Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Anointed to Write--Right?

The anointing is a word that many church folks use a little too freely. It’s almost become an ‘in’ word to use, if there’s such a thing. It seems that everybody calls somebody anointed to do this or that. Sadly, gifts and talents are often confused with a person being anointed to do something. Let’s be real. If all the people that say they’re anointed were really operating under and in it, this would be a changed society. While I don’t claim to understand all that the anointing entails, I do know that it is a crucial component to effective ministry and changed hearts and lives always follow those who operate under God’s anointing.

While doing some studying on anointing oil and how it was used by Moses to anoint Aaron as the first High Priest of Israel (Exodus 29:7), I also learned that the oil was used to dedicate all the priests. The oil was used as an outward display of God’s power and Spirit residing in a person. Miracles, supernatural power and strength came as a result of God’s anointing resting upon a person.

There is no better example of the anointing than “[H]how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power; who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him” (Acts 10:38). However, scripture also has numerous examples of everyday people who were used supernaturally by God to transform lives. Whether it’s Abraham, Moses, Joshua or Elijah in the Old Testament or Paul, John, Timothy, or Matthew in the New Testament (just to name a few), God’s Word is packed with evidence of how God’s anointing empowers and equips.

As Christian fiction writers, it is our responsibility to position ourselves so that God can use us. Positioning ourselves means that we love God first. We study God’s Word and pray about everything. We realize that we all make mistakes, but through Him, we can endure and overcome obstacles, temptation, and adversity. Our motives for writing must not be tainted by selfishness of any kind. Otherwise, it’s impossible be an anointed writer. The anointing implies that we are under God’s complete control. Just like the ointment that flowed down Aaron’s beard and garments, the anointing covers and saturates us with His glory. When we write under His anointing, He enables us to do what we are unable to do within ourselves. Furthermore, anointed writers are focused on the mission to serve God and His people.

I am keenly aware of how it feels to be writing under the power of the Holy Spirit and when I’m not. There are times when my tears spill onto the keyboard and my fingers won’t move fast enough on the keys to get out what I know the Spirit of the Lord has given me. Other times, there is a boldness that overtakes me, giving me the courage to say what is right, something in my flesh I would be too fearful to write. Yet, there are other times when the calm and peaceful Holy Spirit gently guides me to reassure and console with a message directed by Him. I must add that just because a person is saying, doing, and yes, even writing the “right” things, it doesn’t mean it’s anointed. I know, because just as I’ve experienced writing under the anointing, I have written the ‘right’ thing without the anointing. The result is that while it might be entertaining or possibly intellectually stimulating, it is likely that there will be no catalyst for change, no real and lasting effectiveness.

Of course, the obstacles to operate under God’s anointing are real. For example, when I think about what others want to read and what will sell books, I am quenching the Spirit, stifling the possibility of writing under the anointing. As a result, I’m also limiting my possibilities, my peace, my joy, etc., and robbing someone else of the potential of being delivered and set free from whatever has them bound. The anointing really does destroy the yoke and set the captives free. God’s anointing is pure; no hidden motives or agendas lurk just beneath the surface. The anointing is productive and cuts through the mess and gives you immediate, unrestricted access to the throne room, the dwelling place of the most high.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a writer, teacher, preacher, or brick layer, God desires each of us to build up the kingdom of heaven by operating under His anointing, His total and complete control. Whatever material gains a person may get by using his or her own plan, direction and discretion, will be temporary. As cliché as it sounds, it’s what we do for Christ, not ourselves, that will last.

On one final note, I recently heard a message by Pastor Creflo Dollar that has remained with me. I can’t quote him exactly, but he said that it is impossible for the anointing to be present where love is not. Our love for God and for one another has to be present. Recently, I met a very popular gospel singer, and I was shocked by how rude she was. She had done a session on singing under the anointing. Her demeanor differed dramatically from what she had professed onstage during my brief encounter with her. Yes, she could’ve been having a bad day, but we always have to be mindful that we’re representing Christ. There is just no way someone can operate under the anointing of God’s Holy Spirit and lack love.

We can’t do anything, including writing for Him, without our total surrender and dependence on Him. He is the One who enables us to love, and He is the One who enables us to write under the anointing. Why not examine yourselves with me this week? Let’s all make sure that we are really anointed to write or to do whatever it is that He has called us to do.

Blessings and Love,