It is common to hear the word “anointed” used to describe a moving sermon or an individual who powerfully uses their gifts in service to the Lord. While that may be an accurate description, if we only hear the word in this context, it can contribute to us being less mindful that all believers are anointed by God. As we emerge from our consecration and aim to flourish in the New Year, I invite you to consider the biblical use of the word in hopes that it will allow you to see yourself through the eyes of the Lord.
In the Old Testament, when people were anointed, it symbolized that God had set them apart for a special purpose. We see kings (E.g. 1 Chron. 29:22), priests (E.g. Ex. 29:7) and prophets (E.g.1 King 19:16) being anointed in acknowledgement that God had ordained them for the roles in which they were to serve. Anointing was not an action that gave people power, but that recognized the authority a person had already been given by God. Examples also indicate that it was reserved for the limited few and not the general faith community.
In the New Testament, however, the Bible tells us that all Christians are anointed. We stand in the role of being children of God and have been empowered by the Holy Spirit to live out the faith (1 Jn. 2:27, 2 Cor. 1:21-22). As a result, those who are anointed are not only those who are seen as exceptional or especially close to God. We have all been anointed. The question is not “Are we anointed?” but "Will we use the anointing the Lord has given us to fully live out our faith and give the highest honor and glory to God?"
In 2017 may we reflect anew on who we are in Christ and flourish in our faith as we invite the Holy Spirit to take leadership of our lives.