The Good Shepherd: Part III

by APC on May 31, 2018

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever (Psalms 23:1–6, KJV).

He Anoints Us with Oil

…thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over (Psalms 23:5, KJV).

The Oil

Oil is used throughout Scripture as a symbol of God’s presence, blessing, power, comfort, joy, favor, etc. It is a type and shadow of God’s anointing in and on something. Moreover today, the oil typically signifies the outpouring of the Holy Ghost and the anointing found therein.

Two Types of Anointing

God anoints us two different ways. There’s an internal anointing in which the Holy Spirit gives us the insight, ability, strength, authority, or protection we normally don’t have in order to do a job God’s chosen us to do. There’s an external anointing that occurs when someone prayerfully applies oil to our skin as an outward sign of something God’s doing internally.

Anointing in Our Life

The oil of God’s anointing was typically poured out only on kings and priests in the Bible. But, after the outpouring of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost, the anointing became available to all people through the power of the Holy Ghost.

We are all God’s workmanship and we’re created to do good works and walk in them (Ephesians 2:10). Before we were born, God created us for a particular calling. Our calling and anointing is where fulfillment, meaning, and purpose come from in life. But, we cannot fulfill our calling if we don’t have the anointing of God. The anointing is the power God’s given us to fulfill our call; therefore, we cannot do it on our own. What God starts in the Spirit we cannot finish in the flesh (Galatians 3:3).

How God Anoints Us

Appointing Comes with Anointing

God never asks us to do something without providing us the ability to complete it. Any assignment from God will come with His anointing and empowerment. God is faithful and through the Holy Ghost, we’ll be able to do what He’s called us to do (I Thessalonians 5:24). Jesus told the Disciples they would receive power after the Holy Ghost would come upon them to be witnesses to the entire world (Acts 1:8). He gave them an impossible assignment, but He made this possible through His Spirit and anointing.

Anointing Makes Us Better

We can never be as good as we can be without God’s anointing. His anointing will change and transform us from the inside out. Throughout Scripture, God called and used ordinary men, but through the anointing they were able to do the extraordinary through God’s anointing. The prophet Samuel anointed Saul to be king over Israel, and in doing so caused God’s spirit to come upon him changed him into a different man (I Samuel 10:1, 6). Just as onlookers knew the disciples had been with Jesus, others will know we’ve been changed by God and are operating by a power we did not obtain alone (Acts 4:13).

Anointing Makes Hard Things Easier

It’s impossible to do things on our own, but always possible with God (Luke 18:27). This is why we cannot do anything without God’s anointing in our life. God has unlimited resources, and is willing to pour out His anointing to help us become mighty in the spirit (Ephesians 3:16). We don’t have the right resources, but God does! We must let Him step in and overtake us with His presence, and once He does there’s not a mountain we’ll face we can’t conquer (Philippians 4:13). If we try to complete a work for God on our own adrenaline, or turn to worldly resource, we’ll fail. We must turn to Jesus Christ who is the anointed one, who is the only resource for us that springs into everlasting life (John 4:14).

Anointing Helps Us Bless Others

When God anoints us, we’ll start doing the things He does. Jesus proclaimed in Scripture how He was anointed to preach, heal, deliver, set free, and help people understand the Lord (Luke 4:18–19). We have the same anointing upon us, and therefore, can and should do what Jesus did. Ultimately, God anoints us so we can be a blessing to others. Blessing and anointing isn’t just for us. This is why He blesses us until we’re running over; the running over is for someone else!

Fresh Anointing

With every new day and every new challenge, we need a fresh anointing from our Good Shepherd. As Israel gathered manna daily in the wilderness, we also need to seek an anointing from God to sustain us every day. We cannot survive a day without His anointing just as Israel could not survive a day without His manna. We must pray and ask God to stir up His anointing in us and our desire to seek a relationship with Him (II Timothy 1:6–7).

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on May 30, 2018 with Pastor Nave