I have found David My servant; with My holy oil have I anointed him…. The enemy shall not outwit him, nor the son of wickedness afflict him (Psalm 89:20,22).
“The anointing of the Holy Spirit is given to illuminate His Word, to open the Scriptures, and to place the spiritual man in direct communication with the mind of God.” –Charles Fox Parham (1873-1929), American Pentecostal Pioneer
It was a Sunday afternoon in 1972. After waiting in line with thousands of people, the time finally arrived. Throngs flooded through the door. Some were grasping their canes to stabilize their limps. Others were scurrying along swiftly with various types of breathing apparatus, yet a glimmer of hope beamed from their eyes. Even in this overwhelming anxiousness that almost became frantic, there was an unusual kindness and reverent courtesy shown toward one another.
What would it be like when someone who never walked could stand tall out of their wheelchair? I wondered how the mother of the little boy pushing the tiny walker would feel if her precious child could run and play like others.
As a bold, young adult and product of the greatest revival of the latter years of the 20th century, the “Jesus Movement,” I had longed to experience again what I had recently felt the first time when I spoke in tongues. I came that day with the longing and expectation for the impossible to be a reality.
As the crowd was maneuvered through the doors, a kind usher filled with joy carefully directed me to the third balcony. I could hardly wait for the service to start. The gentle murmuring of 7,000 packed into the auditorium came to a halt. The moment the pianist struck the first note, it was as if time stopped. There was a sense of awe that swept across the multitude. Then suddenly, as if angels accompanied the choir, Miss Kuhlman appeared on the stage.
She seemed so tiny because I was so far away. As the stranger next to me offered his binoculars, Miss Kuhlman exclaimed, “Someone up in the third balcony is being healed of blindness.” Suddenly for a flash of the moment, it seemed to turn darker than it was and instantly there appeared a slow-moving light that had the appearance of a lightning rod. It began to slowly make its way from one end of the row past my seat as it continued to travel. Then it paused. A boy who had been blind began exclaiming, “It’s me! It’s me!” As he was quickly rushed downstairs by a mother, many other miracles were happening throughout the upper level. When the service ended, I felt a strange sensation that lasted for hours. For the first time in my life, I experienced the anointing.
I went home that night thirsting and longing to relive the presence I had felt that Sunday afternoon in the Shrine auditorium. It was after that encounter with the anointing that I made up my mind that I would pay any price to experience it for the rest of my life.
Have you ever asked the question, “What is the anointing?” Perhaps you have experienced an overwhelming presence of God’s power but were unclear how to identify it. It could have occurred in the most unlikely places or unusual circumstances. You may not have been in a church; it could have happened in a conversation discussing the things of God, like the two on the road to Emmaus:
They said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us? (Luke 24:32)
There may have been a miraculous moment when you sensed a gentle urge to do something for someone or be somewhere; and with it, there was an accompanied heavenly touch that undeniably witnessed to you “This is the way, walk in it” (Isaiah 30:21).
Maybe you wondered, What was that feeling? Should I trust it? My dear friend, if you belong to Jesus, and you are entirely His, you can be assured that the heavenly touch, or burning within your heart, is the anointing.
The most excellent example of what the anointing is and how it operates in someone’s life is best demonstrated in the person of Jesus Christ who is God’s anointed Messiah. Messiah (Mashiach in Hebrew) means “Anointed One.”
Scripture identifies the Messiah with His unique identity and relationship with the Holy Spirit above all others:
Behold! My servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles (Isaiah 42:1).
The Scriptures foretold that the key identifying factor of the Messiah would be His unique relationship with the Holy Spirit. The Messiah would know the Holy Spirit as a Person, not just a power. Isaiah 61:1-3 foretells how the coming Messiah will be the first one to know Him as a person. It reads, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me because the Lord has anointed Me…He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted…” (Isaiah 61:1).
In a literal sense of Scripture, “The Spirit of the Lord God” is referred to as “the Lord has anointed Me” and “He.” “He has sent Me” introduces the Spirit of God as a Person through the use of a personal pronoun.
The most significant human witness of who the Messiah is was John the Baptist (Matthew 11:11), yet Jesus said, “I have a greater witness than John’s” (John 5:36). The greatest witness of who Jesus was and what His mission would be is the Holy Spirit. He proclaimed the identity of the Messiah as all of Israel waited for the unveiling of the One John had promised would be coming after him, yet at that time, John never saw Jesus or knew Him. It was only through the Spirit of God descending upon Jesus that John could know, “This is the One.”
