How To Recapture the Spirit
And Anointing of God
By Philip A Matthews (July 10, 2002. Revised June 6, 2015)
[Author's Note: This article was originally part of the message, What Is Truth?, from December, 2001.]
"If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; 14If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:13-14
- ACKNOWLEDGE “ First of all, wake up and see and discern the spiritual conditions around you. Acknowledge that the heavens have been "shut up and "there is no rain (i.e., no life-giving anointing of the Spirit falling on the church), that the church is being devoured by "locusts (evil spirits and ungodliness that consume life and power), and that there is "pestilence (spiritual sickness and weakness) among God's people. Quit trying to hide it or excuse it or explain it away. Then humbly admit that the anointing has been lost. This may be hard to do, but it is the easiest of the four steps. And yet it is always true that no problem can be solved until it is faced, and no help can be obtained until one admits that he needs help. Being honest with God is the ONLY way to deal with Him. Being dishonest, trying to hide stuff, and covering up your mess is the surest way to lose God's favor. Just ask Adam and Eve.
REPENT “ There is only one reason ever to lose the anointing: SIN. (See Joshua 8:11.) Usually in religious circles this sin takes the form of religious pride, spiritual smugness, or idolatry (worshipping religious things other than God Himself”forms, doctrines, people, past revelations, etc.). But it can be any of the sins or uncleannesses that now seem to infect most Christians today in our age of "sinning Christians. (See the very alarming statistics in "Lawlessness"). It is possible to know that the anointing has been lost, but still not be fully aware of why and how it was lost. Therefore, earnest prayer and honest seeking God's face is necessary to reveal exactly what the cause is and what must be repented of. A spirit of listening for His voice must be maintained. Then actual repentance, i.e., humbling and "turning from [a] wicked way must take place. Truly "turning" from our sins and wicked ways (perverse direction) means ending them and not doing them any more.
OPEN UP TO WHATEVER GOD WANTS TO DO “ Seeking God's face requires great openness. Forget about how you look, what people may think, what the rest of the church might say, what you have always thought, taught, preached, or believed, etc. Obviously, none of that is really working. None of that has been enough to help you keep the anointing. It was Jim Cymbala who once asked something like, "Is the church so anointed and making such a godly impact on the world that we cannot humble ourselves in earnest prayer and admit that something about us needs to change?" So now it is back to the drawing board. Hold nothing sacred unless it is absolutely commanded by the Word of God. Everything else must be put on the altar for God to keep, dispose of, change, de-emphasize, restructure, or do whatever else He wants to do with it. The kingdom of God in its fullness can only be received as "a little child (Mark 10:15), i.e., with a very teachable and humble attitude, without lots of preconceived ideas and requirements, and without forcing God to fit Himself into your religious structures. You will never be able to force Him to pour His "new wine into your "old bottles (Matthew 9:17).
OPEN UP TO WHOEVER GOD MAY WANT TO USE “ Once YOU have lost the anointing, somebody else somewhere else definitely has it, and God may require you to deal with them. He never stops working just because YOU lose touch. He continues on with His business of saving the world and blessing honest souls. Other people, on whom the anointing now rests, may be more in touch with the ways, means, and workings of the Holy Spirit today. Remember, if you lost the anointing 20 years ago, you have no idea what the Spirit has been doing for the last 20 years. You will need some help from outside of yourself, outside of your church, outside of your denomination. So be open to and actively search for other people who are demonstrating signs of God's anointing, even if they do not seem to fit into your preconceived religious notions and doctrines. Remember that Jesus Himself did not qualify to be anointed according to the standards of the religion people of His day”but He was anointed nonetheless! This step may be the most difficult step of all.
These are the four requirements that God has revealed for an individual, a congregation, or a church movement to recapture its lost anointing. Every one of these steps is absolutely essential, but every one of them is extremely difficult. For this reason, very few religious movements ever recapture their lost anointing. It is possible, but it will definitely take an act of God. What usually happens is that a lot of people get stuck in one of the above steps, so God moves on with the few that are willing to pay the full price.
Jesus taught that the first thing to do after worshipping God the Father and "hallowing His name was to pray, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10). God's will is completely done in heaven. Because God's awesome presence fills the whole place, there is no death, sorrow, fear, loss, pain, failure, rejection, weakness, or any other such negatives in heaven. Truly there is reason to shout and praise forever in heaven. The presence of God makes all the difference in the world.
So then the main task of all Christians is to find out and remove all hindrances to God's presence being felt and His will being done in earth, whether those hindrances be our human flesh, or our religious practices and traditions, or "sin in the camp, or a work of Satan, or our ignorance, or any other ungodly element. Our job is to open up to God and let "His will be done in earth.
We must remember that we are utterly lost without the full blessings of "His kingdom coming among us. We all know that if Jesus Christ Himself were here, in His full power and glory, the effectiveness of the church in this world would be off the charts! So what have we really accomplished without His fullness upon us? What do we really have without His anointing? How can we not stop now and more desperately seek His face?
May God bless us all.