For God's gifts and his call are irrevocable. —Romans 11:29
Because the gifts and calling of God are "irrevocable," a person who had a tremendous anointing yesterday can continue to see the momentum of that anointing continuing to manifest itself. He or she may hastily conclude that "the anointing is still with me" when it is but the momentum of yesterday's anointing.
This is sobering. I could be a hypocrite in my personal life, and yet my gift could continue to function. I could even deceive myself by telling myself, I must be right with God, or I couldn't preach. The truth is, God's calling and gifts are irrevocable. That means that God will not withdraw my preaching gift simply because I have not been a loyal, obedient son. He gave me certain abilities when He made me and called me into the ministry. By study and hard work I can improve upon those gifts—without a fresh anointing that comes only from continued intimacy with God. And when people say, "That was a good word," or "God spoke to me through you today," I could assume that God is very pleased with me indeed. One of the worst things we can do is to take compliments too seriously.
It is possible that there are those who sincerely don't know better. They are well equipped, high powered, eloquent, and charismatic; people are blessed by their ministries. These people who are thus used by God may sincerely believe they are pleasing God because their anointing is functioning so well. "I am under God's anointing," they may well say. True. But it could be yesterday's anointing. There may be nothing fresh about it.
The fresh anointing is the essential thing. It is what replenishes the irrevocable. If our irrevocable anointing is not replenished by a fresh touch of God, we are depending on yesterday's anointing.
Excerpted from The Anointing: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow (Charisma House, 2003).