The following is an adaptation of the sermon ‘Anointed to Heal’ preached by Pastor Michael White on Sunday, 11/10/2019, at CityLight Church. To listen to the full podcast please click

HERE     

One Tall Order

If you call yourself a disciple of Jesus, it is your job to heal the sick:

“And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” – Matt 10:7-8

Look at verse 8 for a moment. Let it sink in. Now ask yourself this question: does my life look like that verse? When you pray, are people healed? When you go to a funeral, are the dead raised? Do breakthrough and deliverance happen everywhere you go?

If not, don’t panic. I believe verses like the ones above are intentionally designed to encourage healthy self-reflection. We should look at those verses and think, that sounds impossible. And then we get to return to the Word of God and remind ourselves that, “…with God nothing will be impossible” (Lk 1:37).

Healing Like Jesus

If you want to heal like Jesus, you have to know how Jesus healed! Jesus healed by the anointing:

…how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. – Acts 10:38

Jesus was anointed! This verse tells us two things we already knew: Jesus 1) did good and 2) healed people. But what you may not know is that Jesus was anointed to do these things. God anointed Him with 1) the Holy Spirit and 2) power. It wasn’t until the anointing took place that the healing could be accomplished!

Don’t try and run out to do what God has called you to do without being anointed first! When God calls you to do something that seems impossible, don’t try to do it alone. Wait on God for the anointing to get it done.

The anointing is the manifest presence of God’s Holy Spirit. For an illustration, let’s look at the moment David was chosen to be king:

Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah. – 1 Sam 16:13

Once David was anointed, the “Spirit of the Lord came upon” David to do what God had called him to do!

In Acts 10:38, “anointed” is the Greek word chrio,[1] which means “enduing Christians with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.” To “anoint” someone means to consecrate him (to make him holy or separate) by the presence of the Holy Spirit. The anointing in noun form, then, is the consecrating presence of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit wants to do something through you, He will come and settle on you.

Said another way, the anointing is the substance of Jesus. When you have it, you can go out and pray the same prayers Jesus prayed, and expect exactly the same results!

Now let’s put two and two together. How did Jesus heal? By the anointing! So if Jesus asks you to heal in His name, do you know how He expects that healing to happen? You guessed it! By the anointing.

But what do you do if you don’t feel like you’re anointed?

How to Increase in the Anointing

In 2 Timothy 1:6, the Apostle Paul outlines two ways to increase in the anointing:

Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. – 2 Tim 1:6

First of all, we see that Timothy, to whom Paul is writing, already had an experience. The Apostle Paul laid hands on him, and something – a “gift of God” – was deposited in Timothy. This is the first way to increase in the anointing. Ask God to touch you in a mighty way! He will anoint you: either as someone who is anointed is laying hands on you, or as you cry out to Him in prayer. Ask God to give you an encounter with Him!

I love encounters with God. Charles Finney, a great man of God used in revival meetings all over the United States in the 1800’s, described his initial encounter with the presence of Jesus in his memoirs. He had this to say about encountering (i.e. experiencing) the presence of God:[2]

“But as I returned and was about to take a seat by the fire, I received a mighty baptism of the Holy Ghost. Without expecting it, without ever having the thought in my mind that there was any such thing for me, without any recollection that I had ever heard the thing mentioned by any person in the world, at a moment entirely unexpected by me, the Holy Spirit descended upon me in a manner that seemed to go through me, body and soul. I could feel the impression, like a wave of electricity, going through and through me. Indeed it seemed to come in waves, and waves of liquid love—for I could not express it in any other way. And yet it did not seem like water, but rather as the breath of God. I can recollect distinctly that it seemed to fan me like immense wings; and it seemed to me, as these waves passed over me, that they literally moved my hair like a passing breeze.

 

“No words can express the wonderful love that was shed abroad in my heart. It seemed to me that I should burst. I wept aloud with joy and love, and I do not know but I should say I literally bellowed out the unutterable gushings of my heart. These waves came over me, and over me, and over me one after the other, until I recollect I cried out, “I shall die if these waves continue to pass over me.” I said to the Lord, “Lord, I cannot bear any more.” Yet I had no fear of death.”

I don’t know about you, but I want God to touch me like that!

Randy Clark has a similar story. In 1989 he had an encounter with Jesus where he felt waves of electricity running through his body. Leading up to that experience, he had been praying that God would touch him the way God touched Charles Finney. And God delivered! Clark recounted that the presence of God coursing through his body was so strong that he thought he was going to die. It felt like he had grabbed an electric fence and couldn’t let go.[3]

Finney and Clark were marked by their encounters with God. After their experiences with God, they were used mightily by God in massive revivals that impacted the world.[4] I hope you have a powerful encounter with God! It will forever mark you for use in God’s Kingdom, and change your life from that moment on!

But there is another way to increase in the anointing. Remember what the Apostle Paul told Timothy:

Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. – 2 Tim 1:6

There was already something in Timothy. He had already had an encounter with the presence of God! But it was Timothy’s job to “stir [it] up.”

The second way to increase in the anointing is to “stir up” the anointing that God has already deposited in you: to internalize the revelation that you are already anointed. I pray you’ve had a powerful encounter with the presence of God that has marked you forever. But once you have, it’s time to stir it up.

Stirring Up the Gift

1) Understand that you are anointed

First, you have to understand that you are anointed. Maybe you’ve never been stuck to the floor with waves of electricity coursing through your body like Charles Finney or Randy Clark. But if you’ve received Jesus as Lord, you’ve already been anointed.

