A Fresh Anointing
“22 Then the LORD said to Moses, 23 “Take the following fine spices: 500 shekels[d] of liquid myrrh, half as much (that is, 250 shekels) of fragrant cinnamon, 250 shekels[e] of fragrant calamus, 24 500 shekels of cassia—all according to the sanctuary shekel—and a hin[f] of olive oil. 25 Make these into a sacred anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer. It will be the sacred anointing oil. 26 Then use it to anoint the tent of meeting, the ark of the covenant law, 27 the table and all its articles, the lampstand and its accessories, the altar of incense, 28 the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the basin with its stand. 29 You shall consecrate them so they will be most holy, and whatever touches them will be holy.
30 “Anoint Aaron and his sons and consecrate them so they may serve me as priests. 31 Say to the Israelites, ‘This is to be my sacred anointing oil for the generations to come. 32 Do not pour it on anyone else’s body and do not make any other oil using the same formula. It is sacred, and you are to consider it sacred. 33 Whoever makes perfume like it and puts it on anyone other than a priest must be cut off from their people.’” Exodus 30:22-33 NIV (emphasis mine)
I’ve heard talks and prayers requesting that the “anointing of God” would come upon a person, a place, or a ministry. I’ve personally prayed for the “anointing of God” over ministries, churches, activities, and outreaches. I recognize that there is a heavy and great need for the power of the Holy Spirit to come upon everything I do. I desire it. I talk about it. I pray for the “God’s anointing” to come. But what really is the “anointing of God?” What does it mean? What did it mean to people in the bible?
I’ve read that to be “anointed,” literally means to be “set apart.” In other words, when God anoints something, He sets it apart for His use. When a new King of Israel was “anointed,” he was being set apart for God to use in a special and awesome way. In the Old Testament, before furniture or items would be used for God, they also had to be “anointed.” When something was anointed for God, they used oil, but not just any oil. In other words, they did not use Crisco, nor did they use Valvoline! Exodus 30 tells of the preparation of the anointing oil, and it gives a picture of how I can be growing in my anointing.
Growing in my Anointing
1. Myrrh. This reveals that I must die to myself.
Myrrh was used to prepare bodies for burial. To the Jews, Myrrh spoke of death. This shows that there is no anointing without death first. Since Myrrh was used for the anointing oil, it says that in order for God’s presence to grow in me, I have to die to myself. In order for God to “set me apart for His use,” I must be willing to lay down my own agenda, desires, and dreams, and allow the Holy Spirit to take over. His goals ought to be mine. His agenda, ought to be mine. His dreams ought to be mine.
Unless my pride is broken, and I realize my total need for the Holy Spirit, God cannot set me apart for His use.
John the Baptist said that “He (Jesus) must increase, while I must decrease.”
Paul said, “For me to live is Christ, but to die is gain.”
2. Sweet cinnamon. This reveals that I must live a life that is sweet to Jesus.
Cinnamon was used as a flavoring. It gave off (and still gives off) a very pleasant smell. The fragrance was both beautiful and necessary in the Tabernacle because it counteracted the smell of the animal sacrifices.
Cinnamon, to the Jews spoke of sweetness. If I want God to anoint me to use me, there has to be a certain sweetness about my life. God will anoint me and use me if there’s a sweetness about my life. I am not simply talking about being a “nice guy,” or knowing my bible a lot. There are many people who know the bible well, but there is no sweetness of the Holy Spirit in their lives. The more I know and grow in the knowledge and understanding of God’s word, the more I need to also be growing like Jesus in my character, personality, and love God and for others. The fruit of the Spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control; need to be increasing in my life.
3. Calamus. This reveals that I must endure hardships.
The Calamus plant is said to grow in wet, miry soil. To get the aroma from this plant to resonate it had to be beaten. The more the plant was beat down, the better its fragrance would be.
When God desires to set me apart for His use, there will surely be challenges that God Himself allows me to endure. Often I think that all the problems I face in my life are a result of the attacks of the enemy, when in reality, it is often the hand of God preparing me to be “anointed” or set apart for His use. Paul couldn’t “rebuke the enemy” and have the thorn removed from his side. Jesus didn’t “cast out the enemy” and walk away from the cross. Often I think I need to cast out the enemy when I face challenges, but in reality, for the anointing of God to come upon me, I need to endure and overcome the challenges before me.
God’s anointing is able to increase in my life the more I pass through, endure, and overcome the difficulties of life. Like the calamus, God is using the hardships I face to fashion my character, and create a sweet aroma to Him. This is very difficult, because when I endure challenges, I do have the choice to leave either better or bitter.
4. Cassius. This reveals that I must persevere for the reward.
I have read that this spice grows only at elevations above 8000 feet. In order to get this spice, one has to take a journey and travel up on the mountain to get it.
This says that if I desire God’s anointing – I’ve got get on a mountain with God. By the way, there is no shortcut to the top of the mountain. Likewise, there is no shortcut in receiving an anointing from God. I’ve got to work had and make the effort to get alone with God.
5. Olive oil. This reveals that I need the Holy Spirit to be a part of every area of my life.
Over and over again in the Bible, oil symbolizes the person of the Holy Spirit. It is clear throughout the scriptures that oil represents the Holy Spirit.
All these ingredients mixed together with olive oil produced the anointing oil that was called “holy”. In other words, the Lord will combine all my dying to self, the development of the fruit of the Spirit in my life, difficult things I face, and times that I persevere in my life with His Holy Spirit in order for me to really be, “set apart.”
Without the oil, all the other ingredients were nothing more than ingredients. Without the Holy Spirit working in me, everything else amounts to nothing. In order to be used by God effectively, I need to have a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit. I need a fresh anointing, a fresh power, and a fresh Word from God.
The great news about the anointing of God is that if I continue to die to myself, continue to grow in the fruit of the Spirit, continue to allow life’s hardships to make me better instead of bitter, and continue to persevere in seeking Him, then I believe, the anointing of the Holy Spirit will continue in my life too. I won’t have an occasional anointing, but rather will be empowered to live a life “set apart” for Him daily.
Holy Spirit, I beg You to come and give me a fresh filling of Your power, Your love, Your boldness, and Your wisdom. Holy Spirit anoint me to serve You will all that I have and with all that I am. Amen.