Though hard to define, the anointing of the Holy Spirit makes all the difference in our lives. Here’s why.
God is constantly trying to get us through a “this” so He can get us to a “that.” As Peter told the onlookers from the upper room experience, “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel” (Acts 2:16, KJV, emphasis added).
This is what I know: There is a place in the spirit realm where every believer longs to go, and when we get to that place, we don’t want to leave. We want to dwell there. Where is thatplace? Inthe anointing.
Men and women of God have operated in the anointing throughout history. While being eaten by lions, they sang; while being blindfolded and waiting for bullets to fire through their entire bodies, they prayed in peace; and as Stephen was being stoned, he looked up to heaven and asked God, “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge” (Acts 7:60). These saints of God paid the ultimate price for their commitment to the cause of the anointing. We as the church long to be infiltrated with it more and more.
So what is the anointing? It is joy, passion, power, glory, confidence, boldness and authority. It makes you cry. It makes you laugh. It gives you righteous indignation. It is the power to preach, sing, witness, testify and do spiritual warfare. It is peace. It comes suddenly, and it takes time. It is meek, and it is strong. The anointing will come to get you through the death of a loved one, the rebellion of a child, the midnight of a divorce, the challenge of a special-needs child or the pain of a suffering parent or loved one.
Some of these descriptions sound almost like an oxymoron. Yet when the anointing comes, it creates a divine paradox—just as it did at the beginning of creation. Light exposes darkness. Truth confronts lies. Life confronts death. Everything that can be shaken is removed so the things that can’t be shaken will remain.
God wants each of His children to walk in the anointing and giftings He has destined for our lives. I also believe He wants to impart a “fresh anointing”—one that will change your life forever.
Everyone has the capacity to be anointed. God is no respecter of persons. The anointing is for every believer—every man, woman, boy and girl. It is for the young. It is for the old. It is for the rich, and it is for the poor. It is for the one who is near and the one who is far off. The anointing is for you, your children, your children’s children and “as many as the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:39).
But you must first realize one thing. The enemy will come and tell you, “You aren’t good enough to have the anointing on your life.” He’ll tell you that because you are divorced or you didn’t come from a family in the ministry or you aren’t a perfect person, therefore you can’t experience the anointing. He’ll constantly say to you, “Don’t you remember when ... ?”
Friend, don’t ever forget this one fact: The devil is a liar!
To combat his lies, it’s key to remember that the anointing that comes upon you is not your anointing. It is God’s anointing, the anointing of the Holy Spirit. God is the one who gives His anointing to us. It is a free gift that comes directly from Him, and once given, it is to be shared with others. The anointing doesn’t belong to your mama, your dad, your grandma or your auntie. The anointing belongs to God.
His anointing destroys the yoke of cancer. It annihilates the HIV/AIDS virus. God’s anointing releases healings, deliverances, miracles, signs and wonders. But this same anointing also helps you live out your everyday life as one of the called out, chosen and appointed people of God.
How, then, do we walk each day in this anointing? To grasp this, we first need to delve deeper into the Word to understand exactly what the anointing is.
The Original Essence of the Anointing
Generally speaking, the anointing is the power of God to accomplish His purpose, regardless of the sphere of your ministry. My husband, pastor Jamie Tuttle, says this about the anointing: “The anointing is simply the fuel of God’s presence on one for the purpose of the establishment of God’s kingdom. It is what some call unction, and it precedes supernatural manifestation and demonstration of God through His people.”
The first mention of the word anointing is found in Exodus 25, and it is used in the context of preparing an offering for the first tabernacle in the wilderness. As God gave Moses directions for the Israelites’ worship, He said, “This is the offering you shall receive from them: gold, silver, and bronze, blue, purple, and scarlet ... and fine twined linen and goats’ hair, rams’ skins tanned red, goatskins, dolphin or porpoise skins, acacia wood, oil for the light, spices for anointing oil and for sweet incense, onyx stones, and stones for setting in the ephod and in the breastplate. Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them” (vv. 3-8, AMP, emphasis added).
Notice that the anointing is first mentioned in preparation for the tabernacle of God, the place that would eventually house the presence of God. Also notice that the spices for the anointing oil and sweet incense came as an offering to the Lord. Both the tabernacle and the spices for the anointing oil are Old Testament patterns, “types and shadows” if you will, to be fulfilled in the New Testament. We’ll get to this shortly.
