A few years back there was a vacuum salesman making his rounds in the back woods of Tennessee. He had his vacuum cleaner, all of the tools and attachments. Hungry to make a sale, he approached a house where he knew someone was home. After introducing himself to the lady of the house he said, “I’ve got the most exciting vacuum cleaner you have ever seen. It will clean your house from top to bottom……you only have to pay so much down for this machine to be yours.”
The lady said, “It sounds real good.” The salesman quickly proceeded, “You see that big pile of dirt right there on the floor with all those fur balls and bugs and things?” He said, “My vacuum cleaner will pick up all those things…just like that and if they don’t, I’ll eat it.”
She said, “Well you might as well get your knife and fork, because we don’t have any electricity out here!”
Needless to say, you are not going to sell many vacuum cleaners without the power to operate them. The same can be said of the believer. We aren’t going to convince and communicate the Good News of Jesus Christ without power.
Jesus didn’t even attempt to do ministry without power. His first order of business was to be baptized by John in the Jordan river. His Father blessed His obedience “and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”” (Luke 3:21-22)
“Christ” was not Jesus’ last name. The word Christ means “Anointed One” or “Messiah.” There was a point in Jesus’ life when He wasn’t anointed and then the time came when He was anointed. His title “Jesus Christ” points back to the experience He had at the river.
All believers need this same experience. Yes, we do need to be baptized in water. We also need to be anointed with power from on high. The word anointing means “to smear.” The Holy Spirit is the oil of God that was smeared all over Jesus at His water baptism. The name “Jesus Christ” implies that Jesus is the One smeared with the Holy Spirit.
It was not sufficient that Jesus be sent from heaven to earth with a title. He had to receive the anointing in an experience to accomplish what the Father desired.
If the Son of God was this reliant upon the anointing, His behavior should clarify our need for the Holy Spirit’s presence upon us to do what the Father has assigned. It’s vital to understand that we must be clothed with the Holy Spirit in order to do any work of ministry.
BEWARE OF THE ANTI-ANOINTING
Because the power of God is such a threat to the forces of evil, the devil has sent another spirit out into the world to ambush the church and believers. This power was identified by the apostle John when he said, “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.” (1 John 2:18)
The nature of the antichrist spirit is found in its name: “anti” meaning “against“; “Christ” meaning “Anointed One.” Evil attacks by seeking to besmear the name of “Jesus” to the world. But within the church, trashing the name of Jesus doesn’t do any good. Inside Christendom, the devil seeks to destroy the “anointing.” This is why John called him the “antichrist.” These types of spirits are always against the anointing or power.
We must understand the spirits of hell are at war against the anointing, for without the anointing mankind is no threat to their dominion. The demonic world is not really scared of our churches and believers absent of the anointing. But when we stand like Jesus, full of the anointing, we destroy the works of the devil. The presence of the Lord and the presence of evil cannot coexist.
Billy Graham is credited with saying, “Ninety-five percent of today’s church activities would continue if the Holy Spirit were removed from us. In the early Church, ninety-five percent of all her activities would have stopped if the Holy Spirit were removed.”
I encourage you today to seek “to be filled and clothed with power from on high.” The Lord never intended for His children to operate without His presence and power.