DISCERNING THE ANOINTING
(practical aspect of anointing in church ministry)
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that burdens will be removed from your shoulder,
and the yoke from your neck, and bad things will be destroyed because of the anointing.”
Scenario: You are teaching an adult Sunday school class. Suddenly you are acutely aware of the
Holy Spirit’s presence. How can you take advantage of the moment? You did not accept this position just
because someone asked you to. You accepted it because you knew beyond any doubt that God called you
to do this. Too many people try to function within a holy office when they were not called by God to do so.
You did not do that, right?
A twofold thing is happening. There is an anointing on you when you are in ministry whether you
have been aware of it or not. One anointing is when you stand in the sacred office of a teacher.
This is the same anointing that came to you when you accepted Christ into your heart, but it was enhanced
when God called you to teach. You are standing before your class and suddenly there is
a heavier anointing that just came upon you. You feel it, you know it, and it has settled on your
shoulders like an overcoat. This is no time to blow it.
Believers today use the expression “anointing” carelessly, often grouping all extraterrestrial experiences into
the anointing category. In the Old Testament, God anointed kings, priests, and prophets. We know of only
one prophet who was a woman. Her name was Huldah. There may have been an undisclosed number of
other female prophets, but the Bible does not record any. God did not anoint lay people. David was
anything but, for he was anointed in all three positions – king, priest, and prophet.
There is no question that he won God’s heart. He prepared himself.
He wanted it. You are going to have to do the same.
When Jesus left his heavenly throne, he took on human form. In order to stand in all of God’s offices such as
evangelist (healer), prophet, teacher, etc, he needed to be anointed by God in the same way as anyone
else. Since Jesus, the Old Testament system no longer applies, and lay people can now be anointed without
having to be a king, priest, or prophet. Actually, it is questionable if kings today have any anointing at all.
That also applies to multitudes of preachers and priests at every level.
And goodness knows, we have a slew of false prophets among us.
If you think that none of these appointments will ever apply to you, know that God anoints those who are
intercessors (sometimes called prayer warriors), and anyone can accept that holy office.
To be seriously effective in that office, however, God must baptize you in the Holy Spirit. In other words, you
will receive the gift of tongues whereby you can intercede in a heavenly language beyond your human
understanding. You will call down things from heavenly places that you know not, and your prayers will
powerfully effect changes and bring God’s divine plan into being. Not all people have to seek the gift of
tongues. Sometimes, although rarely, it happens at conversion, however most people request this gift from
God out of a desire to be used in a greater way. God never denies a sincere seeker of this gift.
I use the word "gift", but the anointing is not to be confused with gifts of the Spirit.
This is much stronger and specific.
So now, we have established that God’s anointing has not only been upon you since you accepted Christ as
your savior, but that a second and decidedly stronger anointing falls upon you in five positions: if you preach,
pastor, teach, prophesy, or intercede. If you aspire to be more than hum drum average, if you want to be
sensitive to the Holy Spirit to the degree that you know when the Spirit draws near, covering you like a mantle
(or cloak), God will do this for you. But you need to be willing to allow the Spirit to use you as a vessel,
working through you to a point whereby you will no longer have your own way, nor want it. You will step aside
and let the Spirit lead, especially if what you are suddenly embarking upon was not what you planned. You
will leave your own understanding behind, set aside your prepared Sunday school lesson, and allow the Holy
Spirit to direct you. Stepping out in faith in this manner can be nerve racking. You will no longer be in
control. Well, isn’t that what you’ve wanted all along? Is that not what you prayed for?
An anointing has nothing to do with a spiritual gift. Most Christians have gifts. Even non-Christians have
them. This is deeper and specific only to the five categories just mentioned.
I’ve used teaching as an example. You may have a different anointing, or another anointing in addition to
teaching. The Bible is very specific that Jesus was anointed for all the gifts. As the contemporary expression
goes: “don’t try this at home.” It is rare that someone has several gifts, but it’s certainly not unheard of.
Sometimes a pastor is not only anointed to preach, but has the gift of healing as well. Or the gift of
prophecy. Or the gift of teaching, etc.
Find out where your anointing is and step into that office only. Don’t go where you aren’t supposed to.
A prophet, for example, is never accepted in his or her own country, according to Scripture.
In other words, your family and friends are the last ones who are going to believe you’re a prophet,
so move on to where the Holy Spirit can use you. If you prophesy, this is something which goes beyond a
testimony. It is more serious and is sometimes given though public tongues and interpretation. Its purpose is
to exhort, edify, and bring comfort to the saints. The office of prophet is almost like a profession. It is much
more intense, and prophetic words of God are spoken not only to God’s people, but most often are spoken
to the people of the world who are not born again A true prophet speaks dramatic truths through the power
of the Holy Spirit and is never the winner of a popularity contest.
No matter what office in which you minister, you will need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, walking by faith
and not by sight. There are degrees of anointing. Each person receives what God gives them: nothing
more, nothing less. Most times you will have no clue as to when this mantle is coming, but you will definitely
know when it has arrived. There is no way you can turn the anointing on or off. You have no say and no
power of your own in the matter. You will just give yourself to the Holy Spirit’s leading, often speaking words
you never intended, and even allowing miracles to be performed through you which you never anticipated.
In time, God’s anointing will always increase upon and through you. God will use you as God determines.
In summary, seek God for the baptism of the Holy Spirit if you do not already speak in tongues. It’s easier
than you think and is a must. You have an anointing upon you, but if you haven’t studied and sought God,
then your anointing has likely decreased, maybe even disappeared. It is not a good thing for you to accept
an office of God and not qualify yourself to be anointed to your potential. You have been quenching the Holy
Spirit, and that’s dangerous. You definitely can have an awareness of the manifestation of God’s presence.
You can walk in the power of the anointing. As in the Scripture verse above, the yoke of all negative things
in your life will be destroyed when you are under the anointing.