I have given them the glory that you gave me. —John 17:22
I was brought up in the Church of the Nazarene, a denomination that was born in revival. There was an unusual anointing of convicting power on that church in its early days. They had what its founder, Phineas Bresee, called "the glory."
What was that? It was the anointing—an anointing that transcended their lack of education, money, refinement, and prestige. The presence of God was at times so powerful it seemed almost impossible for lost people to enter their services without getting converted. People who came to laugh and scoff ended up smitten and on their knees in tears before God. The services were frequently characterized by shouts of joy and people waving their handkerchiefs with inexpressible happiness.
In his last days old Dr. Bresee would preach from church to church one message: "Keep the glory down." Why? He knew that if they ever lost it they were finished.
If God had His way in our churches today, what would happen? I don't know. I know how He has worked in the past. The trouble is, our education, culture, and refinement stand in the way of the Spirit having His own way.
When the anointing lifts and the glory fades away, there are always those who sadly won't admit to the withdrawal of the Spirit. They continue trying to "work it up"—creating the shouting and manifestations that become pale imitations.
Once this happens, the glory becomes yesterday's anointing in two ways. First, God may not necessarily want His glory to be manifested in precisely the same way as it had been unveiled in a previous era. Yesterday's anointing was real enough, but it was for yesterday. Second, those who "work it up" are trying to keep yesterday's anointing alive, and the flesh becomes all too obvious. They are trying to relive what God was doing yesterday but may not have chosen to do today.
Excerpted from The Anointing: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow (Charisma House, 2003).