How to Operate in the Anointing

By Vladimir Savchuk | July 6, 2022 | 14 mins

How to Operate in the Anointing

Kathryn Kuhlman once said, “God is not looking for golden vessels. God is not looking for silver vessels. God is looking for yielded vessels.”

When people see men and women of God moving in great power, they often wonder how they are able to operate in such a way. The answer is a combination of their personal walk with God (the inner anointing), and the anointing that God has released over them to fulfill a specific task (outer anointing).

The inner anointing is received by salvation and it grows in our intimate devotion to the Lord. It benefits our personal walk with the Lord. The outer anointing is received by desperation, impartation, and association. This sort of anointing, which we will focus on, comes upon us for service, and is often a result of a visitation from God, or an impartation from men of God.

Examples in Scripture 

When we dive into Scripture, we see different men of God display this truth. 

Moses and Joshua

Moses has a supernatural encounter with God and it is here that he is anointed for service. 

And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed…“Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

Exodus 3:2,10

In the book of Numbers, we see that Joshua did not have the same direct encounter with God when he was called to take Moses’s place. Instead, it was God who instructed Moses to “anoint” Joshua as the new leader. 

And the Lord said to Moses: “Take Joshua the son of Nun with you, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him…”

Numbers 27:18

Another verse also says, 

Now Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; so the children of Israel heeded him, and did as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Deuteronomy 34:9

2. Samuel and David 

Another good example can be found in the book of Samuel. When we read the first chapters we see that God calls Samuel by name, and He chooses him to be voice for that time. 

Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears.”

1 Samuel 3:9-10

When it comes to David, however, it was God who chose David and Samuel simply anointed him. 

So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”

1 Samuel 16:12

Another portion of Scripture says, 

Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head, and kissed him and said: “Is it not because the Lord has anointed you commander over His inheritance?

1 Samuel 10:1

3. Elijah and Elisha

The Bible doesn’t really give detail into the life of Elijah or his coming to be a prophet. But, based on the supernatural life that he lived, it could be possible that he also experience a supernatural call from God to be a prophet.

We see that through this relationship with Elijah, Elisha is granted his double portion. 

When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?” “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied.

2 Kings 2:9

4. Jesus and the Disciples 

When we read the story in Luke, we see that Jesus had a distinct anointing to that of His disciples. After He is baptized, He goes into the wilderness and comes back in power, ready to fulfill His assignment on earth. 

Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.

Luke 4:14

This portions reads, 

How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

Acts 10:38

Different to a Jesus’s supernatural encounter, the disciples received their authority through Jesus.

And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.

Matthew 10:1

4. The Apostles and Others

In the Book of Acts, we see that the Holy Spirit descends upon the 120 and afterwards they are filled with power to preach and operate in the supernatural.

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 2:1-4

When we see the life of the apostles, others received the Holy Spirit and even power, but not in the same supernatural way as they did prior. Instead, the apostles laid their hands upon them and through this act, they received the Holy Spirit.

Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

Acts 8:17

5. Paul and Timothy

In order to believe, Paul had to experience a supernatural encounter with Jesus. Three days later, God uses Ananias to anoint him.

And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

Acts 9:17

Timothy, on the other hand, received the gift of God through Paul and the other elders around him.

 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership.

1 Timothy 4:14

Keys to Understand In Order to Operate in the Anointing

1. The Foundation 

In 2 Timothy, Paul says,

When I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.

2 Timothy 1:5

Before Paul talks about the gift that is in Timothy’s life, he addresses the foundation that Timothy rests upon. The most important thing for a believer to have before they operate in the power of God, is a firm foundation in their walk with Christ.

This must be built on your own, personal faith in Jesus. One of the most dangerous things that someone can do is jump into ministry and try to operate in the anointing without having a solid ground in their walk with Christ.

In order to operate in the grace that God wants to release through your life, you first have to have a solid foundation.

Now, this foundation can happen two ways. Either it comes from a generational transfer, as it did in the case of Timothy, or it can happen as a result of genuine faith after an encounter with God. If It’s a generational transfer, often people will have grown up with Christian parents or in a family of believers and going to church. Granted, they still had to make their own decision to follow Christ, but the environment was a godly one. On the other hand, those who have not grown up in church, must destroy the old foundation on which they built their life (different modes of thinking, addictions, beliefs, etc.) and allow him to transform them and build His foundation through devotion.

I would advise those beginning in ministry or desiring to be used by God, to not rush to see the power flow, instead, rush to study God’s Word. Rush to build genuine faith and grow in your understanding of who you are in Christ, and who Christ is in you.

