The Five Ingredients of an Anointed Life
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Take the following fine spices: 500 shekels of liquid myrrh, half as much (that is, 250 shekels) of fragrant cinnamon, 250 shekels of fragrant calamus, 500 shekels of cassia—all according to the sanctuary shekel—and a hin of olive oil. Make these into a sacred anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer. It will be the sacred anointing oil.
- Exodus 30:22-25
This is God's recipe for the anointing. He required five specific ingredients for this holy anointing oil. This precious anointing oil was used to anoint kings and priests, and to consecrate those things meant to be most holy. If we examine these five ingredients, we find recipe to living an anointed life. A life God can pour out His blessing upon, and use to accomplish His will and purposes.
The first ingredient of an anointed life is meekness. He said the first thing that you are to put in the anointing oil is a spice called myrrh. Myrrh is a fragrance that comes from the trunk of a commiphora tree in Arabia. It's produced in the form of tears. Alcohol is added to remove any impurities, and then it is steamed. As the steam passes through the gum, it’s melted into oil, and that oil becomes a perfume.
Myrrh is a beautiful picture of meekness and submission. The number-one ingredient for an anointed life is meekness and submission to God's will. Meekness is not weakness. Meekness is strength in harness for service. Meekness is the raging river no longer flowing wide and wild, but submitting to the dam so that from it might come hydro-electricity. It's submitting all that you have in obedience to God, and when you do that, the anointing is attracted to your life. Submission and meekness is the wild, untamed, powerful stallion, submitting to the bit, the bridal, the saddle, and the tug of the reins.
The Bible says in Numbers 12:3, that Moses was the meekest man who ever lived. He reached a place—and not over night, by the way, it took 40 years—where he understood his role was to do what God called him to do, and let God deal with the consequences. He put his self-will, rebellion, and stubbornness aside, and said yes to God in spite of himself.
The second ingredient of an anointed life is uprightness, or how you stand. The second ingredient in the anointing oil was cinnamon. Cinnamon comes from a tree that grows 30 to 40 feet, and it grows remarkably straight. It is said that this cinnamon grew so straight it had no curves. They take the leaves, and the fruit of that upright tree, and squeeze them, and out of that comes the oil. They used cinnamon oil to make fragrant candles for the king.
How you stand matters. Being upright doesn’t mean being self-righteous, standing on spiritual stilts looking down on everyone else. It means standing for what is right, standing on the truth, living above reproach, but not judging those around you (remember meekness).
When you stand upright, the anointing is attracted to your life. Did you know the Old Testament said that if a man had a crooked back, he was disqualified from being a priest in the temple? God was making a point. Your stance matters. The way you carry yourself in front of others, the way other people see you, the things you choose to stand on and for—you need to be upright to walk in the anointing. If your back is crooked, you can't stand straight, and you don’t qualify for service to God. It’s not physical, it’s spiritual, and it’s your integrity. Even today, when we speak of ill-doing people, we call them “crooked.”
To walk in God’s anointing you must stand upright. You must stand for truth, you must stand in His righteousness, not your own. You must stand on His promises. You must stand against the enemy, sometimes that means standing against public or popular opinion. Billy Crabtree said, "On Christ, the solid rock I stand, and every other rock is a shamrock." And that's the truth!
Four times in the Book of Ephesians, God says, "Stand." "Stand." "Stand." "Stand." When it looks like your prayers aren't working, when it looks like the fasting isn't working, when it looks like the Bible isn't working, when it feels like the dream is not working, what do you do? You don't quit, you don't get angry, and you don't throw in the towel. You stand. Four times, and when you've done all you can do, stand. And when you can’t stand on your own any longer, you find someone who will hold up your arms, so can keep on standing!
The third ingredient of an anointed life is humility. The recipe for God’s holy anointing included calamus, a reed that grows in swamps. The head of the reed is filled with oil. You know it’s ready to be used when the head of the reed is bent over, almost in half. It speaks of bending low in humility.
Jesus demonstrated a level of humility that society at large doesn’t understand today. Our corporations and organizations are built on a pyramid, with the leader on top. But Jesus was a servant leader. When asked, “Who shall be greatest in your kingdom?” He essentially said, the one who is willing to kneel down and serve all.
One by one, the peasant fishermen who were His disciples, walked in with grimy, sandy filthy feet, and Jesus Christ—God in the flesh—bent low and washed their feet. In an ultimate act of humility, the hands that created the universe washed those feet. From the magnificent, to the menial task of foot washing, it was His example of how to be great.
God was showing us it’s not about your name, it's not about your popularity, it's not about your fame, but it's about serving people. If you want to walk in the anointing, you must walk in humility.
The fourth ingredient for an anointed life is cleansing. Malachi 3:2 says, “He [The Lord] is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap.” The ingredient in the anointing oil was called cassia. Cassia produces a leaf called senna that, still today, is used for inner cleansing.
Just like Malachi 3:2 suggests, the Holy Spirit comes to clean us, like a refiner’s fire burning off the scum, turning up the heat until only the purest substance remains. And like fullers’ soap, once the inside is purified, the outside is washed clean.
To live an anointed life, every now and then, we’ve got to get cleaned out and cleaned up! You need everything inside of you to be brought to the cross, laid at the altar, and you need to say, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139: 23-24).
Are you letting things into your life that are hindering the anointing? Before it's a deed, it's a thought. And before it's an action, it's an attitude. This is why cleansing is an important ingredient. We must take inventory, ask God to take inventory, of our thoughts and intentions and cleanup from the inside out.
The fifth and final ingredient to an anointed life is the Holy Spirit, the presence of God in your life. A hin, or container, of olive oil was the final ingredient required to make the sacred ointment. And this olive oil, symbolizes the Holy Spirit.
Olive oil was used to cook food in ancient days; it fed them. They used it to bring rest and comfort by applying it to their feet after a long journey. They used it to pour on wounds to bring healing, and they used it to anoint kings, priests and prophets. Today, the Holy Spirit, the spirit of the Living God, which came to us after Christ ascended into Heaven, brings comfort, power, healing, and fills us so that we never hunger or thirst again.
In Psalms 92, David said, "I shall be anointed with fresh oil." There's nothing worse than old, stale oil; it attracts flies, and Satan is Beelzebub, the Lord of the Flies. So when we're living off yesterday's oil, yesterday’s blessing, and yesterday’s experience with God, it attracts the enemy.
That's why David said, "I'm crying out, and I shall be anointed with fresh oil." Fighting today's battles and depending on yesterday's oil is futile. You need the daily presence of the Holy Spirit in your life. You need an ongoing relationship through worship, prayer, and the Word. You cannot sustain an anointed life on a stale, forgotten relationship with God. You need a fresh anointing.
There's nothing that can take the place of a fresh move of God in your life. Money can't. The house, the car, everything that you think is so important, these material things cannot be a substitute for what truly fills us and makes us happy. Keep God fresh in your life. Stay sensitive to the Holy Spirit guiding and directing your life.
If you want to walk in the anointing of God, to live in the fullness and power of His presence you must be meek, upright, and humble. You must ask God to search your heart and cleanse you, keep your life rid of impurities that will hinder the anointing. And you must seek the Holy Spirit, an active and daily filling of the Spirit of the Lord in your life. Make it your prayer today to help you adjust your life to walk in His anointing, and ask Him to fill you anew with His Holy Spirit.