Theme: Anointing – necessary or nice to have?
Acts 3:6-7 ‘Peter said, “I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong.’
When Somebody comes to me for counselling and I listen to their story I often feel overwhelmed by their circumstances or history. What can I say that could possibly make a difference? How can I bring light and hope into such a dark condition? So as I am listening I pray “Dear Lord, please anoint me now so that I can have something to give this dear child of yours.” Then, as our discussion progresses I find myself saying things that just do not come from my own experience, learning, or internal data-bank. It is wonderful to see light flickering in the eyes and a look of hope creeping across the face.
The purpose of the anointing is to empower us to live and minister, and ministering is an act of giving. Unless we have something of divine origin to give then all we have is the inadequacy of our own strength, wisdom, learning, and skills. These are all fine in themselves but they are not up to the task of bringing about sustained life-change.
If someone is sick what can we give them? If you are a medical doctor you could do something practical but I am not a medical practitioner, so what can I give? I can intercede for the person in prayer but I can do more; I can lay my hands upon the person and ask for, expect and experience the anointing to flow from me. Peter told the beggar at the Gate Beautiful that he had no money to give him but that he had something of greater value to offer. He said “but what I have I give you”. What did he have? Shortly before this incident Peter had experienced the dramatic infilling of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost and he was truly anointed. Now, filled with power from on high, he had something to give. So he offered it, reached out his hand to touch the man, and proclaimed, “stand up and walk!”
Actually, the whole of the Christian life is about giving. God calls us to a life-style of giving our attention, time, talents, and physical resources to others. The anointing is no exception. The Holy Spirit does not give it to us to amuse, amaze, or fulfil our needs; He gives it so that we can give it away and in doing so bring wholeness to others and glory to God.