When Your Anointing Goes Unnoticed
What do you do when you’re anointed but it seems to go unnoticed? What do you do if you are gifted, but the doors are not opening and men don’t give you a platform?
I get asked questions like this often, especially by young people, who feel as though their potential is greater than the position the church is offering. In my personal experience, I felt a vision from the Lord about what the church and my ministry would look like at the age of 16. But it did not come to pass until the age of 30-32.
You must understand that God will always anoint you before men recognize and appoint you.
We see in the Bible that David was in a similar situation (1 Samuel 16). David was anointed when someone else was sitting on the throne. Somebody else had his position and it took time for David to move from anointing to appointing. He was first anointed and then appointed (way later).
I want to use his example to illustrate some truths to keep in mind as you go from anointing to appointing.
10 Things to Keep in Mind
1. Focus on your private victories more than your public opportunities.
The moment David was anointed, he began killing bears and lions. He did not go directly to the throne to reign; he didn’t even step foot in the palace. He simply began to do what he could where he was.
But David said to Saul, “Your servant was tending his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and took a sheep from the flock, I went out after it and attacked it, and rescued the sheep from its mouth; and when it rose up against me, I grabbed it by its mane and struck it and killed it.1 Samuel 17:34,35
Another example is Jesus. Before He began His ministry, Jesus battled with the devil on a personal level in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11).
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.Matthew 4:1
Shift your focus. Don’t focus so much on God opening doors for you immediately. The moment the anointing of God comes into your life, He will allow a bear or lion in your personal life in the form of attacks, insecurities, and even bad habits that will need to be broken. The anointing of God will help you to overcome the attacks in private before it will launch you into ministry.
The anointing of God will help you overcome the attacks in private before launching you into ministry.
2. If you are too big to serve, you are too small to lead.
The moment David was anointed, his father sent him back to the sheep; even after he killed Goliath, he returned to shepherding. David remained humble. If you are too big for the sheep, then you are too small for the success that God has for you.
If you are too big to serve, then you are too small to lead.
Many people, the moment they are anointed or receive a word of prophecy and recognition, feed their ego. God does not want you to grow your ego, He wants you to grow in character, and that includes humility. If you are too big to follow, you are too small for a title.
“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”Luke 14:11
Keep a humble heart as you go through the process that leads to an appointment.
3. Your value does not come from visibility.
Many times, God keeps us hidden in the shadows to test and refine our value system.
Young people draw their identity from the influence they have or from being seen and noticed. However, our value comes from being loved by God and what His Word says about us as His children.
Your value doesn’t come from being seen by others, but by being known by God.
Here is a drastic example that helps get the point across; your heart is an essential organ of your body, but its value is not determined by its visibility. You don’t promote your heart to a visible place outside of your body just because it pumps blood. The heart is extremely valuable, but it is comfortable staying hidden.
In the same way, you do not have to be noticed to be valuable. Remain in the place God has placed you until He moves you elsewhere.
Until then, do not compare yourself with others. Be secure in your identity and value in Christ.
4. Serving is not a steppingstone.
In the church, people sometimes use serving as a stepping stone to reach their “goal.” Even though it’s true that God will reward us with greater opportunities if we’re faithful in small matters, the rewards are not always on this side of eternity.
You may serve for the rest of your life in the same area at church without ever receiving a promotion on this earth, but God will reward you in eternity for serving faithfully.
We see a great example of this in the life of Stephen (read Acts chapters 6-7).
Stephen was a “man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 6:5).
He performed amazing miracles and signs among the people.Acts 6:8
But, we see that he was selected to serve tables and help the widows of the church.
Stephen had a gift for public speaking, but the Bible does not register him preaching in church. He did, however, give a powerful sermon moments before being stoned to death.
We need to eliminate this idea that serving will lead to visibility and greater opportunities in the ministry. Do not serve to get a promotion, serve to advance God’s Kingdom. Serve with a pure heart and with love for others in whatever capacity you have been entrusted with.
Don’t serve to get a promotion, serve to advance God’s kingdom.
5. God wants to have some of His best people in the “lowest” positions.
From a human’s perspective, Stephen was anointed to preach in front of crowds, maybe even to be an evangelist or pastor. However, God wanted Stephen to serve in the church kitchen.
Now at this time, as the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them.Acts 6:1-6
There is a leadership principle that teaches to put the best and most skilled people in higher positions. But that doesn’t always work in the church. What if God wants to have some of His best people in the “lowest” positions?
“He should be a greeter.”
“Oh, but he is so anointed. He should be a preacher, not a greeter.”
“She should be a kid’s teacher.”
“Oh no, she is too anointed for that.”
Well, who better to teach the kids, than someone very anointed?
Why not have the best people serve in the “lowest” positions in the church? It is all about His kingdom. God takes pride when He notices His children full of the Spirit, talented, and gifted, serving in capacities that are not greatly recognized. All of His children are the best, and His best should be serving in His kingdom.