Remember that everything that you build in this life will only be as lasting and strong as your foundation. Often, people who rise really fast but don’t go through the process of building, end up falling or messing up in the public eye.

I cannot emphasize enough how important this step is as we develop our relationship with Christ in the eyes of others.

2. The Impartation

Paul goes on to tell Timothy to not neglect what was given to Him by God through the laying on of hands.

Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership.

1 Timothy 4:14

According to Paul, Timothy had built a foundation of genuine faith, but now encourages Timothy to recognize what has been given to him through impartation.

Impartation typically refers to the laying on of hands as a means of transferring the power of God onto that individual. Yes, the power of God can be transferred to someone.

You cannot transfer the presence of God, but you can transfer the power of God.

If you read the story of Joshua’s anointing, you can see that it happened after Moses placed his hands upon him (Deuteronomy 34:9).

The Holy Spirit doesn’t come within you through the laying on of hands, but He can come upon people to demonstrate His power. Many times, impartation will follow a prophetic word, and God will increase your capacity by leading you into a new level.

When people receive an impartation from a man or woman of God, they describe the experience differently. Some will say it feels like warmth or fire all over, others will fall, shake, go into a trance-like state, while many say they experienced no emotional or physical symptoms. With or without the evidence of physical symptoms, a supernatural deposit transfers into the spirit.

How to receive impartation from a man or woman of God?

Although impartation can happen through different ways, the most common way is through serving.

Serving is a pre-requisite for the impartation, not sowing.

We see in the Bible where Simon the sorcerer saw the power of God operating through Peter’s life and he wants to buy it off of them. The apostles rebuked him, because his heart was not in the right place.

If you want to receive an impartation from God, you must first serve the purpose of God. Learn to serve with the capacity that God has given you. If you skip this step, you run the risk of receiving an impartation but nothing happening afterwards. The anointing needs to flow and serve God’s purpose. It is not made just so you can keep it for yourself. If you do, it will dry up.

Imitation comes when we observe, impartation comes when we serve!

Serve at your local church, and pastors or leaders whom you look up to. Serving them does not mean being a slave to their every command, but help them achieve what God is calling them to do, even if it means taking up small or seemingly useless tasks. Do so as a service to God.

Be consistent, loyal, obedient, and above all, remain connected to God. He sees your heart and your intentions.

3. The Intimidation

Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

2 Timothy 1:6-7

Beware of fear and timidity. These feelings are big blockages for the flow of the anointing of God. As a person who desires to be used by God, one of the hinderances that satan will try to use is fear. He will do everything he can to limit your boldness for God’s kingdom. Don’t allow him to limit you.

Remember that if you’re willing to see people’s needs and not just your problems, the anointing will flow through you. People will often ask me, what do I do if I don’t feel like preaching, or I don’t feel like ministering sometimes? The answer is simple.

Sometimes you will minister out of faith and other times you’ll minister out of obedience to God’s command.

If there is no overflow of miracles in your life, then minister in the Holy Spirit out of obedience. God will honor that. Use what God has already given to you and don’t shrink in fear in the face of an opportunity to expand God’s kingdom. Fan into flame what God has deposited within you, and accept that not only do you have the gift but also the Spirit of power, love and sound mind to operate that gift. 

4. The Association

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God

2 Timothy 1:8

Your environment is HUGE when it comes to the development of what’s been deposited within you. It’s one thing to get a gift deposited but it’s another to get the gift developed. When people learn to develop the gift in them, that’s when true growth happens in someone’s life and ministry. Many people don’t develop what’s been given to them, and that is why Paul tells Timothy to fan into flame the gift. Get close to anointed men and women of God who can push you to grow. Often, when they point out weaknesses or character flaws within us, God uses that to catapult our development.

And lastly, don’t forsake the feeding of your spirit-man with food that helps it to grow.

Your spiritual diet and discipline are vital to development.

5. The Demonstration

One thing that is important to know regarding the anointing, is that it is for deployment. When God finds a man or woman who is yielded to Him, He allows His power to flow through them.

If you desire to be used by God, know that God’s ability will flow through your action. Not the other way around. As you step out in faith, God will supply the supernatural power.

But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.

Mark 13:11

Don’t allow the worries of not knowing what to say to limit your boldness in God. One thing I always like to say is, ‘when you don’t know what to do, do what the occasion demands.’

Allow God to use you to demonstrate the power of God in your city. Remember, when electricity is connected to the house – connect anything and it’ll work.

May God take you deeper before He takes you wider!

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