The Hebrew word for anoint is māshaḥ(pronounced maw-shakh’) and means “to rub with oil; i.e., to anoint; by implication to consecrate; also to paint.” The Hebrew word for anointing is mishḥa (pronounced meesh-khaw’), which comes from the root word anoint and means “an unction (the act); by implication a consecratory gift.” The Old Testament generally speaks of anointing in the sense of a special setting apart for an office or function.
The anointing oil was made of very special ingredients. Obviously there is no way to fully exhaust the subject matter about this oil, but here is what I found the anointing oil was made of, based on Exodus 30:22-25:
- Pure myrrh: This is the resin from a small, thorny tree collected when one wounds the tree by penetrating the bark.
- Sweet cinnamon: This spice comes from islands in the Indian Ocean. It is produced from the dried inner rind of the tree.
- Sweet calamus: This is a fragrant cane whose root is highly prized as a spice. It grows in Arabia and India.
- Cassia: This is the aromatic bark of a shrub resembling the cinnamon tree.
- Pure olive oil: According to Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible, olive oil “is supposed to be the best preservative of odors.” Wine, olive oil and bread are the three main staples of Israel, and this list is repeated throughout the Old Testament.
All of these ingredients were ordained and commissioned by God and were exactly what He demanded go into the oil that would be used to consecrate the tabernacle, the ark, the table of showbread, the brazen altar and all their utensils. The holy anointing oil was also used to consecrate Aaron and his sons to minister to God as priests (Ex. 30:26-30). In essence, God was saying to Moses, “Anything that has to do with My work and the work of My kingdom has to be special, set apart, sanctified and holy. It must be extraordinary and unique in My own way. And this is exactly how I want it to be done.”
God always has been and always will be a God of specifics. If you don’t believe me, talk to Noah about the ark. Then have a good talk with Moses about the tabernacle and all the different laws and precepts the children of Israel were instructed to observe (which many Jews, especially Orthodox Jews, still observe to this day).
After this, if you still want to talk specifics, take a close look at Leviticus and Numbers. Both of these foundational books, along with the other three books of Moses, have details that put baseball specs to shame. “According to the pattern” is a term used over and over again in Scripture because God made sure to establish solid archetypes under the old covenant that He would fulfill in the new.
The Fullness of the Anointing
What God did throughout thousands of years of Jewish history pointed to a future that would fulfill the Old Testament tabernacle with the New Testament temple and the holy anointing oil with the gifts presented in worship to Jesus shortly after His birth. When the three wise men from the East brought gold, frankincense and myrrh to Jesus (Matt. 2:1-11), the prophetic was at work, foretelling amazing things that would come to pass:
- Gold: Considered very valuable, gold was a symbol of kingship throughout the earth.
- Frankincense: This gummy substance represents Jesus’ life and sacrificial death as a sweet-smelling aroma to Father God.
- Myrrh: This resin was part of the original anointing oil and is a prophetic representation of the wounding of the Lord Jesus. The prophet Isaiah spoke about the Anointed One and said, “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed” (Is. 53:5, NKJV).
Now, let’s keep digging and revisit the Hebrew word for anointing, mishḥa. When you look deeper, you will discover this word is related to the original word māshiaḥ (pronounced mawshee-akh’), meaning the “anointed one,” from which the term Messiah comes. You will also find that the New Testament title of Christ is derived from the Greek Christos, which is equivalent of māshiaḥ. Both words are rooted in the idea of “to smear with oil.”
So how does this tie in with the New Testament temple? Remember that the ingredients for the holy anointing oil were among the first thingsGod called for in the first offeringto establish the Old Testament tabernacle in Exodus 25. Everything in the tabernacle, as well as the brazen altar in the outer court where burnt sacrifices were made daily, was anointed with that most holy oil. Even the priests were smeared with the oil of that anointing, which foretold the perfect priesthood of Jesus Christ.
When Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19), He wasn’t talking about the tabernacle in Jerusalem. He was declaring that His body would be raised to life in three days by the power of the anointing. The Old Testament burnt offerings, grain offerings and peace offerings that God had broken down to Moses in Leviticus 1-7 have now been fulfilled with one finaloffering: “God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time. Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. There he waits until his enemies are humbled and made a footstool under his feet. For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy” (Heb. 10:10-14, NLT).
