There are countless resources that explain how to become a better public speaker. There are conferences that tell a church how to grow larger. I even had the opportunity to attend a Seeds conference in Oklahoma that showed how make all aspects of a Sunday morning church service more professional and appealing.
We are infatuated with church growth and big building. Yet the overall effectiveness of the church in the world in minimal. Maybe we have paraded the gifted too much instead of pursuing Jesus and walking in his anointing.
I. Defining Anointing
The anointing comes from the ministry of the Holy Spirit. We need to define two things about the anointing:
Anointing means the pouring on or rubbing in of oil.
Anointing means God appointing someone to office, and God attending that office with them through His Presence. He empowers them them through the Holy Spirit to serve in that office.
The anointing is for every believer. It’s not superficial - it is real. It’s not a feeling, and it's not just sounding spiritual. We are anointed because we have encountered the Anointed one, the Christ!
There is a circle of spirit-filled churches that view anointing as an electric moment. Anointing is not simply a miracle manifestation. The anointing of the Holy Spirit is given to each of us for the promise and power of His presence to work His purpose in us.
Isaiah 10:27 (NKJV): It shall come to pass in that day That his burden will be taken away from your shoulder, And his yoke from your neck And the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil.
This is a prophetic promise for God to release His power through the anointing of the Holy Spirit to set people free and to walk with the Lord.
1 John 2:24-27 (NKJV): Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life. These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.
John says that you have an anointing that abides in you. John wasn’t saying you don’t need teaching. He was not talking about instruction. He was talking about intrusion, those things that are characterized by another spirit - a spirit that was bringing confusion by distorting God’s truth.
John 15:5 (NKJV): “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
Vine and the branches: We tend to focus on the imagery of the teaching about the branch get its strength from the vines and fruitfulness, but the verb abide is equally important.
Abide: to remain, or to reside; The anointing dwells in us.
We don’t receive God’s anointing out of our own righteousness but through God's sovereign will. God anoints us by giving us His power and presence to accomplish His purpose and will for our lives. This anointing is there as we abide in Him.
When we talk about the anointing, we are usually talking about the dimension of the manifestation of the power of God. We say that the message is anointed because of the authority from which it was declared, and for how it touches hearts and changes people as they hear the message. When we talk about the manifestation of healing and people being set free, we are talking about the dynamic of the power of the anointing.
II. Jesus is always our Example
Luke 4:18-19: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”
Jesus was a man full of the Holy Spirit. He ministered through the Spirit's power and anointing.
Isaiah 53:3-6: He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.
This is referring to Jesus coming to earth and dying on the cross. Look what He went through to set us free and to heal us.
Matthew 10:5-8: Jesus sent out the twelve apostles with these instructions: “Don’t go to the Gentiles or the Samaritans, but only to the people of Israel—God’s lost sheep. Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!
If Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit to minister this way, don’t you think that we need to be as well?
III. The anointing comes through crushing/brokenness
Psalms 51:16-17: You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
David wrote this Psalm after he fell into sin with Bathsheba. He was trying to offer a sacrifice to cover his sins, but God desires a broken and contrite spirit.
Psalms 34:18: The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
Isaiah 57:14-15: God says, “Rebuild the road! Clear away the rocks and stones so my people can return from captivity.” The high and lofty one who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this: “I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.
James 4:6-10: And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.
Brokenness helps us to get to the end of ourselves and our own strength, and to draw near to God to let Him lift us up so that we rely on His strength.
Paul fully understood the value of walking in the anointing.
1 Corinthians 2:1-5: When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan. For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.
If we are not helping people to be set free from bondage, if we are not seeing the broken restored and the sick healed, if we are not seeing people transformed and walking in the rich, abundant life of Christ, then we are wasting our time.
Our goal is not to become a large church. Our goal is to see people encounter and to be transformed into His likeness. The only way this will happen is through the Anointing. Anointing comes at a cost. That means we have to follow Jesus wherever He leads and do whatever He asks of us, no matter how difficult it may be.
Isaiah 43:1-3: But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.