6. Do not fear if your position is smaller than your potential.
Make sure your gifting is not bigger than your character. God is far more concerned about your character matching your gift than making sure your position matches your potential. Ensure that your character does not wane, and your gift does not outgrow your character.
God is far more concerned about your character matching your gift, than making sure your position matches your potential.
Let’s look at David’s life again.
First of all, he was a shepherd who then played for Saul as a musician. He later became an armor-bearer and eventually a general, but had to escape as a fugitive. God did not take pity on David and say, “Oh, poor little David, he has such a great anointing, but is being mistreated.” No.
God was making sure that David’s heart was right, and that his character was being molded. The time for David’s promotion and recognition would come. Your gift and your character should be like the wings on an airplane, perfectly balanced.
7. God wants to develop you with honor towards the authority you disagree with.
When David began to serve, he realized that Saul was not a great authority; he was not a good king, not a good father, and not a good father-in-law. Saul rebelled against God. He was demon-possessed, rejected by God, and battled mental issues. However, even after Saul threatened his life, David honored Saul.
In fact, God gave David a promise,
“I will give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as you wish.”1 Samuel 24:4
But David spared Saul’s life because he was God’s anointed (1 Samuel 24:4-12). David did not view this promise as an opportunity but as a test.
Any time you attack the authority that God has placed you under, you are dishonoring the man or woman of God. Respect is earned, but honor is given. A person has to earn your respect, but not your honor.
I believe that during this process from anointing to appointing, God will test you and develop your honor and attitude towards your authority (parents, pastors, leaders, mentors, etc.) even in moments of disagreement. Serve the people that God places over you. Wait until God acknowledges the anointing in your life. In the meantime, serve at your church and walk under authority.
8. The anointing of God will pull you toward your appointing, like a magnet.
Do not push, rush, manipulate, or cut corners to get to your appointing.
David had the anointing in his life, and it slowly drew him to the palace. He did not have to apply for any positions, he simply ran an errand for his father and ended up on the field with the Israelite army. That was his opportunity to fight Goliath, and people began asking who he was. Then, David was employed at the palace and was slowly drawn closer and closer to the throne. If God anointed you, let Him appoint you.
If God anointed you, let Him appoint you.
Joseph is another example. God gave Joseph a dream, but he did not cheat or manipulate the situation around him to make that dream happen (Genesis 37).
The calling on your life will attract you, like a magnet, to your appointing. Do not push yourself ahead of the rhythm God has for you; trust Him in the process.
9. Do not let your position in the church limit your anointing.
Find an outlet outside of your position in the church to carry out the anointing on your life. Flow like water. Water does not need an open door to get into a room, all it needs is a gap or crack.
If your church does not allow you to minister on the pulpit, you can minister on social media, upload videos to YouTube, write blogs, or even a book. You can influence those in your community by preaching at the park, visiting a homeless shelter, or any other place.
The Bible does not record that Stephen preached in church. But in Acts 6, we read that Stephen preached on the streets, and his powerful sermon is documented in Acts 7. Like him, do not wait for your pastor to give you a microphone.
In many cases, the pulpit in your church is already at full capacity. If you really feel the anointing upon your life, do not expect the fulfillment of that anointing to be only on the church’s pulpit. You have your own pulpit, and that pulpit is your sphere of influence. It is not necessary to shine on stage in order to make an impact for the kingdom of God.
Jesus is another example of this. The Pharisees did not give Jesus a platform to speak at the synagogue, He simply borrowed Peter’s boat to preach to the crowds (Luke 5:1-3).
One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.Luke 5:1-3
Do not be so stubborn that you need a church to recognize you so you can be effective in serving God. Preach the Gospel and use your gift to advance God’s Kingdom outside of the four walls of your church (without neglecting your church). As a result, many times your gift will be acknowledged, and you will receive an opportunity to serve in your church. But even if that does not occur, continue serving people for the glory of God.
It is not necessary to shine on stage in order to make an impact for the kingdom of God.
10.Do not serve at the altar of your potential, live to fulfill your purpose.
Remember that God and the church are not obligated to fulfill your potential. You and I have given our life to fulfill the Great Commission. Do not think that the church exists to guarantee that you do not die with your gifts unfulfilled.
But rather, you and I exist so that the Kingdom of God reaches as many people as possible. I owe God my life and my potential because He has gifted me to advance His kingdom and to bring glory to His name. It is not the other way around; God and the church do not owe us the opportunity to fulfill our potential with a recognized position.
It may seem like your anointing is not being noticed, but even if a man does not accredit your gifts, God sees your heart and how you serve Him. He will reward you–whether it be on earth or in eternity.
We should strive to reach as many souls as possible with the Good News of Jesus Christ, starting with those around us. We live for Him and to advance His Kingdom.
Hopefully, after reading this you do not feel restricted in your calling but encouraged to use your gifts for the glory of God.
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