On a quiet afternoon, stood a young man peering into a storefront window, wondering how those keyboard pianos would sound that he had his eyes on. The curious young man pulled himself into the store and sat down in front of a three thousand dollar keyboard. It had all the neat programs, buttons and sounds. As he played his favorite song for about two minutes, he abruptly stopped, got up and went to a two thousand dollar keyboard. It wasn't as fancy as the first, but it did have some fun stuff to play with.
As he sat and played with his eyes closed, you could see he was trying to play with feeling. For about five minutes he just kept his eyes closed. You would of thought that he liked this keyboard. But, he abruptly stopped and looked at the store clerk and asked, "Do you have any keyboards that are simple to use? I am looking for that certain feel and sound." The clerk replied, "Yes, but these other keyboards are so much fancier; they are the modern way to play." The young man replied, "They may be new, but they lack the true sound I need to hear. Can I see a simple keyboard please?"
The clerk brought him into a plain old room in back of the store where there sat, all covered with dust, a plain old keyboard. It had nothing fancy, just a few volume controls. The young man dusted off the seat and began to play. This time he sang along as he played. After he played for about fifteen minutes, tears started flowing down his cheeks. People began to gather around and sing along with him. Some of them began to cry too.
As the young man stopped playing, there was a deep silence in the atmosphere. He lifted up his eyes and asked the clerk, "How much does this keyboard cost?" The clerk replied, "two hundred dollars." The young man asked the clerk how come it is so cheap. The clerk answered, "Well, it was owned by an old fashion preacher that passed away several years ago. I haven't been able to sell it because it is so outdated. We have all these modern gimmicks and gadgets on keyboards now; who would use something so old fashion anyways." The young man said, "I will take it, because it has a true and real sound to it. It feels right and has that special touch to it!"
In the days of old, you could hear that certain "sound", and feel that certain "touch" so very easily. As days have passed by and technologies have advanced, it seems a little harder to distinguish the real anointing from the counterfeit moves of the Spirit.
This article may be a little different then what you have heard, however, in this article I hope that I can articulate the voice of reason and to echo the clearness of anointing that is being blurred in this hour. We hear and see many voices and spiritual manifestations that clearly needs to be discerned. Thus, this article of the Shadows of Anointing.
2/3 SPIRITUAL BEINGS
Scrolling through the pages of God's word starting in Genesis, one is first revealed the complete creation of man and who he is. Scripture clearly teaches us that we are a three part being; Body, soul and spirit.
What needs to be understood is that, two-thirds (2/3) of our being is made up of spiritual consciousness. Our lives actually operate more by spiritual energy then by the natural body. We live and operate based on our soul and spirit. It is our bodies that actually obey what our soul and spirit leads it to do. We often blame our flesh for our mistakes, but it is the body that responds to what our mind dictates. Our soul (our will) plays the key role of whether we obey sin or righteousness. You can see this principle in the book of Romans.
THE CHANNELS OF SPIRITUAL ENERGY
As a human soul, we are very complex when it comes to all the emotions, feelings, anxieties, fears and such like that make up our being. Often time’s one element of our being affects the other. One can be hurt by a person which later can filter down to several emotions and even ending in bitterness, hatred and murder.
The "channels of spiritual energy" are often misguided and hard to figure out. Many times when our life seems like a struggle, we find it hard to exactly pinpoint what our problem may be for a while. Scriptures lets us know that out of the heart are the issues of life. Everything we do is filtered through our heart and mind. And often times we can echo the truth that "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jer 17:9).
As we live this life, our body is a vessel where spiritual energy moves in and out of our being. Men and women are channels of spiritual energy. One person can be a conduit for God while another can be a tool of the devil.
We often overlook the spiritual realm that we constantly interact with on a minute by minute basis. People you meet or talk to all transfer some spiritual influence in our lives; sometimes without us even sensing it.
