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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.”—1 John 2:20 (NIV)
The word “anointing” is one we see frequently in Scripture, and it’s also one that is often misunderstood. On the surface, it suggests a kind of spiritual favor or special blessing from God. However, oftentimes as believers, we falsely think those Christians who are anointed have a unique gifting or touch from God that the rest of us don’t. This mischaracterization can leave people feeling inferior to others, or that certain pastors or preachers should be placed on a pedestal above the rest of the flock.
In fact, this idea that anointing is only available for a select few has led to a great deal of confusion and—let’s be honest—strange behavior among some churches. According to a commentary by David Guzik:
“Among some Christians today, there is a rather magical or superstitious approach to this idea of anointing. In their mind, the anointing is like a virus or a germ that can be spread by casual contact or infect a whole group. Usually these folks think that when one ‘catches’ the anointing, you can tell because they begin acting strangely. This isn’t the Bible’s idea of anointing.”
On the contrary, John wasn’t referring to something weird or mystical when referring to anointing, but rather a very natural state of being for every Christian. The apostle was describing a state of being in which we are simply filled with and blessed by the Holy Spirit, a common blessing to anyone who is a follower of Jesus (Romans 8:9, 11; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Galatians 4:6).
Why is this fact so significant? Because part of the reason John wrote this book was to warn the early Church against false doctrine and antichrists. He appealed to every Christian’s innate ability to be able to discern the truth from lies, not as a result of their own logic or intellect, but rather by the indwelling Holy Spirit. And in a world that is filled with lies, where society encourages us to seek our own subjective truth rather than the truth of God’s Word, it’s more important than ever that we are able to identify what is false lest we be led astray in our thinking.
Here’s the great news: Jesus told us that when the Holy Spirit comes, “He will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). In other words, God hasn’t left us to our own devices to try and figure life out. He has anointed each and every one of us with His Spirit to know Him, His Word, and the Truth.
DIG: What do you think of when you hear the word “anointing”? Is your definition based on biblical truth or something else?
DISCOVER: Why is the ability to discern truth from falsehood so important for the believer?
DO: Today, thank God for anointing you with the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to guide you into the truth and specifically expose any lies you may have been led to believe about Him and His heart for you.
Rob Nieminen is a seasoned writer and editor who has written devotionals for Calvary since 2015. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, FL. He serves in the Worship Ministry at Calvary Boynton Beach and is an avid reader, an erratic golfer, and an aspiring photographer who loves to cook and spend time with his family.