Anointed to Do What?
I’ve been reading through the book of Isaiah as of late and have been caught by the power of the passages in a way I have never been before. One of the chapters that reached out and grabbed my attention was Isaiah 61, a chapter my Bible summarizes as “The Year of the Lord’s Favor.”
Before I go to the actual verses, I must admit that my perspective of the church and what we as Christians were responsible for began shifting by the time I was finished reading through verses 1-7. For the sake of keeping you invested, I won’t post the entire passage, just a couple of key verses, but I encourage you to look this chapter up and read it for yourself.
Isaiah 61:1, 3
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor…to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
As I was reading this, I came to the realization that somewhere along the journey of my personal growth as a Christian, I allowed myself to let go of much of the responsibility associated with being part of the body of Christ. It was the portion of the calling that is action and ownership of something beyond myself, the portion of the calling that says “because the Lord has anointed me to…” followed by action.
Action. We as Christians do fairly well with the proclaiming portion of this chapter, but I’ve found that the rest tends to a little bit more of a struggle. Comforting, providing for those in need, offering grace that restores beauty when ashes are all that can be seen, instilling joy in the midst of mourning and praising through the despair that life can bring.
I was caught by the simplicity of this passage; the thought that God literally anointed me for this very reason; the idea that unless I am actively seeking to love others, to restore them in Christ, to lead them to a place of healing in Him, that I am truly not living up to the very reason Christ anointed me in the first place.
This passage goes on to tell us what happens to those who are comforted, encouraged, and restored. Verses 3 through 6 tell us that they will be called oaks of righteousness, displaying the Lord’s splendor. They in return will rebuild, restore, and refresh what was once devastated. The following verse outlines the Lord’s promise for those who did as they were anointed to do—those who took action.
Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.
We’ve all been at a point where our personal battles cloud our vision and steal our desire to see beyond ourselves. We’ve seen loss, experienced deep hurt, and felt betrayal. In these moments we may try to shut out the very thing we need most, we need others. We cannot fulfill our mission, our calling, our anointing without reaching out and investing in others, this is what we were anointed to do.
Whether it’s upon your mountaintop or in your valley, there is a plan and a purpose connected with your season. Sometimes you are the one reaching and binding up the brokenhearted, other times it may be your heart that needs held. It might be your season of loss that has brought upon the spirit of despair, or maybe it is your turn to bring the oil of joy and grab the hand of someone who can’t feel hope like they once did.
Whatever season, whatever circumstance, one thing can be true—God has anointed you to go. He has anointed you to actively love others. It is time we take ownership and shift our perspective of what we as Christians are responsible for on this earth and in His kingdom.
So go love someone today. The Lord’s promises are true and His joy is for all.
Olivia Dummer is a student in Blue Springs, Missouri where Jason Huckaby is her pastor. She writes and keeps an inspirational blog hoping to encourage others and share what she’s learned about God.