I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, “Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit” (John 1:33).
Think of it! John had proclaimed the coming of One he had never seen before. The mystery of it all was that John knew He was standing among them—but who was He?
John answered them saying, “I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know (John 1:26).
Which one among of the multitudes was He? Whom could He be among those who thronged daily to be baptized by John? John declared that he had no way of knowing Him, the One, in the natural. John 1:33 “I did not know Him….” John understood by the One who sent him to baptize, that he would know the One he had never seen before by “the Spirit [of God] descending, and remaining on Him.”
Dear reader, the mission of the Holy Spirit is the same as it was thousands of years ago. He will reveal Jesus to you. He does this through the anointing. Here, we will examine what I call the “anatomy of the anointing.” This will help you understand what the anointing is and how it will affect your calling. The following are seven avenues of the anointing that will give you access to the Person and the power of the Holy Spirit in your life.
1. The anointing is the bondage-breaking power of God.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing (Isaiah 10:27 KJV).
Throughout Scripture, the text teaches that the yoke is a symbol of servitude and bondage. In biblical times when an ox was subservient to the plowman by not resisting his lead, the neck of the ox would become enlarged due to the thick fat around the tissues. The fat in the neck was because the ox did not resist the pull of the plow. On the other hand, a lean-necked beast under the yoke meant it used muscle to turn in the opposite direction of its master’s lead. As a result, an ox that was lean or stiff-necked had no fat.
The fat is a type of anointing with a substance like oil. When the animal would comply, its neck became so large from the fat that the yoke would burst, likening the anointing. The prophet Isaiah likens our yielding to the Holy Spirit to an oxen’s neck that has become so fat with the oil that the bonds burst.
2. The anointing will make you the personal possession of the Holy Spirit.
I have found My servant David; with My holy oil have I anointed him (Psalm 89:20).
When we become anointed, there is a profoundly intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit that causes us to become His personal possession. We know that everyone who has received Christ as their personal Lord and Savior belongs to Him. However, the anointing is designated for every part of our entire being to be wholly surrendered and submitted to whatever the Holy Spirit prompts or requests of us.
You become His treasured possession because now His power has set you aside for a purpose, not of this world. You are in the world, but not of this world. In the book of Psalms, the concept of possession is expressed, which uses personal pronouns referring to God when referring to His anointed children:
God shows…“mercy to His anointed” (Psalm 18:50).
The Lord…“saves His anointed” (Psalm 20:6).
The Almighty declares…“I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed” (Psalm 132:17 KJV).
In each of these verses, God is assuring us that when we receive His anointing we are His personal possession and treasure. This is why the Word says, “Do not touch My anointed ones, and do My prophets no harm” (Psalm 105:15).
The anointing oil of Exodus 30:23-33 was used to separate and consecrate whatever it touches unto God.
…This shall be an holy anointing oil unto me throughout your generations (Exodus 30:31 KJV).
“Unto me” means exclusively belonging to God, and is set apart for no other purpose but His purpose.
3. The anointing will turn your darkest day into destiny.
Thus says the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus…I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places… (Isaiah 45:1,3).
The “treasures of darkness” are the very things the enemy thought to use to destroy you, yet God uses to deploy you into purpose. Like the day Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers became God’s plan of purpose in his life. For Joseph, the day of darkness, tears, shock, and trauma became a design of destiny. At the time, Joseph had no idea he was sent to Egypt to become second to Pharaoh.
The sign of the Holy Spirit in Joseph’s life as the interpreter of dreams caused Pharaoh to say, “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God? …there is no one as discerning and wise as you” (Genesis 41:38-39).
4. The anointing will bring divine liberation and exultation over the enemy.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over (Psalm 23:5).
Did you know the anointing prepares a platform in the presence of your enemies? When the oil is placed with another liquid substance, it always rises; this reveals by nature the work of the anointing in our lives. Do you know the anointing will lift you in the presence of your enemies? This means the enemy can never exact harm upon you. Let me give you an example. In biblical times, kings were anointed. The anointing was a symbol of power exclusively on the king to triumph over the enemies of Israel: “Then Samuel took a vile of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the Lord hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?” (1 Samuel 10:1 KJV).
Our enemies may not be physical, but demonic in nature. As children of God, we should never resort to revenge, or repay evil with evil. We are called to love our enemies and overcome evil with good (Romans 12:17-21). When we follow this path of power, we can be assured that “No weapon formed against you shall prosper” (Isaiah 54:17).