I love that! God’s only begotten Son, Jesus, declared He had made the final and complete sacrifice when He hung His head and cried, “It is finished!” (John 19:30.) The portable tabernacle in the wilderness, which the Israelites had to set up and break down every time they moved camp, was ultimately fulfilled by Jesus Christ Himself.
And it gets even better. The apostle Paul later expanded the New Testament theme of the spiritual temple to include the church: “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Cor. 3:16, NKJV).
So when we consider how Jesus operated in and fulfilled the original archetypes of the anointing set up in Scripture, what does all of this tell us? The anointing is always connected to one of two things:
- What God is doing in us.
- What God is doing through us.
In turn, we are meant to give all the glory right back to Him. Always remember as you grow in the anointing that everything God has ever created is for His purpose and glory.
Purified for God’s Purpose
The anointing that comes from God brings results. There will be no growth in your walk with God without His anointing operating in your life.
When His anointing comes upon you, you will immediately begin to experience many changes. You will begin to experience miracles, signs and wonders in your life. Miracles are divine supernatural interventions in the natural affairs of man. It is when everybody has done everything in the natural and nothing has worked; then God steps in through the supernatural to do that which only God can do.
The anointing will cause you to have a change in purpose and changes in your heart, mind and actions. You will no longer have any sense that you are able to bring radical change to your life, and certainly not to anyone else’s life, without total submission to God.
Think about the spices in the holy anointing oil. They had to be scraped, ground, bled, burned and so on in order to be pure and holy, ready for His intended use. Just as God instructed this to be done to these holy spices, believe me, He will do that to you when He gets ready to use you. Everything that can be shaken has to be removed so those things that can’t be shaken will remain.
God demands pure vessels. First John 3:3 plainly tells us, “And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” The Greek verb used there is hagnizei eauton, which is a present active indicative, meaning, “He purifies himself daily, continually, moment by moment.” Wow! And what is “this hope”? It is the second appearing of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. So if you believe that Jesus’ return to the earth could happen at any moment, by the power of the anointing you are purifying yourself daily.
The Holy Spirit, the keeper of the anointing, helps us to purify ourselves. It’s by His power that we can cleanse ourselves and depart from iniquity so we become pure vessels, fit for the Master’s use (2 Tim. 2:21). Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would lead and guide us into all truth (John 16:13). The Holy Spirit is there as the keeper of the anointing to protect, remind, convict and draw you into Jesus and into a greater anointing with Him.
Anointed for Victory
Whatever you may be facing—be it a trial, hardship or difficulty; a calling; or anything you feel you aren’t able to handle or come out of—God wants you to know you are anointed for this!
You might be going through a particularly hard season right now in your finances. You need to know that you are anointed for this! By God’s power and grace, His Word declares, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). King David said, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” (Ps. 37:25, KJV). You’re coming out of this! There is an anointing upon you to believe God for the unbelievable!
You might have received a bad report from your doctor. You need to understand, you are anointed for this! Whose report will you believe? Say it:“I will believe the report of the Lord.” Jesus said, “All things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23, NKJV, emphasis added). He said on another occasion, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26, emphasis added). You are anointed to get the victory over this illness and come out as the healed of the Lord. God is going to anoint you to increase your level of faith to believe for a miracle.
You might be in the fight of your life for your marriage, your children or your home—so believe this one thing: You are anointed for this! God is going to give you the extra grace and glory you need to believe Him for a miracle.
For everything that you are facing right now, there is an anointing ... to face it, overcome it, restore it, transform it and see dynamic change. Why? The Spirit of the Lord God is upon you! He has anointed you, so your “this” becomes “that” which was spoken by the prophet Joel. Because God is pouring out His Spirit upon your life, you are anointed for this! You can come out of every challenge in victory.
A recording artist, ordained minister and sought-after conference speaker, Judy Jacobs is the founder of His Song Ministries and the International Institute of Mentoring. She is the host of the TV program Judy Jacobs Now! and author of several books, including her most recent, You Are Anointed for This! She and her husband serve as pastors of Dwelling Place Church International in Cleveland, Tenn.
Listen as Leonard Ravenhill tells the story of a man who went to great lengths for the anointing of God (anointing.charismamag.com)