All that being said, the greatest concern that we must pay attention to is our own spirit and soul and how we are responding to the challenges of life and the "spiritual atmospheres" we entertain. Reaching out using these channels in our lives can often cause us problems as well as launch us into powerful God ordained anointing’s.
At any given moment, our emotions, desires, ambitions and preconceived ideas can trick us into a situation where we believe that what we feel is the real anointing of God. Some of our attitudes can simulate the real thing. It can feel good, give us goose bumps and all that. But, is it really a true anointing of God? How can we tell?
THE CLASHES OF WILL'S
All of us have to contend with our own will. The ear-mark of a true disciple of Jesus Christ is their ability to deny self, take up their cross and follow Jesus. Mistakes will be made; travail will have to take place in the garden of Gethsemane. Going against the grain will be required and our will and emotions will have to be crucified.
God's will is hardly ever accomplished the way we think it should be done. God will often times whisper to us what he wants us to do. And we, being eager to move, will often times try to bring it to pass on our own... thus we clash with God's will and timing.
The hardest thing to do is wait on God to open the doors. Often we try to force the doors open and help Him out... but, we end up making mistakes in the process. Why is that? How come we make these mistakes and stumble? The answer is found within ourselves in the soul and spiritual energy that governs our lives.
THE SOUL - THE DEVILS PLAYGROUND
The most important part of any human being is the soul that God created in every one of us. It is the soul that is the door to every attitude, spirit, desire and demonic attack we encounter. God created this process and gave us a will to choose. When one considers how God and the devil operate, one must always look at how these two spiritual forces operate differently with the soul of man. God's way of dealing with us can be summed up this way... completeness!
Not only does God work from outside of us, He also works from inside-out. When a person receives the Holy Ghost, God works on the inside to clean up the soul, body and spirit, thus producing good works, deeds and holiness. He works to completely make us whole and His goal is to control us for His good and to give us a good life!
The devil on the other hand, works from outside-in to gain control. His playground is the soul. He speaks with his voice to get us thinking the wrong way. If he succeeds in controlling our mind, he then can control our emotions, spirit and desires.
The playground of the soul is where our "will" lives and plays. When we are governed by our will, ambitions, feelings and emotions, we forfeit true discernment and can often get spiritually involved in counterfeit anointing's and pseudo spiritual manifestations.
The usual goal of the devil is to destroy God's people. As a lion, he constantly seeks individuals who he can devour. Sometimes his goal is not to destroy but to get us in the wrong spiritual state! We know he likes lukewarmness and sin in the church etc... but his desire is to deceive people into thinking that what they are feeling is God, when in truth, it is an angel of light!
THE ANGEL OF LIGHT
The symbol placed on the devil in society is a red devil with pitch folk and pointed horns. That is so far from the truth. If we really saw the devil, we would be surprised by his appearance. But, what does the devil feel like? What does he sound like?
We know that he is a liar and speaks lies. But, if you understand how he speaks, you will see that his voice is usually always sweet and sounds like God! If the devil came to us speaking roughly and we could feel a real evil presence around us, we would easily recognize him.
Angels in scripture are majestic, powerful and God-like beings. Angels of God that manifest themselves to humans bring in an atmosphere that exalts God.
When the devil's presence is around, it can make you feel warm and fuzzy, euphoric, sensual and emotionally charged! It is an "angel of light!" It feels so good! That is why temptation feels so good, yet that good feeling will cause you to go against God's word.
Look at Eve... that presence around her made her feel deprived as well as feel like she can gain more knowledge to make her wise... thus feeding her emotions and pride. He didn't speak roughly to her... but deceitfully to her; it sounded wonderful!
THE SHADOWS OF ANOINTING
After finishing the foundation of this study, we can readily see how our spiritual being can be used for good and evil. Our spirit, will, desires and emotions can be manipulated by God or the devil at any given moment. The whole basis of this study is to reveal how we need to discern what spirit we are entertaining through our spirit, will and emotions.
