“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me…” (Isaiah 61:1)What does it mean to be anointed? The Hebrew word means to be “rub, smear, or paint.” This scripture, which Jesus applied directly to himself, says that Jesus was smeared and painted with the Holy Spirit. In most churches, including mine, anointing has been refined to be something very neat. When we anoint someone today it is a dab of oil on the finger that is rubbed on the forehead. In the days of the priests of Israel, anointing was a horn of oil poured onto the head of a priest or other minister. It was messy, but it was powerful, for only those who were anointed could approach the presence of God to minister to Him. David describes the anointing of the priest of Israel, “It is like the precious oil upon the head, coming down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard, coming down upon the edge of his robes.” (Psalms 133:2)
Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit. He was dripping with the presence of God. Everywhere He went the Holy Spirit went. When people drew near to Him they could detect the presence of God. When the religious elite doubted the means by which Jesus did His miracles, Jesus reminded them, “But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” (Luke 11:20) Jesus was the interface of the kingdom of heaven with the world we live in.
As Christians, we are the anointed ones of God. “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22) We are the ones who are to carry the presence of God to the world. We are to be dripping with the presence of God. When people draw near us, they should be able to sense the presence of God and His kingdom. Paul refers to the detectable presence of God as a fragrance. “For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?” (2 Corinthians 2:15-16) Because of the anointing we have received, we are to be a fragrance of life to everyone around us. The world is full of the fragrance of death and there is sin and decay everywhere, but God has sent us to be a fragrance of life in the midst of so much death.
What is the secret to being drenched with the sweet perfume of His presence? The Song of Solomon gives us a clue, “Hurry, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains of spices.” (Song of Solomon 8:14) If we want to smell like the mountains of spices then we must first visit the mountains of spices. If we are to give off the fragrance of the presence of God then we must first be in His presence. We cannot fake the presence of God with some fancy perfume. There is no substitute for being in His presence. We must be like the beloved in the Song of Solomon, “Until the cool of the day when the shadows flee away, I will go my way to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of frankincense.” (Song of Solomon 4:6) We have been anointed with the Holy Spirit, but we must never let that anointing grow stale. We must regularly come into His presence and let the Holy Spirit pour over us and drip anew with the presence of God.