How to gain and retain the anointing

2Kings 13:21: And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet. (ESV).

dancing-156041_640The anointing is the presence of the Holy Spirit conveyed to create impact. In Elisha’s life, the presence of God was so concentrated that even many years after his death, his bones were able to raise the dead as mentioned in the focus verse. That was how great he was because he got the double portion of the anointing of Elijah.

How did that happen? Through desire. He asked for it (2Kings 2:1-14). What he wanted was very clear in his mind. He did not have to consult anyone before he answered Elijah when he asked him: what do you want me to give you?

This was similar to the experience of Solomon who was asked by God: what do you want me to give you? Solomon asked for wisdom, since he was a king (1Kings 3:4-15) who needs to direct the natural affairs of Israel, Elisha asked for the anointing since he was a prophet and needed to operate in the supernatural. Both asked for intangible things. They asked for spiritual qualities.

But Esau was not like that, who sold his birth right for a bowl of meal (Genesis 25:27-34). The meal was something tangible while the blessing of the birth right was intangible. Esau was a man who walked by sight and not by faith, since faith sees the invincible, and recognises the importance of the intangible.

Elisha followed Elisha till he got the double portion of his anointing. Therefore we need to back up our desire for the presence of God with action. The bible says: draw near God and he will draw near you (James 4:8).

When we take effort to depart from iniquity and draw near to God in holiness, when you depart from earthly activities and draw near to God in spiritual activity, then we are putting action to our desire to experience the presence, the anointing of God, in our life. It is not just about what you say but it is also about what you do. For the desire of Elisha for a double portion of Elijah’s anointing he was told: if you see me (Elijah) being taken up, you will get it.

Anointing is also person specific. What Elijah wanted was not per say the anointing from God, but Elijah’s anointing, a double potion of it.

And now in the New Testament all anointing is the anointing of Jesus, and he has been take up to heaven (Acts 2:1-4, 32-33) just as Elijah was take up. And 10 days later the “mantle,” the anointing of the Holy Spirit fell down in the upper room on the disciples who were present there, in a similar way to what happened to Elisha. Now the church gets to do the greater works of Jesus just as Elisha did greater works than Elijah.

The church receives the anointing of Jesus. He is the centre of it all. He said: I will build by church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18). And part of the instrument with which he builds the church is his anointing. He is Christ, which means the anointed one.

When Elijah said that if Elisha see him being taken away, he will get a double portion of his anointing, it was not only a test of his desire, but also a test of his devotion, of his consistency.

Juxtaposing that to Jesus we see that the key to experiencing his anointing is to follow him. He constantly said that we cannot be his disciples his followers if we do not deny ourselves and follow him (Luke 9:23). That is about devotion. He said he who does not leave all to follow him is not worthy of him and that also goes for his anointing.

Just as Elisha did not have any anointing of his own, except that bequeathed to him by Elijah though a double portion, the church does not have any anointing expect that bequeathed to her my Jesus, though now multiplied because of our population. And just as Elisha did not have any identity of a prophet except that bequeathed to him because of his association with Elisha, the church does not have an identity except derived from Jesus. It is his church. We have no wisdom, righteousness, anointing expect derived from him.

Paul said that he is in pursuit of Jesus that he may be made conformable to his death, his suffering (Philippians 3:3-14). And without the experience of his death, there is no coming fully into his resurrection which was brought about by the operation of the power of God, the anointing (Ephesians 1:15-20). Jesus told Paul: my grace is sufficient for you for my strength is made perfect in weaknesses (2Corinthians 12:9).

The anointing also has something to do with his knowledge. Knowledge is beyond facts and figures when it comes to God, it has to do with being one with him, and that takes some time and commitment. Paul exhibited such devotion. He wants to be all he can be in God.

Do not focus just on the anointing, but on Jesus, the best approach is to just pursue the presence of God, and the anointing becomes a fall out. The problem with focusing on the anointing is that it breeds a work or law-mentality when everything in the New Testament should be by grace, by relationship, fall-outs of our experience of Jesus, being with him.

The anointing flows from the anointed one, and only one person goes by that name- Jesus, the Christ. The anointed one is the one with the anointing. There is no getting to the anointing apart from through him (John 14:6), therefore the more we focus on the person of Jesus the more the anointing is expressed in our lives. He is the gateway to our experience of the Holy Spirit.

It is not about getting but becoming, so much so that the anointing becomes your identity not just a possession that you can lose. So when the focus is on Jesus we will not have the fear of losing the anointing, since we did not get it by effort, but by being in Christ. We cannot lose it, since Christ the anointed one is always with us.


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