What do you think of when you hear that someone is anointed by the Holy Spirit? If you are like me, your mind goes straight to teaching and preaching. Sadly, far too often, we narrowly, and wronging, limit the Holy Spirit’s anointing to teaching and/or preaching. I confess, that this was certainly my view for many years. What helped change my mind was reading about the first time in Scripture that the Holy Spirit anointed someone to do something.
“Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship.” Exodus 31:1-5 (NKJV)
In my mind this is a really important passage to understand because in this passage we see the very first instance of someone being filled with the Holy Spirit to do something, and the something the Holy Spirit was filling them to do had nothing to do with teaching/preaching. Specifically we see that God was going to equip those in this passage to design and work in metals, to design and work in cutting and setting stones, to design and work in woodwork, to design and work in many crafts. God was going to make sure these guys were enabled to do what He was calling them to do.
This is so important for us to understand because when we limit the Holy Spirit’s anointing to preaching and teaching it communicates that some people have greater access to the Holy Spirit, or can have great experiences of the Holy Spirit than others when nothing could be further from the truth. Peter said on the day of Pentecost that the gift of the Holy Spirit was for all who would believe (Acts 2:39).
Not only is the Holy Spirit for all believers, but the anointing of the Holy Spirit is for all believers. However, since the word anointing is so closely associated with teaching/preaching I prefer to use the word empowering. The Holy Spirit empowers believers and this empowering is for every believer. Let me give you a few ways the Holy Spirit empowers believers.
The Holy Spirit Empowers Me To Witness About Jesus
Witnessing about Jesus is likely not far behind preaching and teaching when it comes to what we think about when we think about being anointed/empowered by the Holy Spirit.
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (NKJV)
This is likely talked about pretty often so I’m not going to spend much time on it, other than to say that the Holy Spirit will empower us to witness about Jesus. In fact, this is the most common thing we see the Holy Spirit empowering believers to do in the book of Acts. The great truth to know and believe is that the Holy Spirit WILL empower to share the Gospel.
The Holy Spirit Empowers Me To Serve Jesus
An important truth to remember is that we are saved to serve.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10 (NKJV)
We are saved by grace through faith so that we can do the good things that God has planned for us to do. While there may be many things God has planned for us to do, some of these involve our finding and using the spiritual gifts that are given to us when we are saved.
The Bible gives a couple of lists of spiritual gifts. You can look in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and 1 Peter 4 if you want more comprehensive list. While the Bible does give us some lists, I tend to believe that the lists aren’t meant to be an exhaustive list. Instead, I think they are meant to show the great diversity there is in the gifts that God gives. The way this all connects to the Holy Spirit is that the Holy Spirit is the one who actually gives us the gifts.
“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 (NKJV)
“But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.” 1 Corinthians 12:11 (NKJV)
While there is a great variety of spiritual gifts, these gives all come from the same place, the Holy Spirit. When we believed on Jesus and were saved, the Holy Spirit made a decision about what spiritual gifts we should have. The Holy Spirit then did a work in our lives that implanted these gives within us. The Holy Spirit gave us the gifts that He knew we needed to best accomplish God’s will in the world. It’s important to notice that the Holy Spirit gives each of us gifts for the profit of all. The Holy Spirit doesn’t give any of us all the gifts that are needed to reach the world for Christ. Instead, He gives us the gifts that are needed within a local body of believers so that we can be a part of edifying the saints and evangelizing sinners. The gifting and empowering of the Holy Spirit isn’t meant to send us off to become Lone Ranger Christians. Rather, the gifting and empowering of the Holy Spirit is meant to bring us together with a group of people who are committed to making disciples of all nations.
These are just two of the many ways the Holy Spirit empowers believers. Unless something changes I’ll talk about a couple more next week.