Study 11 THE WORKER’S ANOINTING
THE KING’S WORKERS
by Francis Dixon
Key-verse: “I shall be anointed with fresh oil.” (Psalm 92:10 KJV)
No-one can live for the Lord or serve Him in his own strength, and the last seven words of our verse affirm this fact. It is impossible for anyone to live in a way which is pleasing to God, or serve Him effectively and fruitfully, without the holy anointing spoken of by the psalmist. This anointing is indispensable. If we are failing in our Christian walk, if we are fruitless in Christian service, here is the reason: it is because we are not living and working in the anointing of the Holy Spirit. We must ask and answer several questions:-
1. WHAT IS THIS HOLY ANOINTING?
The answer is clear: it is the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Look up Luke 24:19. Oil in scripture is a type or symbol of the Holy Spirit, and we must note carefully that even our Lord Jesus Christ, who was “holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners” (Hebrews 7:26), was anointed with the Holy Spirit before He embarked on His public ministry (Luke 4:18-19). Compare Acts 10:38. Before He ascended Jesus promised that His servants would receive this anointing, and indicated that only after they had been anointed and empowered with the Holy Spirit would they be able to live and serve effectively in His Name (Acts 1:8). Compare Acts 2:4. The anointing of the Holy Spirit was a definite experience in the life of the Lord and in the lives of the first Christians. We may know this too.
2. FOR WHOM IS THIS ANOINTING AVAILABLE?
The answer is clear: for every single Christian, for all who have been born of the Spirit (John 3:5); sealed by the Spirit (Ephesians 1:13); baptised by the Spirit into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 6:19); for this is more than these. The priest of old needed to be anointed, but so did the prophet and the king - and we need to be anointed in the same way, anointed with the fresh oil of the Holy Spirit.
3. HOW MAY WE HAVE THIS ANOINTING?
Notice that there are four steps which we must take:
- (1) We must acknowledge our need. It is a terrible thing to have to admit, but Christians are often proud and self-satisfied. Do you agree? Put yourself to the test. Are you satisfied with your Christian life? Are you satisfied with the victory you gain over sin? Are you satisfied with the way you are living for the Lord each day? Are you satisfied with your prayer life, with your soul-winning effort? How can we be satisfied? Perhaps the more important question is: Is God satisfied? The first step we must take if we would have this holy anointing is to acknowledge our need; that is, to acknowledge our need of the Holy Spirit to rest upon us and to possess and equip us - look up John 7:37-39.
- (2) We must forsake our sin. We must be willing to be cleansed from anything and everything that is displeasing to the Lord - look up and compare 2 Corinthians 7:1 and 1 John 1:9, and then turn to Exodus 30:31-32. The holy anointing oil of the Holy Spirit will never come in power and unction on ”man’s flesh” (KJV). The sins of the spirit and of the flesh must be recognised, confessed and renounced before we can be anointed with power - look up Proverbs 28:13 and compare Ephesians 4:30.
- (3) We must surrender our life. We must know in personal experience the meaning of Romans 12:1; we must give ourselves completely to the Lord - spirit, soul and body - to be His. Look up 1 Thessalonians 5:23. In the record of his life we have these words from Hudson Taylor, that great missionary to China: “Well do I remember the day when I, in unreserved consecration, put myself, my life, my friends, my all upon the altar…” Well, if we will acknowledge our need, forsake our sin and surrender our life, we shall then be almost at the place where we can say, “I shall be anointed with fresh oil”. But there is one more step we must take.
- (4) We must make our request. That is to say, we must pray and ask the Lord that He will graciously anoint us with the Holy Spirit, for our act of prayer is also an act of faith. It is true on the one hand that we do not need to ask for the Holy Spirit, because He has been given to us and made available to all God’s children; but on the other hand, to come before the Lord in prayer and to ask for His gracious anointing, infilling and empowering, is to confess our need and to express our confidence in Him. It is like saying, ‘Lord, I am inadequate and powerless in myself. Grant me this gracious anointing with fresh oil’. Our loving Heavenly Father is always more anxious to give than we are to receive - look up Luke 11:13 . So let us ”ask and continue to ask Him” (Amplified Bible), for the anointing with fresh oil.
If we acknowledge our need, forsake our sin, surrender our life and make our request, will it then be presumptuous to believe that God has given us His holy anointing? No, it will not! For what God promises faith takes, and it is significant that in the Revised Version rendering of our key-verse, the words we are considering read: “I am anointed with fresh oil”. This is the language of faith.