RECOGNIZING THE ANOINTING
By Rodney W. Francis
Much is being said and written today on the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. It is cause for rejoicing as we hear of many examples of people being transformed into new creations in Christ Jesus. The infilling of the Holy Spirit is sent into the life of the Christian believer so that he/she might be an anointed witness of the truth, “as it is in Jesus” (Ephesians 4:21 ). Without the anointing of God’s Holy Spirit in us ~ and upon us ~ our Christianity will be limited to a “mechanical operation” devoid of God’s life and power. We must be reminded that it is one thing to start off in this new life in the Holy Spirit ~ it is entirely another thing to continue on in the anointing of the Holy Spirit. This article has come into being as a direct result of a growing concern within the writer’s heart of the great need today for Holy Spirit-filled Christians to recognize the anointing. To accept everything that is preached and done as being “anointed of God” would be folly indeed. We must face up to the realities of the times in which we are living and know the spirit that is motivating the words and the deeds in our midst.
The anointing of the Holy Spirit will not justify anything in our lives that is not of God ~ either personal or traditional ~ and therefore we should carry an earnest desire to walk in the anointing at all times. The anointing is the quickening (the “making alive”) of God’s Holy Spirit within us to make REAL the words and deeds of Jesus to others. For this to happen through us, we must first learn to recognize when God is revealing His Word and Works to us. He does this by His Spirit, the anointing. The Bible says:
“. . . God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with 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” (Acts 10:38 , NKJV).
This verse tells us what Jesus was anointed with ~ the Holy Spirit and power. It tells us what He was anointed for ~ to go about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed by the devil. The authority behind the things He did was ~ “for God was with Him.”
Holy Spirit-filled Christians are people who have received the same Holy Spirit that Acts 10:38 tells us of (there is no other Holy Spirit). Jesus returned to His Father in order that the Holy Spirit of God could be sent unto us (John 16:7-15 ), and to empower our lives for His service. Once the Holy Spirit of God comes into us, our first priority in life should be to allow Him to take control ~ of us! For when He is in control we will naturally go about doing good, bringing healing and deliverance to the oppressed, and setting the captives free from the subtleties of Satan. Our authority is in the knowledge (by the Holy Spirit and confirmed by the Word) that GOD IS WITH US! Let that authority get you into action for the Glory of God!
Let us now look briefly at two areas where it is vitally important that we recognize the anointing . . .
1. THE MINISTER AND MINISTRY
Any Christian who is involved in any kind of ministry ~ full-time or otherwise ~ should be very much aware of the need for God’s Holy Spirit anointing, both in his life and in those things which he/she seeks to do. Our example to follow must always be Jesus Christ Himself. He made it plain to His disciples how important the Holy Spirit’s anointing is in one’s life. He said:
“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63 ).
What is Jesus saying? Simply this, that if we do not minister in the anointing of the Holy Spirit, we profit absolutely nothing! Outside of the realm of the Holy Spirit is the realm of the flesh. And, Christian minister, if we are not ministering in the realm of God’s Holy Spirit anointing we are attaining absolutely nothing of eternal value! Our efforts are fruitless and profitless. The Apostle Paul spoke it plainly:
“. . . for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Corinthians 3:6 ).
To seek to minister to people outside of the anointing of God will defeat our purpose, as well as kill both our spirit and the spirit of those who hear us (and that is very sad). There is no place in our pulpits for anything but anointed messengers and messages. But alas, such a lot of what we hear today is nothing more than intellectual sermonizing and entertainment ~ a playing with words.
· · God’s Holy Spirit should be witnessed first and foremost through the minister and his/her ministry.
Why is this? Because he/she is in a place of setting an example to those he/she ministers to. If he/she has nothing to give (from the Holy Spirit of God working in and through him/her) what can the people receive? Ministers cannot produce life by ministering the letter which kills. Ministers must learn to walk in the anointing daily. We cannot expect that because we knew an anointing in God a few months or years back that we are automatically walking in the anointing now. It is true that the anointing abides, but we also must abide in the anointing!A “has-been” will not accomplish anything for God unless he/she first gets back into the flow of the anointing. We can all examine our own hearts in this area ~ and need to continually so that nothing creeps in unawares and robs us of the fulfillment of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Remember Samson (Judges Chapters 13 to 16)? He knew the power of God’s Spirit in a mighty way, but he drifted away to the point that he did not even know when the Spirit of God had departed from him! He did not recognize or discern the change taking place; he just “took it for granted” that God was still with him, but He wasn’t. We must guard against the same apathy in our own hearts.
2. THE CONGREGATION or HEARERS
Just as it is important that the minister of God be an anointed person, it is also important that the people he/she preaches to know the anointing. When we hear an anointed message, full of the life of the Holy Spirit, we should take heed and learn all we can from it. The benefits are tremendous. It is equally so that if we hear a message that is not anointed, then we are under no obligation to heed it ~ unless you want to die spiritually. This is in no way an excuse for Christians to accept or reject what they want to, for they who are really walking in the anointing also have a deep hunger for the Word of God, and want all that God has for them. If in this area we can recognize the anointing ~ when it is there and when it is not ~ then a lot of spiritual progress is going to be made by the Church. For too long we have accepted all that has been preached to us, and much of it is because we have not recognized and discerned when the Holy Spirit of God was missing. When we sit in church and hear the Word of God preached it is imperative that we have that kind of preaching that ministers LIFE to our spirits, builds us up for the battles we face, and gives us the revelation knowledge that we are Christ-containers in a needy world.
I share this burden with you in order that together we might move forwards in God’s plans and purposes in this very hour. We do not have time to be “playing church,” or to be “tickling one another’s ears,” for we have been endued with power from on high to do the will of God and to extend His Kingdom. This is a little of the purpose of the Holy Spirit anointing ~ let us recognize that anointing and flow with it always. Amen.