If you grew up in the Pentecostal / Charismatic tradition like I did, you have probably heard some version of this question more times than you can count. It usually pops up after the preacher says something that we like, or the singer hits the high note just right. People say things such as, “He is really anointed,” or “that song is very anointed,” or “that church is truly anointed.” So what is the deal with anointing? Do we know it when we feel it? Can one person be more anointed than another?
1. Anointed means set-apart for a purpose
In one sense, everyone who has ever been born is anointed. Every baby comes with a God-given purpose to fulfill. From our perspective, it may seem that some people are more anointed than others, but in reality that is not the case. Another person’s call may appear to be more important or glamorous than our own, but in reality those perceived perks are usually counter-balanced with greater responsibility and burdens. We should celebrate that God has called us at all rather than worrying about how. If your role feels small, that does not make it unimportant. I don’t know the name of the person who led Billy Graham to Christ, but I think we would all agree that their assignment was a very important one.
2. Anointed Does Not Mean Holy
Unfortunately, many people choose not to follow God’s purpose. While God wants all of us to be part of His plan, He ultimately leaves the decision to us. In way of example, just because someone is given a golden bowl, does not necessarily mean that they perceive it’s value. Instead of using it for fine dining and display, they may throw it way back in the cabinet or use it as an ash tray. True, the bowl is valuable, but no one will never know it as long as you keep using it for things that it was not designed for.
3. Anointing is Not determined by sensation
What gives one person goose-bumps might infuriate another. Jesus was THE Anointed One, but people got so angry with Him that they falsely accused and murdered Him – all the while saying they were doing it for God. Inversely, there are a number of examples of people thought to be anointed who turned out to be thoroughly evil. As hard as it is to believe now, Adolph Hitler claimed to be a Christian and was “felt” to be a savior by many church-goers of his day. He played many non-discerning Christians like a cheap violin.
4. Gifts Point to Anointing
Gifts provide a good clue toward understanding the purpose God has for our life. For example, if someone has an innate gift for singing, art, language, etc., it is easy to see that God probably wants to use those gifts for His glory. It does not, however, mean that the person is using those gifts for God’s glory. Very talented people choose who they will serve with their gift just like us normal folk. Sometimes the target is God, sometimes it is the devil and sometimes it is ourselves.
While there are many other things we could discuss concerning the anointing, I hope this has stimulated your thoughts. I encourage you to quit worrying about what anointing you may or may not have. Instead, focus on God. Let Him lead your life in the direction that He want’s it to go. When you do this, you will not only be set apart, you will be actively fulfilling your purpose and destiny.
I would love to hear your thoughts!