But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. – Rom 8:11

When you gave your life to Jesus, the Holy Spirit made a home inside you. And that means that you have His manifest presence – the anointing – already!

Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. – 2 Cor 1:21-22

God has already anointed you; and the proof – the “guarantee” – is the indwelling presence of His Holy Spirit!

Here is why this is so important. Yes, you can increase in the anointing by having a new experience. But you can increase the anointing on your life just as much (if not more!) as you simply 1) understand and 2) remind yourself that God has already anointed you! When you have an encounter with God, you are anointed by God from the outside in. But when you truly understand the revelation that you have already been anointed by God, the presence of His Holy Spirit will increase on your life from the inside out!

Jesus tells us – everyone who believes in Him – that He expects us to do great things in His name:

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” – Jn 14:12-14

You will do the same works Jesus did. In fact, you are called to “greater works” than these. And if Jesus healed because He was anointed (Acts 10:38), do you know how you and I are going to do “greater works?” That’s right: only by the anointing.

If Jesus hadn’t already anointed His disciples, He wouldn’t have promised they would do “greater works.” Do you see it? Jesus didn’t need His disciples to have a new experience or an encounter at a conference; He simply needed them to get the revelation that they were already anointed.

The first thing that will happen after God anoints you is this: the enemy will come and lie to you, asking you to doubt the anointing on your life. Jesus knew that, even before He sent His disciples out. Remember what He told them before their ministry trip:

“And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” – Matt 10:7-8

Why would Jesus have said “freely you have received” unless He knew the disciples would doubt their anointing as soon as they needed it? Jesus took the time to remind them that they already had something to offer. He had already given it to them, whether they knew it or not! And now it was time for the disciples to share their anointing with someone else.

If you want to see the anointing come out, you have to believe that it has gone in. 

2) Declare that you are anointed

Once you understand that you are anointed, you have to start declaring it. I’ve gotten in the habit of declaring Isaiah 61:1[5] over my life every single morning. Let me tell you it has made an amazing difference in the way I start my day!

What is your declaration over yourself first thing every morning? Do you look at yourself in the mirror and declare you are powerfully anointed? Or do you look at yourself with pity and wonder if God is ever really going to use you?

Even Jesus had to declare that He was anointed! When He came to His hometown, He had a very specific message for the people who had seen Him grow up:

So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” 

 

Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?” – Lk 4:16-22

Starting in verse 18, Jesus was quoting Isaiah 61: the same passage I am encouraging you to declare over yourself every morning. He was announcing to the world that He had been anointed. He had had an encounter with the Holy Spirit,[6] and from that moment forward, everything would change!

Notice two things. First, not everyone believed Jesus. In verse 22, His listeners gently began to question if Jesus was really capable of doing the things He promised. By verse 28, His listeners were outright angry:

So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. – Lk 4:28-29

You will have people in your life who don’t believe in you. You have an enemy named Satan who will come and lie to you, whispering in your ear that you aren’t as anointed as God says you are. But your response should be to let it go, just like Jesus did:

Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way. – Lk 4:30

Second, Jesus’ anointing was not followed by immediate breakthrough; it was actually followed by demonic resistance.

In Luke 3 as Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit “descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him” (Lk 3:22). It would be nice if Jesus came up out of the water and immediately started healing people. But that wasn’t how events unfolded. This is how Luke 4 starts:

Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry. – Lk 4:1-2

Jesus had an encounter in which He was powerfully anointed by God; but the enemy responded by tempting Him. The times God touches us the strongest are often followed by the times the enemy attacks us the most! But notice how Jesus responded:

  1. In that moment as the enemy tempted Him, Jesus responded a) out loud b) with Scripture!![7] You cannot think the enemy away with your own thoughts! The only way to fight the lies of the enemy is out loud with the Word of God.
  2. After the temptation had ended, Jesus started declaring that He was anointed! His temptation was followed by His declaration starting in Luke 4:18 that we read above.

Now that you know you have been anointed, your job is to declare it over yourself every single day! Expect that as you do, Heaven is going to add to your anointing, and Hell is going to bow to your anointing, in Jesus’ name!

3) Lay Hands

Once you know you’re anointed and have declared that you are anointed, it’s time to do something with your anointing! Notice the wording in the verses Jesus declared in the synagogue:

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,

Because the Lord has anointed Me

To preach good tidings to the poor…” – Is 61:1a 

The anointing comes to do something. I’m all for enjoying the presence of God without restriction or reservation! But when His presence comes, we should do something with it. It’s good to enjoy the anointing at a powerful service on Sunday! But we’re not doing our job if we don’t do something with that anointing from Monday through Saturday.

Once you know you are anointed, it’s time to start praying for people. Ask God to show you whom He wants you to pray for. Jesus said He did “…nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do…” (Jn 5:19). When God shows you what He wants you to do with the anointing, and whom He wants you to pray for, make a list! Write it down, and start every day by believing it’s going to happen.

Then, when you’re in a situation where God has told you to act, it’s time to move. Jesus promised every believer that when we lay hands, the sick will recover:

And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” – Mk 16:17-18

The only question is, do you believe Him?

So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen. – Mk 16:19-20

© Michael D. White, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michael D. White with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

[1] Strong’s G5548

[2] The Original Memoirs of Charles G. Finney . Zondervan. Kindle Edition, loc. 384 of 8226.

[3] Personal communication, 11/6/2019

[4] Finney held meetings from Rhode Island to Ohio from 1821 to 1875. Clark was used as a catalyst for the Toronto Blessing starting in 1994.

[5] “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound…” – Is 61:1

[6] “When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, ‘You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.’” – Lk 3:21-22

[7] See Lk 4:1-13