The Lord said to Samuel, "How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king." —1 Samuel 16:1
Although I've read 1 Samuel 16:1 many times, one day it was as though a laser beam flashing from three different directions illuminated the verse with a clarity that shook me rigid. In one verse I saw three types of ministry: yesterday's man or woman, represented by King Saul; today's man or woman, represented by Samuel, to whom God was speaking; and tomorrow's man or woman, represented by David, whom Samuel was led to anoint.
King Saul, yesterday's man, lost God's approval but still wore the crown. Tomorrow's man, David, got the anointing but without the crown. Today's man had to break with yesterday's man and cast his lot with tomorrow's man.
In recent years I have found myself using the expression "yesterday's man." It refers to a person who ceases to be relevant. He or she may continue to minister and say things. But such a person has somehow "lost" it—he is out of touch.
He is saying the same old thing he has uttered in years gone by when it probably had impact, if not power. But it has ceased to carry weight today. Such a person often struggles to prove himself, trying to show his relevance, but the power has gone. In other words, such a person is a has-been in God's sight, thriving on his natural skills, grace-gifts, strong personality, or influential platform, and may lead many people. But God has secretly passed the greater anointing to his or her replacement—tomorrow's man or woman.
Excerpted from The Anointing: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow (Charisma House, 2003).