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Monday, April 5, 2010

Who Has God's Anointing Today?

Anointing is rarely spoken of except in charismatic denominations. There is such a mystery that has been placed around it that many Christians do not understand the term. That is why they often treat their ministers as if they are employees and ministers often comply by acting like employees.

The Old Testament applied anointing to kings and priests. They were chosen by God to perform God's work. Thus, you have Aaron and the priests who follow him being anointed with oil. You also see the kings of Israel receiving an anointing to designate that they have been set aside for the Lord's work.

Anointing was done by pouring oil a person's head. (At least for these purposes. There are other examples of inanimate objects being anointed. These objects were set aside for the Lord's use.) The person should have had a command from God to do so. Anointing was a calling and an office which received God's support. These anointed ones were not coerced to follow the Lord. They could commit egregious acts against their Lord. The Lord was patient with them but would eventually remove His support. They had both a great privilege and great responsibility due to their anointing.

The use of oil is unnecessary today. The Holy Spirit should be recognized by spiritual people and they should designate those among them as "anointed." The hands of the elders designate whom they believe God has called to His work. These people should be able to recognize the presence and the work of the Holy Spirit upon another's life. They should carefully consider the person before they convey their belief in the calling. Too many churches have been damaged by the acceptance of someone who does not have God's calling.

All ministers should have God's anointing. They should know that they are specifically set aside by God for the ministry. They should know that their strength and wisdom comes from the Lord. They should be people of prayer because for they depend upon their Lord to guide them in the things they do. They need to know that the circumstances do not always indicate what the Lord is doing.

Anointed ministers preach and teach because of their anointing. They have an ability to communicate that cannot be equated with good technique. They may not even be that interesting but God's spirit is so mightily upon them that people are convicted, challenged, taught and encouraged by what has been said. Thus, you have a Jonathan Edwards who being nearsighted leaned forward to read his sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" with God-sized numbers of people coming to know the Lord.

Unfortunately, many ministers today are doing their work in their own strength. They lack God's anointing. They made their decisions to enter the ministry because they didn't know what else to do.They may have loved the Lord and His word and wanted a profession which would allow them to spend time with both. It may be that their fathers were in the ministry and they wanted to please them. It may be that others told them that they needed to go into the ministry. They may be able to give interesting messages that everyone likes. They may be able to give comfort to others but their ministry never gives any indication of God's anointing. It never grows. It never shows God's power.

God's anointed are not immune from downturns. Jesus, Himself, had many of His disciples leave Him when He began teaching things they did not wish to believe. He comes to the twelve and asks them if they will leave too. Peter (God bless him!) asks where they would go. He saw that God's anointing was on Jesus. He wouldn't receive that from the Pharisees, other teachers and the Priests.

Unspiritual people cannot recognize God's anointed. This, like all other spiritual things, are revealed by the spirit. Thus, they will lay their hands on any number of people whom will later be called ministers but lack God's anointing. These "ordained" will be frustrations to their churches and to themselves.

The church needs employees who may not be anointed too. They can teach and sometimes preach very effectively. They can be extremely dedicated to the Lord. They are not second class to those who are anointed. The anointed understand that they should follow the pattern of Jesus and become the servant of all. But these employees will not have the responsibility of those who are anointed.

There is a blessed continual concern pursuing the anointed. It is not a fear of losing their positions in the church. In fact, whether they have a church to minister in makes little difference to them. They are called to do God's work, not called to get paid for the work. They are not called to worry about keeping their jobs, nor in doing what the people desire. They must continue to listen to God intently. The Apostles stopped waiting on tables because they did not want to neglect prayer and God's word. It is the same for all of God's anointed for the pressure they feel is to stay connected closely with their Lord. They do not depend upon their own abilities. They know all that they do of significance is done by the Lord Himself.

God's anointing exists today. He still shows Himself to be mighty through His anointed.

Paul's warning to Timothy:
1 Timothy 5:22a (NIV)
Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands . . .

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is precisely what I used to be seeking! THANK YOU VERY MUCH!