Paying For The Anointing?
There is a popular teaching in the professing Christian community that we pay a price for the anointing.
This teaching normally goes something like, “The anointing gives you power to get results. But this power comes with a cost! How badly do you want it? Are you willing to pay the price to walk in the anointing? If so, then you must be prepared to sacrifice. The greater your trials, the greater the anointing.”
People are instructed to perform various religious works in order to pay the price for the anointing (e.g., praying more, fasting more, suffering more, meditating more, giving more donations, going into isolation or seclusion, being mentored as a “spiritual son” or “spiritual daughter” by a religious leader, etc).
This teaching sends people on an endless exhausting journey of performing religious works, because who doesn’t want to be more anointed? Plus, there is always a “greater anointing” to seek after and pay for.
This religious pursuit for a “greater anointing” is like a carrot-on-a-stick dangling in front of them, luring them on to seek more spiritual power from God.
Let’s address this teaching once and for all. . . .
What is the Anointing?
For starters, the word anointing comes from the root word “anoint” meaning to consecrate, sanctify, or set apart for service unto God.
During the Old Covenant, prophets, priests, kings and judges were anointed by God to perform specific functions. These functions all pointed to Jesus Christ as The Anointed One.
The koine Greek word translated as “Christ” actually means the anointed one. Jesus fulfilled all of these functions as our Prophet, High Priest, King of kings, and Final Judge.
He is the Supreme Anointed One and the only Person who has the Spirit of God “without measure” and the fullness of God in bodily form (John 3:34; Colossians 1:19; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:9-10).
We (believers in Jesus Christ) are also anointed by God. We have all been consecrated, sanctified, and set apart for service unto God.
“Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22). “But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.” (1 John 2:20)
All believers have different spiritual gifts and God works through us in different ways, but that does not mean that any of us have a “greater measure of the anointing.” There are different spiritual gifts and different types of service, but the same Holy Spirit or anointing works through us all (1 Corinthians 12:4-5).
John the apostle said that we have been anointed by the Holy One [Jesus]. This anointing is the gift of the Holy Spirit whom Jesus gives to those who believe in Him and the Good News message. The gift of the Holy Spirit [the anointing] is received by grace through faith in the Son of God, not by performing religious works (Ephesians 2:8-9).
John the apostle also said that the anointing teaches us about everything and is true, and is no lie (1 John 2:27). This shows that the anointing is the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit teaches us and He is true (Jesus called Him the “Spirit of Truth” in John 16:13).
The anointing is not a force, an energy, or “the power to get results” as some religious leaders erroneously teach. The anointing is a Person — the Holy Spirit. He does not come and go based on how we feel or the mood around us. He is within us all of the time.
Jesus Paid It All, So What Are You Trying to Pay For??
We sing the Gospel hymn that “Jesus Paid It All”, but do we actually understand the lyrics?
When Jesus paid the price for our salvation, that included the anointing. There is no personal sacrifice that we can make to pay for the anointing. Jesus already made the sacrifice by shedding His blood.
Some religious leaders boast and brag about what they allegedly sacrificed to pay for their “special anointing.” But the truth is that they didn’t pay for the anointing because no one is able to pay for the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The anointing is not demonstrated by pride, exalting one’s self, claiming to have power to transfer the anointing to others, or bragging with “false humility” about how much one has sacrificed to pay for the anointing. The anointing is demonstrated by humility (Philippians 2).
Jesus already paid the price for us to receive the anointing and be consecrated, sanctified, and set apart as a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:5, 9). We do not need to perform any religious works to obtain an anointing that we already received as a free gift by God’s grace.
Are you seeking a “greater anointing”? If you are a believer, then Christ the hope of glory lives in you and God Himself dwells in you. What “greater anointing” is there than God/Jesus living in us?
Jesus anointed the apostles to preach the Gospel and perform miracles in His name — but not because they suffered, sacrificed, and performed religious works in order to “pay for the anointing.” He anointed them because He loved them, called them to Himself, and set them apart from the world to serve God.
Paul most certainly did not do anything special to pay for the anointing. He was a Pharisee riding down the Damascus road on his way to persecute Christians! — yet Jesus called Paul to salvation and anointed him to preach the Gospel. Paul was anointed by God’s grace, not because he paid for it somehow. The idea of paying for the anointing is false and foreign to Scripture.
The idea of “paying for the anointing” might sound logical to some of us, because we are used to the way of the world, and the way of the world is to pay for everything.
Even goods and services that claim to be “free” have strings attached and hidden costs. “Free” public education and “free” healthcare aren’t actually free. In some way, we end up paying for it.
We are so use to paying for everything that we bring this same mindset into the Kingdom of God. Yet Jesus clearly said that His Kingdom of NOT of this world. God’s ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts.
This is why Romans 12:2 says “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
Whereas the way of the world is to pay for everything, God’s way is to give us the most valuable gift (eternal life) for free.“For the wages of sin is death, but the >>>free gift<<< of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
“Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink—even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk—>>>it’s all free!<<< Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen to me, and you will eat what is good. You will enjoy the finest food. “Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life. I will make an everlasting covenant with you. I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David.” (Isaiah 55:1-3)
Many believers don’t realize just how gracious and generous God is. If they did, they wouldn’t try to pay for an anointing that God has already given them by grace.
They would not be paying 10% of their income to earn God’s blessing and avoid an Old Covenant curse that Jesus removed for us.
They would not be “paying to minister,” paying for their spiritual inheritance, or paying religious leaders to be “spiritual fathers” and “spiritual mothers” to them when God wants to be their ultimate Spiritual Father for free (2 Corinthians 6:18).
Oh foolish Galatians! The gift of the Holy Spirit (the anointing) is a free gift from God. There are no hidden fees. You cannot pay for Him. All God requires is faith in Jesus (Galatians 3:1-5).
“If I’m Not Paying For The Anointing, Then Why Am I Suffering So Much?”
Some believers may wonder, if they aren’t paying a price for the anointing, then why are they suffering so much?
There are a few reasons why we suffer. . .
We suffer because we live in a fallen world and it rains on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45). We suffer because everyone who strives to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (Matthew 5:10-12; 2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Peter 4). Sometimes we suffer the consequences of our own sins (Galatians 6:7-8). We suffer through trials of faith to show that our faith is genuine (1 Peter 1:6-7). We suffer to mature our character (James 1:2-4).
If we are to share in Christ’s glory, we must also share in His suffering. Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later.” (Romans 8:17-18)
Living in this fallen world brings great adversity and difficulties, especially as a believer. Jesus never promised that it would be easy. In fact, He said “Here on earth you will have >>>many trials and sorrows<<< But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).
The Scriptures say a lot about suffering. But they don’t say that we pay for the anointing through our suffering.
We don’t suffer to “pay a price for the anointing.” We suffer because we are anointed. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.