“As for you, the anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit – just as it has taught you, remain in Him.” 1 John 2:27 (NIV)
I had been in a desert for a long time. Prayer, which once had flowed so freely, had become an impossible task. Every gift in which I had once moved seemed to have become dead on the vine. God seemed to have gone off to attend to other things, leaving me to my own devices. With Him, He had taken all my joy, my hope, my faith. I was within a breath of simply walking away from everything.
Then I saw something that alerted me to the activity of the enemy of souls in a particular area. With enough faith to make a grain of mustard seed look like a mountain, I began to pray, and then to move from speaking to the Lord to addressing the enemy. And suddenly it was there. Suddenly what came out of my mouth was not just words, dispersing into the atmosphere the moment they left my lips. Suddenly there was the old familiar feeling of the oil of the Spirit pouring over my spirit, the familiar sharp edge as my words became a sword, the familiar sense of standing toe to toe with the enemy, staring him down, and watching him back off.
The situation I was addressing was one that was far bigger than my personal life. I had no objective way of assessing the impact of my words. Yet I know they were effective, because my personal spiritual atmosphere changed dramatically in that instant.
Suddenly, I had moved into the anointing.
Had I lost it during that long time in the desert? Had the anointing gone off somewhere, only to return at the opportune moment? No, this verse in 1 John makes it clear that the anointing remains. I had lost touch with it, but it was still there.
So what is the anointing anyway? It is the power with which the Holy Spirit infuses our natural or spiritual gifts, so that they flow not out of us, but out of Him. More than that, it is the power by which He infuses our lives so that His ability and authority flow through us.
Each one of us has a spiritual destiny in God. The anointing is the equipment God gives us to enable us to fulfil that spiritual destiny.
The anointing is inextricably linked with the Holy Spirit. When we are born again, the Holy Spirit comes to live within us. With Him, He brings the anointing.
That, however, does not mean that we will automatically walk in the anointing, or that, having once walked in it, we will continue to do so. It takes a shift on our part: a shift out of the realm of the soul and into the realm of the spirit. A shift out of the seen and into the unseen.
First, we must believe that we have the anointing. Even if we have lost the feeling of it, we must know in our heart that God has given us His Spirit to equip us for everything that He will ever ask of us. Sometimes that may mean hanging on by our fingernails, believing despite every evidence of our eyes.
Then we must step into it, regardless of how we feel. That may mean quoting the truth of God’s Word even if it feels like an empty ritual. That morning as I said, “Lord, I take up the authority You have given me…” I did not feel any anointing. I did not feel any authority. I said it purely because I know it is true: Jesus said, “I give you authority over all the power of the enemy.” Some would say God responded to my faith, but I gotta tell you, I didn’t have any! God responded to His Word.
His Word says that we each have an anointing: we have His supernatural empowerment for whatever He has called us to do. When we take hold of that anointing, He honours His Word and releases His power into our lives.
There is one God, the God who manifested Himself in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ; and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5) in Whom all the fullness of the Godhead dwells in bodily form (Colossians 2:9)and Whom God the Father has exalted to the highest place, giving Him the Name which is above every name, that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)