Katie Chew takes a look at the origins and the purpose of God’s anointing for this week’s edition of Word Nerd Wednesday.
Anointing in the Old Testament
Anointing from God began in the Old Testament to set apart Aaron and his brothers for the service of priesthood before the Lord. A seven-day process, Aaron and his brothers were anointed with oil poured on their heads while dressed in their priestly garments. Sacrifices were then made on their behalf in order to make them Holy before the Lord so they might then offer sacrifices on behalf of the people of Israel (Exodus 29). Later, Samuel anoints David with oil as King over Israel, setting him apart for his future role (1 Samuel 16:13).
In all my study, it seems as though anointing happens at the beginning. Before anything large, before a service, before a drastic change in life, anointing comes first.
What I’m wondering today is if anointing is how not only how God sets his people apart, but also how he stirs them to action.
Anointing in the New Testament
Let’s first look at Jesus, the Anointed One (Luke 4:23). Before his ministry, he is baptized by John in the desert. About this encounter, Acts 10:37-38 says this: “You know what happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached—how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.” His ministry begins with the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
Fast forward to Pentecost. The disciples are praying and waiting in a room for the gift they were promised by God. Now, they had already received the Holy Spirit when Jesus breathed on them and commissioned them (John 20:21-22), but he still told them to wait. Then on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit rested on them in tongues of fire and filled those waiting. Immediately they began the work of building the first church and reaching out with the good news of the gospel.
Anointing by the Spirit
So we’ve moved from anointing with oil to the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
Do you see how crucial that anointing is to the work of the Kingdom of God? It is what sets God’s people apart for his service but it also seems to be the catalyst that stirs them to action. There was belief in the disciples before, but with the anointing came the power.With anointing comes power! #anointing #wordnerdwednesday Click To Tweet
And I have to wonder if we’ve lost our wonder in that power?
When the Holy Spirit is active in our lives, we cannot live lives that are sedentary. His anointing causes movement, change, upheaval, and miracles. So let’s pray for God’s Holy Spirit to be renewed and awakened in our lives once more. Let’s long for world-shaking faith and mind-blowing miracles. Let’s seek God so fiercely and abide in him so completely that we change the world just as Jesus did. Just as the disciples did. Just as people are still doing all over the world.
God is not dead, friends. He is alive. He is active. He is moving. I so desperately want to be a small part in that movement and my prayer is that you’d join me. In faith, by him, through him, for him and because of him you are set apart.