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As members of the body of Christ (literally the body of the “Anointed One”), we are each called to grow and progress in the anointing of the Holy Spirit. We have seen in this series that this anointing operates along four lines: priestly, prophetic, kingly, and, consummately, sonship. Only as there is genuine development along these lines among the individual members of the body of Christ can there develop a true collective expression of the anointed Head in and through His body, the corporate Christ.
So the question remains, “How do we individually grow and progress in the anointing of the Holy Spirit?”
A key to this question can be found by considering the course of the lives of two Old Testament saints who each demonstrated significant growth and development in the three specific anointings of priestly, prophetic, and kingly (i.e. governmental.) These two anointed servants were Samuel and David, and I believe the dual witness of their lives testifies of God’s ways and means of fostering growth and progression in the anointing within His people.
In the case of both Samuel and David, the foundation of their spiritual lives was related primarily to the priestly anointing.
Samuel was dedicated to the Lord as a weaned child and was given by his mother, Hannah, into the care of Eli, the High Priest. At Shiloh, he served Eli in the service of the tabernacle. He was raised in this priestly environment to be one who regularly “worshiped” and “ministered unto the Lord” (see 1 Samuel 1:28; 2:11.) This spiritual aspect of priestly engagement with the Lord Himself was foundational to the whole of his spiritual life.
David, likewise, began his life as a worshiper. As he was tending flocks on the Bethlehem hillsides, he spent many days and nights playing his harp, singing the songs of Yahweh, and cultivating a heart after God through worship and prayer. His sanctuary was the canopy of the heavens and his spiritual (priestly-like) anointing was poured on his head by the Lord Himself, his Good Shepherd. (See Psalms 23:1,5) It was here that he ministered unto the Lord in simplicity and solitude, and, in due time, the Lord rewarded Him openly.
Later on in David’s life, we see that he further participated in certain official priestly activities that were reserved by God’s Law solely for the descendants of Levi (though David was of the tribe of Judah) and for which he was neither judged nor reproved. (See 2 Samuel 6:12-18; 1 Chronicles 15:25-27; 16:1-7) Though we could explore further as to why that may have been so, the important point here is that the priestly aspect of the anointing and function were interwoven into the fabric of David’s life from his earliest days onward.
In the lives of both Samuel and David, then, the priestly-related function and anointing, especially in the realm of worship and ministry to the Lord, formed the foundation of all that would follow. This becomes instructional to us as well who seek to grow and progress in the anointing of the Holy Spirit as members of the corporate body of Christ.
We further see in the lives of both Samuel and David that as they gave themselves to spiritual ministry/priestly anointing, they increased and progressed into a new dimension and dynamic: the prophetic anointing.
It says of Samuel, “The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the LORD. The LORD continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.” (1 Samuel 33:19-21)
Similarly, as we read through the psalms of David, we see in numerous places that in the midst of him pouring out his heart in prayers and praises, that “the spirit of prophecy” began to bring forth “the testimony of Jesus” (Revelation 19:10) with inspired declarations of the coming Messiah. The book of Psalms is the most oft quoted Old Testament book in the New Testament and David is called a “prophet” by Peter on the day of Pentecost as he quoted two of the Psalms’ Messianic portions. (See Acts 2:25-35.) Thus we see that the prophetic anointing flowed out of the “priestly” exercising of his spirit in anointed worship and prayer.
This principle carries over into our day, as well, and is essential for us to lay hold of as we seek to similarly progress in the anointing.
In both the lives of Samuel and David, the priestly anointing led to the prophetic anointing which progressed to the kingly (governmental) anointing. Although Samuel was not a king, yet he became entrusted with the governmental aspect of the anointing as the last of Israel’s judges.
“Samuel continued as Israel’s leader all the days of his life. From year to year he went on a circuit from Bethel to Gilgal to Mizpah, judging Israel in all those places. But he always went back to Ramah, where his home was, and there he also held court for Israel. And he built an altar there to the LORD.” (1 Samuel 7:15-17)
Later in Samuel’s life he anointed Saul as the first king of Israel and shortly thereafter, David as his successor.
The Lord said, “I have found David my servant; with my sacred oil I have anointed him…I will appoint him to be my firstborn, the most exalted of the kings of the earth.” (Psalms 89:20,27)
David’s progression into the kingly anointing was the crowning anointing in his life. It did not, however, arise independently or in a vacuum of the other aspects of the anointing but was built upon and sustained by them.
God has, likewise, called all of His people to be “kings” (“and priests”) (Revelation 1:6KJV). Therefore, we must all learn from the examples of Samuel and David how that kingly/governmental anointing is attained if we are to progress into the fullest expression of our high calling as members of the body of the Anointed One, Christ Jesus, our High Priest, Prophet, and King.
Samuel and David were very unique “sons” who each embodied all three of these primary aspects of the anointing: priestly, prophetic, and kingly (governmental.) Furthermore, they each progressed from one to the other along the same lines and divine order.
You and I, as members of the body of Christ, are similarly called to grow and progress in the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The foundation of our spiritual life and growth will be the priestly ministry and anointing. As we learn to personally minister unto the Lord and become genuine worshipers and intercessors, we will draw near to God, encounter His heart, and progressively develop our spiritual senses to be sensitive and receptive to His prophetic Spirit and Word.
As we cultivate the prophetic anointing through priestly intimacy with the Lord, we will increasingly become stewards of His imparted wisdom, righteousness, truth, judgment, and authority. These will be vital for us as we move into the governmental aspects of the anointing. The governmental/kingly realm involves the promotion and furtherance of the Kingdom of God in all areas and arenas of life in righteousness, truth, and justice by the power of the Holy Spirit. It also involves engagement in spiritual warfare and the pushing back of sin and darkness in this world through holiness, boldness, and imparted spiritual authority.
As the “sons of God” (irrespective of gender), all three of these aspects (“faces”) of the anointing will become increasingly matured and manifested in and through us as we continue to foster their growth and development from the “bottom up”, as we have seen. This, I believe, is the key to growing and progressing in the anointing of the Holy Spirit. May we press in and press on in this high calling as members of the corporate Christ, the body of the Anointed One!