Biblical anointing is brought about in two fashions. Mostly in the Old Testament it was physical acts of pouring oil on individuals and holy vessels of service; or God moved on people to do something. We can also see how God's Spirit is a type of anointing oil in the life of a believer to heal, deliver and to perform His work in the New Testament and in our day.
I personally equate biblical anointing to how God "anoints" or empowers a person at any given moment and time to perform His will at that time and hour. The Lord worked with them, confirming his Word with signs and wonders. God most often anoints the preaching of the word and anoints the those who excise the gifts of the spirit.
The subject of anointing can be very deep, but suffice to say. God anoints anyone, any deed or any act of faith if it is in obedience to God's will for that moment of time. God also, places his anointing on men, women and the gathering of saints when we are lined up with His will and timing and can be directed to move when He speaks.
The complexity comes in when we are confronted with preaching and "spiritual" manifestations that look and sound like God, but do not feel right. If you allow me the freedom to do so, I would like to refer to some of the "manifestations" as "shadows of anointing" and provide what I feel is paramount in discerning what is the difference between counterfeit and real anointing.
WILL vs ANOINTING
We have already covered our will extensively and one more point needs to be brought out. Sometimes services and preaching are portrayed as being the will of God, when it is in fact actually the will of the person proclaiming it. There could be many underlying reasons a preacher is preaching the way he is.
For example, a preacher could be promoting "giving" when his real motive is for his own needs. Then pass it off as God needs our money. If a preacher tries to make you feel guilty and proposes that we give out of constraint (by manipulating), then he is not in the book! We are to give cheerfully, not out of constraint, grungily (out of guilt) or of necessity. Nothing wrong with making a need known, but, let people decide if they want to contribute or not without making people feel obligated. (2 Co 9:7)
When we are in a service, discerning the "spirit of anointing" in the atmosphere is crucial. Anointed preaching brings anointed liberty to do God's will and or brings conviction of sin. There are many people who preach who are not in the will of God. Even satan himself can transform himself into a "preacher of righteousness."
Some proclaim that the will of God is His word, which it is! However, is it the plan of God for us at that moment? What about for the current hour? Paul had a vision of a man from Macedonia asking for help. The Holy Ghost forbid him to go at that time? Why? Timing!
INSPIRATION vs ANOINTING
Over the years I have been in services that were kind of dry, yet I would hear somebody proclaim that they feel inspired! They would have great stories, quote scriptures and would practically scream through the whole message. They made good points, doctrinally based and would get people's emotions all stirred up.
The altar call came and went without any tears and without any changes. After the service, someone would shake the preachers hand and tell them that, that was a great service! Is that anointed preaching?
Inspiration is just that; it is when the human intellect is inspired or energized on its own. It is a self-promoting idea grounded on ideas from without and within. People in the world are inspired to write great novels, or inspired to do great feats.
Anointing is that special inspiration that only comes from God's lips to an obedient heart. God's anointing will first change and shake the messenger and then he in turn will deliver the oil drenched message that produces spiritual results.
The difference between inspiration and anointing is the atmosphere that is present when people are engaged in it. People can get excited by inspiration, but anointing is deep, soul searching and liberating. It touches the soul and spirit, not just the intellect.
AMBITIOUS DESIRES vs ANOINTING
Ambitions and desires are subject to "our will" (as discussed earlier). One of the hardest parts of our inner being is to deal with is our ambitions and desires, especially if God has placed them in our heart. We have this strong desire to please God and our will kicks in to bring it to pass. However, while "our will" is more or less un-proclaimed to others; anyones ambitions and desires are easily seen by other's because it is openly proclaimed for all to hear. They can see and hear what is being openly promoted.
For example; a pastor may have a strong desire for the harvest to come into his church, which is great! But, God has to do things in the pastor and church to bring that about. If the pastor ignores the steps required by God, then his ambitions will fall short.
