In 1984 I became a part of the Charismatic movement. From day one I heard the term – the anointing. This term was applied to everything we thought was God. We would say things like, “that message was so anointed”, or “when I hear that song I feel the anointing”. Very quickly I took up this same word and used it in the same way.
Recently, as I was praying the Holy Spirit gently rebuked me and said, “I am tired of being treated like an object.” Of course, this took me by surprise. The Holy Spirit then started showing me the imprecision of my thoughts and how He wanted me to straighten them up.
He shared with me that when I spoke of the anointing I was treating it like it was an object but in fact what I call the anointing is a person – Him or another member of the Godhead! I did not mean to, but I was treating His presence casually by acting like it was some inanimate object.
So since this I have worked on cleaning up my language and thoughts! I now say, “I sense the Holy Spirit here”, or “the presence of God came in to the room when that person was singing.” Since I have made a conscious effort to realize that the ‘anointing’ is a person and focused on that it has made my walk with the Holy Spirit more vibrant and exciting. I suggest you do the same if you are not already.
The anointing is a valid word and I could see how I misused the word over time. Here is a literal definition of the actual word anointing in the Bible from the Holman Bible Dictionary:
ANOINT describes the procedure of rubbing or smearing a person or thing, usually with oil, for the purpose of healing, setting apart, or embalming. A person can anoint himself, be anointed, or anoint another person or thing. While olive oil is the most common element mentioned in the Bible for use in anointing, oils produced from castor, bay, almond, myrtle, cyprus, cedar, walnut, and fish were also used. Christians see Jesus as God’s Anointed One, the Savior (Acts 10:38). The same symbolism as in the Old Testament is employed in this usage: God’s presence and power are resident in the anointing. Likewise, the Christian is anointed by God (2 Cor. 1:21; 1 John 2:27) for the tasks of ministry.
What we are actually saying when we say something is anointed is that the presence of the Holy Spirit has come. He has brought Himself and ‘rubbed’ Himself onto something. This means that the Holy Spirit is active right then and there! So we don’t just acknowledge what He is doing when we sense the ‘anointing’ we acknowledge Him!
This may seem to be a ‘picky’ thing to you but when I focus on something just happened instead of someone has come in it makes all of the difference. For instance, when I sense the ‘anointing’ what I am sensing is the Holy Spirit and I start asking Him what He is doing and why is He there. He will then give me further insight as to what is going on. So going forward you will hear me say the word anointing some but by and large I am going to talk about the fact that the Holy Spirit has showed up!