5. The anointing will bring you restoration after devastation.
I want to take you to one of the most exceptional exemplifications of how the anointing can transform a life. It is the biblical account of King David and Mephibosheth. Let’s go to 2 Samuel 4:4:
Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son who was lame in his feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel; and his nurse took him up and fled. And it happened, as she made haste to flee, that he fell and became lame. His name was Mephibosheth.
Frantically, they hurried and fled for their lives. The nurse gathered up the little prince into her arms. His legs dangled to her knees as she managed to wrap his royal shawl around his shoulders. Then, as her rapid steps gained momentum, the cape she so tightly bundled around him unraveled and fell to the ground. Together, they fell. Injuries to him were insurmountable. That very hour, Mephibosheth lost his land, his legacy, and the use of his legs.
Scripture begins the introductions to Jonathan’s son with the record of the traumatic losses that took place in one day. The text is not designed just to give us a historical account of the events that took place. Scripture reveals these events so anyone who has suffered traumatic loses like Mephibosheth will know there is hope, healing, and deliverance available.
If we follow the chronicles of time recorded in this account, Mephibosheth’s is a story of tragedy to triumph. In 2 Samuel chapter 9, God’s Word records a transformation and miraculous restoration through his encounter with the anointing.
To illustrate this to you, if we follow what is written in order of occurrence, the next time we read about Mephibosheth in Scripture, he is an adult. We don’t know exactly what happened after that woeful day when his nurse fled with him, but we are told that he is living in a secluded place of isolation called Lo Debar. The following passage is found in 2 Samuel 9:1-4:
Now David said, “Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”
And there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba. So when they had called him to David, the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?”
He said, “At your service!”
Then the king said, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, to whom I may show the kindness of God?”
And Ziba said to the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan who is lame in his feet.”
So the king said to him, “Where is he?”
And Ziba said to the king, “Indeed he is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, in Lo Debar.”
There are two spiritually significant meanings to this place: Lo Debar translated from Hebrew to English means “without word,” this can also mean “not having.” The meaning of this place helps us to understand that Mephibosheth was not just in a physical location but in emotional isolation as well.
It was not until King David inquired concerning “anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake,” that Mephibosheth was discovered.
King David is God’s anointed. There is no other in the Hebrew Scriptures who is associated with the word “anointed” as many times as the son of Jesse. First, David is anointed by the prophet Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:13. Second, David experiences another anointing publicly in 2 Samuel 2:4. Third, David is anointed as king of Israel in 2 Samuel 5:3. Scripture gives him a title greater than king; it acclaims him as the anointed of God.
Mephibosheth has to muster all his strength to respond to the call of the king. Though he was lame, he still said, “Yes, I will go.” Some of us have disabilities that God sees as abilities to make us more dependent on the Holy Spirit for everything. Nothing held Mephibosheth back from responding to the king’s call. This illustrates that when he came near David, he came near the anointing.
The miracle of restoration after years of devastation are a parallel of what the anointing will do in your life. David said to Mephibosheth:
“Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually” (2 Samuel 9:7).
If we closely examine this verse, we will see the effects of the anointing. First, there will be restoration of the land. David said he would restore to him all the land of Saul his grandfather. In a literal sense, this meant Mephibosheth, who was living in abject poverty in Lo Debar, would experience a complete restoration of all properties owned by King Saul. These were parcels of land and houses owned by Saul, Jonathan, and the royal family. In one day, God restored Mephibosheth’s land.
Second, this also meant the return would not just be land, it would also be legacy: “and you shall eat bread at my table continually.” To eat bread at the king’s table was a privilege enjoyed only by his sons and daughters. This meant the restoration process would include being someone of special status. Through the anointing, God brought a restoration of ruins.
If you say yes, the anointing will fall on you as it did on Mephibosheth. As you serve, the anointing increases because it is given for service. Restoration after tribulation is an effect of the bondage-breaking power in the anointing.
6. The anointing will stir the power of what is prophetic in you.
But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams” (Acts 2:16-17).
On the day of Pentecost, the sign of the Spirit upon all flesh is that the Holy Spirit would be poured out on sons and daughters who would prophesy. In a Hebrew sense of Scripture, this means that a particular form of prophecy given would be in dreams. Numbers 12:6 says, “…If there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, make Myself known to him in a vision; I will speak to him in a dream.”
One of the promises of Pentecost is that there would be an outpouring of God’s personal messages to His people by visions of the night or dreams:
But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him (1 John 2:27).
