Serving at church recently made me realize the absolute necessity of the anointing of the Spirit of God. While I have known that as Christians we need to be able to access the tangible presence of God, what I experienced the other night further cemented the truth that without the anointing, no lasting or eternal fruit will be produced.
I have the privilege of serving on the baptism team here at Bethel Church. Once a month our team prays, prophesies, encourages, and teaches those who are coming to be baptized. Making disciples and helping them to be stronger in their relationship with Jesus is such an honor and so much fun!
As one of the pastors of the church was teaching those attending about baptism she began to share about what Jesus had done in her life. She was so excited as she recounted how Jesus had never left her-even during the darkest time in her life. Because she had opened her heart and shared something personal, the room seemed to grow in excitement and hope that, we too, could have this kind of personal, passionate relationship with Jesus! What we did next touched us all so deeply.
The pastor encouraged us to press into the Spirit of God that was hovering in the room, just waiting to descend upon us. The air was pregnant with the heart and passion of God for us, His children. Our team began to go around the room and lay hands on each person coming to be baptized and release the power and presence of God into their lives. As soon as we began praying in tongues and releasing the very presence of God inside of us, He came. His love became so real, His hope so present. Everything we needed or wanted in that moment was within reach because Jesus was there. The love of God was made so real to me in that moment. This is the anointing!
Sometimes Christians can get confused at the word anointing. What does it mean? Is the anointing some magical mist that falls from the sky on a “special few” who are doing “special things”? Um, …..no! Here is what the Bible says about the anointing. To anoint actually means to smear. Another definition is endowment. Interesting words. I like the word “smear”. It makes me think of my girls when they were younger and they would put mud or paint all over themselves. I believe this illustration shows us how easy it is to walk in the anointing. We just have to welcome Him to completely cover us and take control of our lives. The very Spirit of the living God makes His home in us and takes over our lives. But we have to let Him.
We cannot afford to miss living in the anointing of God. We cannot afford to go through life and church and ministry just going through the motions. It is imperative to have God’s presence both in our individual lives and in the midst of our gatherings. If we do not, we miss experiencing the abundant life that Jesus came to give us (John 10:10). I think back to the meeting I referenced in the beginning of this writing. If we would have just talked about Jesus but never invited Him-His very presence-to come, we would have all left unchanged. We do not only need to talk about Him, we need to invite Him to come and speak, reveal, and do what only He can do! This is what it looks like to walk in the anointing. It literally means that we spend so much time with Jesus that we leave smeared in Him! We love like Him, talk like Him, and do what He does.
Jesus walked in the anointing. If He needed to, then we certainly need to! Matthew 3:13-17 recounts the first recorded story of Jesus being anointed by His heavenly Father. Verse 16-17 says that Jesus saw the heavens opened and a dove ascending upon Him. Then He heard the voice of God tell Him that He was pleased with Him. In Luke 4:18-19 Jesus reads the prophecy written about Him hundreds of years prior to Him standing and reading it in the synagogue that day. It says, ” The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” Acts 10:38 says, “How Jesus Christ of Nazareth was anointed by the Holy Spirit and with power who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”
Endowment is also one of the definitions of the anointing. This simply means that we have been given something. It does not take too long into our Christian walk to realize that we need lots of help if we are going to live like Jesus! We are not just called to sit around our house and read our Bibles, go to church, go to work, and do it all over again. We are called to rule and reign with Jesus to see the kingdom of God come not only in our lives, but in the world. We are called to be lovers of God and others. We are called to raise up the next generation to love Jesus and to change the world. We are called to see others set free from bondage and oppression and sin. This takes the anointing! Jesus was keenly aware of this when He stood to read Isaiah 61 (Luke 3) that says that He would bring long-awaited freedom, healing, and the rule of God to earth. He knew that this would take power and authority. This would require the anointing!
I John 4:17 says that just as Jesus is in this world, so are we. He is the model for every part of our lives, since we are made in His image and with His glory. Just as Jesus was utterly dependent upon every word that came from His heavenly Father (Matthew 4:4), so are we to be. This is a huge key to walking in the anointing and presence of God. Every person needs God’s presence. Every mom. Every dad. Every businessperson. Every pastor. Everyone.
Spending time with Jesus daily is so vital to keeping our relationship alive and real. This is the place where we hear God speak through His Spirit and His Word. This is where the power and love come from-from simply being with Him. It is not hard to go and change the world (or to see changes within ourselves) when we have been with Him. When He shares His heart with us.
As Jesus was getting ready to ascend back to heaven, He realized the necessity of leaving His presence with His disciples. He knew they could not fulfill His plans for them without it. Acts 1-2 records the experience of the Holy Spirit being poured out on those who waited for Him. The rest of the New Testament and history are a result of them receiving this promise. From receiving the person of the Holy Spirit. And the rest of History will be written by those who have welcomed and embraced the precious gift of the Spirit of God working in and through our lives.