Question: Are “specialty anointings” or endowments real? For instance, a minister says, “God gave me a specialty anointing to heal eyes or cancer”. Have you ever seen fruit to this that glorifies the Lord ? My assumption is that if a minister truly had a special gift- it would stand out and not need promotion…
Well, I definitely think that this question could be done in multiple parts, maybe even more. Here is the second part of the answer, so if you haven’t read last week’s Faith Fix.
Someone once said to me when I was asking them about ministry offices, “I prefer not to get all wrapped up in that.” The idea they put forth was all that really mattered about these offices (or Biblically, gifts) was the one that’s important is the one needed at the moment. I like that because this seems more in line with scripture.
Paul said this about ministers, 1 Corinthians 3:5 (NASB), “What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one.” The emphasis in scripture is never on the one gifted but the gift that’s needed. Does this mean the minister means nothing? Certainly not! The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 (NASB), “But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another.” We must find balance in these things, however. How do we appreciate and esteem someone? Well, how do you feel appreciated and esteemed? These things are not hard when we determine to do to others as you would have them do to you.
As far as “anointings” go however let’s consider some things. Romans 12:3 (NASB) says, “For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” This scripture, if you continue to read, is dealing with the things God has gifted us with. First, the one “gifted” is to think soberly about themselves and the gift. Verse 6 instructs them to operate these gifts within the sphere of what their faith allows. No where in scripture are we directed to exalt a gift, even Jesus did not do this. Remember when the disciples came back all excited because “even the demons were subject to them”? His response was not, “Rejoice in your gift!” In fact, He specifically said not to!
You may be thinking, but didn’t Paul say that he magnifies his ministry? He did, in Roman’s 11:13. However, the context was not that he went around talking about it, inflating it, selling tickets to come watch the show. It means that he did right by it, operating in it as best he could so as to bring honor to God and draw people unto Him. Even the Holy Spirit does not speak of His own will, but that of the Father (John 16:13). In other words, He too pointed to the Father.
Self promotion is a dangerous thing and is the absence of humility. Paul spoke of this in 1 Corinthians 9:16 (NASB). “For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.” He did it because he knew in his conscience if he did not he would get in trouble with God. It is my opinion based on what I see in scripture that we should never seek opportunity, but rather follow opportunity. The devil even tried to get Jesus to self promote, and yet He refused.
I am not saying that it’s unbiblical or unrighteousness to ever promote something. Don’t you appreciate when something you really want to partake of was advertised so you could make plans? Just before writing this, I was looking at a ministry’s itinerary so I could plan on being in meetings. Each date had a little promotion and I liked that as it made it easier to decide which one to be at. I just think we need to promote with the utmost humility. Consider this, when Jesus went about doing good, He often told people not to tell anyone. John the Baptist preached in the wilderness and people came to him. Paul simply preached Jesus and Him crucified and news went out that the one who formerly persecuted now preached. If it’s God, He will do the promoting.
One last thing, I want to make sure I answer the question of is there “specialty anointings”? I do believe the Bible indicates, though not necessarily explains special abilities. You will see at different times in the Bible where people did different or similar things but not all things. Elijah, Elisha, and Jesus all multiplied food, however not everyone did. I think the sum of all this is really found in Romans 12. Operate in faith according to ability you know you can operate in and you will do just fine. Is it wrong for a minister to talk about what they know the Lord has gifted them to do? I don’t think so, if done in humility. But that’s a whole other discussion.
1 Peter 5:6 (NASB)
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,