“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
God’s Essential Oil, by Randall D. Kittle

“You have an anointing from the Holy One, and … the anointing which you received from Him abides in you.” — 1 John 2:20-27

It has been said that the mighty Roman Empire ran on olive oil. Rome itself used more than 2 million gallons each year! This oil was essential to almost every aspect of their daily lives. It was used in cooking, bathing, medicine, ceremonies, lamps, cosmetics, and more. For decades, olive oil from across the empire, most notably southern Spain, was shipped to Rome in large clay jugs called “amphorae.” It’s estimated that more than 50 million amphorae made the trek from around the empire to Rome. Since those terracotta jugs weren’t worth sending back, they were discarded in an ever-growing heap commonly called the “Mount of Shards.” Today, this 150-foot high man-made hill, known as Monte Testaccio, still stands on the bank of the Tiber River in Rome.

The Oil of the Holy Spirit
Like the Roman Empire, the kingdom of God “runs” on oil. But this oil isn’t olive oil or petroleum oil. God’s essential oil is the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Unlike what many Christians seem to believe, the presence of the Holy Spirit penetrating and permeating our lives isn’t optional — it is of singular importance. If we are to live out the new life that we’ve been given, nothing is more important!

Why is the oil of the Holy Spirit so essential? Because no one can truly live the Christian life without His active assistance. There are three specific reasons it’s so essential for us to continually be anointed by the Holy Spirit. The first is this, no matter how sincere or passionate we may be, on our own, you and I can’t worship God as freely and fully as He deserves. Secondly, regardless of how zealous we may be, by our own abilities, we cannot witness for Christ as effectively as He desires. And thirdly, however zealous we may be, we cannot, on our own, do warfare for Christ as powerfully and victoriously as He would determine and direct.

The Lord wants to anoint us with the presence of His Spirit to enhance and expand our abilities in each of these areas. Through the Holy Spirit, the Lord wants to expand our capacity for worshiping, increase our success when witnessing, and enhance our effectiveness in spiritual warfare.

The 3-Fold Anointing
At the heart of the Lord’s plan to ensure our sufficiency for true Christian living, is a beautiful Old Testament foreshadow: the practice of anointing — of pouring holy oil upon candidates for the offices of priest (see Exodus 28:41), prophet (see 1 Kings 19:16), and king (see 1 Samuel 16:1,13). Each of these offices presents a role that we are to fulfill as born-again believers. By the anointing of the Holy Spirit, all Christians are made prophets, priests, and kings to God!

As New Testament
priests, we are elevated to offer new dimensions of sacrifice in our worship to God Almighty. “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9).

As New Testament
prophets, we are enabled to have greater effectiveness in declaring our testimony of Jesus’ goodness and faithfulness. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

And as New Testament
kings, we are ennobled to rule with new dimensions of kingdom authority and power. “To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father” (Revelation 1:5-6).

The Spirit-filled life calls you to new dimensions of worship, witness, and warfare. And the key to your fulfilling them is allowing the anointing of the Holy Spirit to rest upon your life. The essential oil of God’s anointing has been promised to everyone who has received Jesus as their Savior. So, let us take hold of the fullness of the spiritual life available in that anointing by seeking and surrendering to the Lord — allowing Him to release His fresh oil to us in ever-increasing measure!

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