Last week, we talked a little bit about the word, ‘anointing’ and what it means. Here’s a little more on that subject:
The anointing: this is a phrase often used, but rarely explained. Have you ever heard someone say, “He’s anointed”, “she’s anointed” or “There’s an anointing on that person?” There’s usually an agreement. You know they’re right, but you can’t explain it. Or, you ask that person what they mean by ‘an anointing’ and instead of explaining, they look at you funny; as if you should know or they can’t explain it either. What is the anointing, how does it come and how does it leave? The Bible instructs us ‘to anoint with oil.’ This is a physical anointing, a ceremony which can be public or private, and use differing forms of oil (olive oil, for example) by which we invite the Holy Spirit to do His work—inward healing, outward ministry—in the life of a believer. Much like baptism, it is the outward sign of an inward commitment. Throughout the Bible, we see the Holy Spirit work in the lives of His prophets and apostles in ‘an anointing’ without the anointing of oil. In fact, most of ‘the called’ were doing nothing spectacular—minding their own business—when the Holy Spirit called and anointed them to do the work of God:
- David was tending sheep.
- Moses was tending sheep.
- The Disciples were fishing and collecting taxes.
- Saul (Paul) was on his way to Damascus; was a severe persecutor of the Christian church.
And there are others.
Can an anointing leave a person? It can, if we are willfully disobedient; if we do not remember to keep holy:
- The Temple (Ezekiel 10:18)
So who can be anointed? We are all anointed by the Holy Spirit at the point of our salvation (1 John 2:20-29), but as Watchman Nee explained, the anointing becomes greater as we become more broken to ourselves—more holy. Like a dam, we must break for the Spirit to pour through. We must be submissive to the Spirit’s leading—which means allowing Him to ‘break our flesh.’ The greater we are broken from ourselves, the greater the Spirit’s anointing flows through.
So how does the anointing come? There is nothing we can do to earn it. It is a free gift. We receive it by accepting it; we can do everything to keep it by being holy, and to allow God to nurture it. We just have to be willing to yield to brokenness—to endure trials of many kinds (James 1:2).