely scripture says so. 1 John 1:8-9
God is not concerned about our mistakes but concerned about our hearts.
Notice that was the first thing he changed in Saul was his heart.
The problem was Saul did not protect/keep his heart.
Remember the scripture Proverbs 4:23
Consider the king after Saul. King David.
King David made plenty of mistakes. Not the least of which was murder. Imagine, the king of Israel, commits murder to get a woman.
The difference between David and Saul was that David truly repented of his sin.
God calls this man a man after his own heart. Acts 13:22
When we make choices we have to understand the impact of those choices in our life.
We must ask will it affect my anointing?
Is this choice worth potentially reducing God’s ability to work through me?
Remember the first step to ministering with the anointing is being filled with the Holy Spirit. As we begin to obey God consistently, He will be able to release through us more and more of His power/anointing.
We are never commanded to be anointed.
We are also not rebuked for not being powerful enough.
But we are commanded to obey.
The anointing is God’s job. God always anoints those He appoints as they submit to His will with humility and obedience.
Now we ask the final question
Why should we protect the anointing?
We should protect the anointing on our lives because it is the only thing that brings deliverance.
It’s really that simple…our human ability alone cannot bring deliverance. Only God’s anointing can. If we want to be effective tools used by God we have to be in a position for His anointing to flow through us unhindered by disobedience.
God knows we are all a work in progress and mistakes are a given.
God is asking us to protect the anointing He has given us so we can effectively share His heart with those people He has chosen us to reach.