You have an anointing from the Holy One. —1 John 2:20

One of the most frightening comments I have heard since I entered the ministry was uttered by an Episcopalian priest in America: "If the Holy Spirit were taken completely from the church, 90 percent of the work of the church would go right on as if nothing had happened!"

What a travesty of what the church was meant to be! And can it be true also of our personal lives—that many of us are churning out "Christian" activity that has no touch of God upon it?

There is only one antidote to such a situation. It is breathtaking in its possibility, it is awesome in its power, and it is liberating in its effect. It is quite simply—the anointing.

The anointing is the power of the Holy Spirit.

Several years ago someone came into my vestry and asked me, "What do you mean by the anointing?" I remember replying something like this: "It's a gift that functions easily when it's working."

It does not follow, of course, that all that functions easily is our anointing. Some things come easily that are not necessarily good—eating, talking too much, or watching more television than is good for us. Temptation comes easily, and we may find it "natural" to do things that are not productive.

The anointing, however, leads to what is good; it blesses and encourages others. And its function is carried out with ease and without strain or fatigue.

When the anointing is working, it is as natural and easy for our gift to function as eating or talking with friends. The gift is always there but doesn't always function easily. The anointing of that gift makes it function with ease.

Whether you are a secretary, professional person, homemaker, truck driver, or minister, the possibility of the anointing is there all the time; you never know when God will manifest Himself in an unusual way.

Excerpted from The Anointing: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow (Charisma House, 2003).

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