In the services he will promote, and willfully try to get people to go win souls. But, in the spirit, God wants people to go a certain direction. The pastor may pump everyone up and get them emotionally charged, yet there seems to be a lack of the anointing of God.
Anointing requires that we walk in the footsteps of the Lord. While walking, we obey Him and as we obey, God then anoints and blesses His own work! If we let our ambitions and desires push ahead of God, God will sit back and wait for us to finally stop trying to do it our way!
FEELINGS & EMOTIONS vs ANOINTING
Feelings and emotions are one of the most dangerous aspects of our life. These two energies are produced from the will and desires we entertain. Emotions can be affected not only from inside, but outside as well.
Emotions are like rain showers; they come and go. They affect our moods, our outlook and the opinion we have of ourself. Emotions can condemn us, when God doesn't; emotions can make us fearful when God says fear not! Emotions are a slippery slope that can lead to sin! One of the greatest tools the devil uses against us, ...is our emotions! If he can get us depressed then he has that hook of self-pity in us.
On the other side, emotions also cause us to feel giddy, foolish, warm-and-fuzzy inside. It can get us to lust and see things through rose colored glasses. Emotions can sway both ways, happy to sad. No wonder we have to walk by faith and not by sight (feelings).
Living for God is a happy, joyful life. There are times we should rejoice and dance before him in victory. God created emotions and learning to handle them is very important. Even though God created them, the devil can also manipulate them.
I am of the conviction that our emotions need to be filtered through God and His word. The Spirit of God should move our emotions, and not we try to move God with our emotions. This brings me to the subject of opening ourselves up to spiritual manifestations.
When we were filled with the Holy Ghost, God filled our spirit; He dwells in our spirit. Therefore, any communication we have with God should be done through our spirit. The "rivers of living water" comes from our spirit. That is where we will feel God first. Then we in turn will respond emotionally. That is why a lot of people weep when they feel God.
Issues begin to arise when we depend on our emotions instead of depending on feeling God in our spirit. Because the emotions can get messed up (depression etc); sometimes we may weep and cry from our emotions and not be weeping and crying from the Spirit. This can happen with desires, pride, lust etc.
Emotions can be touched by lust. Lust can give you a euphoric (sensual) feeling that feels so good. You can feel very warm-and-fuzzy. Now, I am not talking just about a sexual lust (which can happen), but any euphoric desire that is very strong. The emotions is being influenced by a carnal feeling.
When we are around people or in church services, sometimes the manifestations we see may be influenced by the wrong kind of emotions. Song services tend to be the place you would see this the most. Jubilant singing is in order, if the Spirit of blessing and victory is being poured out by the Lord.
In my many years of living for God, I have been in many services that were nothing but emotional manifestations that God was not blessing. The fast songs were played, the noise was loud, you could see people jumping up and down. This would go on for every song. However, when the song stopped, immediately people sat down and stopped.
I am reminded of an occasion where Israel danced before the golden calf in the wilderness. They believed they were worshiping God, they danced, they sang, they were loud, they were emotional about it all... but they were covered with lust. Their emotions led them right out of the will of God and into sin.
Music should be full of grace and anointing from God. Not every service is going to be charged with exuberant worship. If it is, then you may very well be seeing emotionalism at work. Emotions do not move God... true anointing, faith and true humility moves God.
When we are going to approach any person or service that is going to require us to open our spirit, we need to first relax and feel for the presence of God. Scripture tells us to "try the spirits" to see if they are from God or not. If you suspect that what you are feeling around you is not right, do not join yourself to it until you are sure.
So many attitudes, feelings, emotions and demonic attack can influence a service. Demon spirits will try to bind up a service any way they can. He will use anybody that is carnal that day, he can send in witches, wicked spirits in high places can besiege a service. There is so much spiritual activity that may look and sound like God, but is it?
Maturity, dictates that living and walking in the spirit means that you are not governed by your own self, your own emotions, your own desires. It dictates that being Spirit led is relying on God's anointing, His word and not by all the shadows that simulate the real anointing!