The abiding anointing is resident in every believer; it works within you to teach you how to receive the personal message God has for you at any time, whenever He chooses. Sometimes His word comes in the night to give direction or divine protection through warnings.
You are so precious to your heavenly Father that He knows your sorrows, troubles, and anxieties. He lets you know how personal He is with every detail of your life by giving dreams. He gave Jacob a dream when he was filled with fear and running from the face of Esau, his brother. The tender compassion of His heavenly Father comforted Jacob in his exile out of the land by giving him a dream of a ladder coming down from Heaven with the angels of God ascending and descending upon it (Genesis 28:10-12).
In Genesis 28:18, Jacob woke up out of his dream and poured oil on the rock he used for a pillow. The oil was the symbol of the anointing that brings God’s personal prophetic message to you.
Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it” (Genesis 28:18).
7. The least expected is the one elected for the anointing.
Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him [David] in the midst of his brothers… (1 Samuel 16:13).
Have you ever been through an excruciating experience that devastated your life? You may wonder, Why did I have to go through this? Trials on a continuous basis can make us feel empty and without hope. Some of us may feel as if we are the last in line to receive our breakthrough.
You must not realize you are the candidate the Holy Spirit is looking for to use for the glory of God. Let me explain. In 1 Samuel 16, the text teaches that God had chosen someone never expected to be Israel’s next king. As the prophet filled his horn with oil, he was sent to confirm God’s election in the midst of rejection. The text documents the details as Samuel bids Jesse to call all of his sons.
As the sacrifice was offered, and the banquet prepared, all seven of Jesse’s sons were called to this most honorable event, but one. As Samuel scrutinized and passed before each of the young men, he said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these” (1 Samuel 16:10). Bewildered, Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” And Jesse said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here” (1 Samuel 16:11).
In a Hebrew sense of Scripture, the word “youngest” used in this passage is the word qatan. The word qatan can mean younger, but it also can mean “least.” We know it did not mean “youngest” of all because in 1 Samuel 17:12, the reference refers to Jesse as the father of eight sons. However, 1 Chronicles 2:15 teaches us that in birth order, David was the seventh son of Jesse, not the eighth, which would have made him the youngest.
The question arises, for such an awesome, once-in-a-lifetime experience of having the prophet come to their house and prepare a banquet, why wasn’t David at the table with the rest of the family?
It appears the context conveys to us that David was the qatan of the family—the one least expected was God’s elected to be the king.
Beloved, these things were written not so we would be experts in Hebrew history, but to demonstrate God’s validation and affirmation for every person who feels like the qatan, the least or the one you have forgotten. I believe it was from this experience that David wrote Psalm 23.
How unjust for David not to be called to the table. He was the only one of Jesse’s sons not invited to participate in the most memorable event of their family’s history. What reasons could even slightly justify such a great honor as having Samuel the prophet call your family to the sacrifice and the meal and not be invited?
The following verses from 1 Samuel 17 give us insight into the level of apparent animosity David’s brothers had toward him:
Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehem Judah, whose name was Jesse; and who had eight sons… (1 Samuel 17:12).
David was the [qatan]. And the three oldest followed Saul (1 Samuel 17:14).
Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was aroused against David, and he said, “Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle” (1 Samuel 17:28).
And David said, “What have I now done? Is there not a cause?” (1 Samuel 17:29).
Beloved, please remember that everything recorded in Scripture is the living prophetic word for every generation. What appears to be a historical narrative is meant to confront every person who has been thorough isolation and the feeling of desperation in the moments when the excruciating experience of rejection is targeted at us.
The coronation of David as king shows us how the least expected is the one God elected for purpose and promise. The coronation of David shows us the least expected is the one selected for the anointing. Throughout Scriptures, the text teaches that it was the one that man rejected whom God elected for His glory.
Beloved, do not let the pain of your past hold you hostage to what people think of you. God has promised that He will give you beauty for brokenness.
The day of his anointing was the time God prepared a table before him in the presence of his enemies.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over (Psalm 23:5).
Just as the Lord prepared a banquet on that day that began in grief but shifted into greatness for David, so shall the anointing break the bondage of rejection and personal pain that will launch you into your highest dimension of destiny.
Prayer for Avenues of Access to the Anointing
Dear Holy Spirit,
I ask that You would activate all seven areas of access to the anointing in my life. I believe that the same power You poured upon every generation of the past You will pour upon me. Use me beyond my comprehension and teach me how to always surrender to You. Amen.