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Anointing, divine empowerment for service: Meditation for the seventh Sunday after trinity

By Princewill Ireoba
31 July 2022   |   4:12 am
When God calls and assigns, He also equips. God knows our weaknesses, deficiencies and helplessness. He knows the difficulty of our task and our dependence on Him to operate.

Princewill Ireoba

When God calls and assigns, He also equips. God knows our weaknesses, deficiencies and helplessness. He knows the difficulty of our task and our dependence on Him to operate. The Lord declared that without Him we can do nothing (Jn 15:5). But with Him, we can do all things (Phil. 4:13), for with God, nothing is impossible (Matt. 19:26; Lk 1:37).

Right from the Old Testament times, God has always empowered His servants with the Holy Spirit to enable them to perform (e.g. Judges 3:10; 6:34; 11:29; 14:6, 14:19, 15:14). These empowerments or commissioning was symbolised in the anointing of the national officers and functionaries. The offices of prophet, priest, and king were particularly associated with anointing in the nation of Israel. Prophets were sometimes installed by official anointing (1 Kings 19:16) and could be referred to as God’s anointed ones (1 Chron. 16:22; Psalm 105:115). Likewise, the priests, particularly the high priests were anointed to their offices (Exod. 40:12-15; Num. 3:3; Exod. 29:29; Lev. 16:32). Anointing also became a divinely ordained rite accompanying all the kings of Judah and Israel (2 Kings 9:1-6; 11:12). “The Lord’s anointed” or some similar phrase became a common title for Hebrew kings (1 Sam. 12:3-5; 2 Sam. 1:14-16; Psalm 89:38, 51; Lam. 4:20).

In the New Testament, Jesus accomplished the three offices of prophet, priest, and king and is designated “the Christ,” meaning, “the anointed one.” Jesus’ anointing was spiritual — by the Holy Spirit (Isa. 61:1; Luke 4:1, 18-19). His anointing manifested in the power and miracles that marked His ministry (John 1:32-51; Luke 4:33-37).

The anointing of Christians is also spiritual — by impartation of the Holy Spirit enabling them to accomplish their Christian life and ministry (2 Cor. 1:21-22; 1 John 2:20, 27). Hence, when Jesus commissioned His disciples to preach to all nations beginning from Jerusalem, He immediately told them: “Behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” (Lk 24: 47, 49; Acts 1:4, 8).

The Anointing of the Holy Spirit is absolutely necessary (sine qua non) for Christian life and service/ministry. He is the unction to function Meditation On The Appointed Readings For The Church Of Nigeria Mattins

The OT passage (Num. 11:16-17, 24-29) is one of the passages that the Holy Spirit came on people. The people of Israel had as many as 70 recognised elders. Right from the time of the advice of Jethro to Moses, there had been men appointed to head, rule and judge the people of Israel with Moses as the overall leader (Exod. 18:13-end; 24:9). But the whole burden of leadership remained on Moses. This was because He alone was empowered to operate by the Holy Spirit. Others lacked the anointing, and so lacked everything for functioning. Hence, they became dormant.

However, the situation changed when God decided to share the Holy Spirit in Moses among them. In the Old Testament times, only selected people received the Holy Spirit for performing giving roles. But he has now offered the Holy Spirit to as many as would receive him (Acts 2:38). This means that, though special anointing for special ministry/calling remains, there is, now, anointing for every Christian to operate in this world and accomplish Divine purpose for his Christian life and ministry.

The NT passage (Acts 8:4-25) featured a demonstration of the need for the Holy Spirit for a fruitful Christian life. It was after the disciples received the Holy Spirit on the Pentecost Day that they were able to make an impact in society which subsequently ignited a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem and led to their scattering throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, not only preaching Christ, but also performing miracles.

Even a notorious sorcerer, Simon, also believed. New people became Christian, but they needed the empowerment to move on. Hence, the Apostles Peter and John came from Jerusalem to confirm them. They “…prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit,” (vs. 15, 17). This underscores the need for every Christian to have the Holy Spirit to live a Christian life.

There is need for the unction to function. Without it, Christians will remain dormant, powerless and ineffective.
• The Venerable (Dr.) Princewill Onyinyechukwu Ireoba, FIMC, CMC, is the Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.;

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