I always find it amusing when preachers talk about having an “anointment” from God and to speak to God (or the Holy Spirit) directly. Self-declared “prophet” Dutch Sheets gives us a hilarious play-by-play on how he allegedly became “re-anointed” by the Holy Spirit. Apparently the old one had expired or something.
While ministering near Oberlin, Ohio this past Sunday, September 21, I had the privilege of visiting the grave of Charles Finney. Finney, an attorney turned evangelist, was one of the greatest revivalists that has ever lived. He was a leader in the Second Great Awakening, and often called, The Father of Modern Revivalism. He also promoted social reforms, such as the abolition of slavery and equal education for women. Just as I have with stumps, trees, rocks, monuments, chairs, beds, pews and wooden benches in the front of churches, I used his grave as an altar. I thanked God for Finney and those like him who have left us powerful legacies and examples. I reminded Holy Spirit of the First and Second Great Awakenings, and appealed to Heaven for another. As I pondered and honored the work of Finney and others gone before me, I once again committed myself to God and His cause. Then, in a very holy moment, I pledged to the young men and women with me that I would be a faithful father to them and their generation.
As we prayed, God chose this time and place to meet with me in a powerful way. I was overcome, as I have been before, with God’s heart and love for America. I wept, as we all cried out for revival in our land. Why did God meet me there in such a strong way? Perhaps it was to honor the memory of Finney, a faithful son; or, since awakening and harvest is what Finney so powerfully represents, maybe it was a confirmation that God is, indeed, going to give us another great awakening; and it could have been to remind us that we are part of something bigger than ourselves – that the great cloud of witnesses is watching and cheering us on, knowing fully that we’re the continuation of their efforts (Hebrews 11:39-12:2). Whatever His reason for choosing this time and place, the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon me. I was re-mantled and re-anointed.
A mantle in Old Testament times was simply a garment that pictured or symbolized an individual being clothed with the Holy Spirit and His ability. Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is ‘upon’ me…” (Luke 4:18). An anointing in the Old Testament referred to rubbing or smearing with oil as a picture of the Holy Spirit’s impartation and empowering. In the above verse, Jesus referenced this, adding, “He [Holy Spirit] has anointed Me.” Those of us who speak of “mantles” and “anointings” are using biblical symbolism to describe impartations that empower and equip us for a particular task or function. Sunday, for my assignment to America, I was re-mantled and re-anointed with a fresh impartation of Holy Spirit.
I don’t suppose you have any, ya know, evidence of this or anything, do ya? Yeah, I didn’t think so.