If you’re a leader in the ministry you want the anointing of God. Anyone who says otherwise is either lying or doesn’t understand the anointing. The anointing of God is more than success. It’s more than fame and renown. It’s more than attendance or followers. The anointing is something Paul and Peter had in the New Testament. Ezekiel, Isaiah, and Jeremiah had the anointing of God in the Old Testament. The anointing of God brings power, wisdom, clarity, and discernment into a leaders life.
Recently I was reading in the Kings in Scripture and was struck by the story of Elijah and Elisha. Elisha was an assistant to Elijah, not only hearing the stories of God’s anointing it, but seeing it first hand as well. As Elijah’s time on earth was coming to an end, he asked Elisha what he wanted before being taken away. Look at the reply of Elisha:
2 Kings 2:9b “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit (anointing) and become your successor.”
Elisha knew what this meant. He knew what Elijah had gone through. Hunted down by Ahab and Jezebel. Ridiculed by the people. Rejected by the crowd. Hiding in the desert being fed by birds. He knew that the life of a prophet, while anointed, may not bring adulation with it! He understood the weight but he wanted the anointing anyway. Jump ahead a few verses and we see the anointing of Elijah was indeed given to Elisha.
That part of the story I’ve always known. It was the next chapter that hit me square in the nose. In 2 Kings 3, the nation of Moab rebels against Israel leading to an assault by Israel on the nation of Moab. The King of Judah joined the raid with Israel, which led to the wilderness of Edom. In the wilderness, these raiding parties were faced with a dire situation. All hope was lost. They were in desperate need of a word from the Lord. That’s when Jehoshaphat of Judah asks, “Isn’t there a prophet of the Lord here? Let’s inquire of the Lord through him.” (2 Kings 3:11a)
2 Kings 3:11b (CSB) One of the servants of the King of Israel answered, “Elisha son of Shaphat, who used to pour water on Elijah’s hands, is here.”
Woah! Did you catch that? Elisha, who used to pour water on Elijah’s hands, was there. That phrase struck me, so I decided to look it up in a commentary. Several theologians had their take, but the common theme was that the pouring of water on the prophets hands was a common task in the office of an assistant. Another theologian said: “The sort of service here indicated marks one had been in constant attendance to his master, who therefore understood his feelings, and had thus grown to understand on what occasions God might be appealed to.” (Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges)
This is what I wrote in my journal: If you’re not willing to pour water for the prophet you’ll never have the anointing poured out on you!
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When I look at my own life, and at the church landscape as a whole, I’m saddened that so often we want the anointing of God without the willingness to simply pour water first! We don’t want the role of assistant. We want to jump right to “anointed prophet”! Could it be that God trusted the anointing with Elisha because he was willing to be a water pourer first? Wow!
Where is God asking you to pour water? Where do I need to be an assistant? We all know the exciting stories of Elisha’s ministry. What we don’t ever talk about are the mundane ones of pouring water on Elijah’s hands. If Elisha wouldn’t have poured the water He would not have had the anointing poured out on him.
I want to be a water pourer first!